Harry T. Cullinan was born in Jackson Heights, New York, on May 27, 1938. He received his bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of Detroit in 1961 and his master of science in 1963 and doctorate in 1965, both from Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
From 1960 to 1961, he was development engineer with Avon Cosmetics and from 1963 to 1964 research engineer with Westinghouse Research. Later he joined the State University of New York at Buffalo, worked there from 1964 to 1976, and rose through the professional ranks to become professor and chairman. From 1972 to 1973 he was a visiting professor at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
In 1976 he joined The Institute of Paper Chemistry as academic dean and vice president â€“ academic affairs and held those positions until 1987. From 1989 to 1991, he was director, Australian Pulp and Paper Institute and, in 1991, left to become director, Pulp and Paper Research and Education Center, Auburn University, where he is active now.
Harry Cullinan has made numerous important pioneering contributions to the paper industry as a leader, researcher, and academician over his 40-year career. At the Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC), he revitalized the graduate program with a new master of science program and received 10-year accreditation for the program. At the Australian Pulp and Paper Institute (APPI), Cullinan established the base for strong research capabilities in process engineering and a new postgraduate degree program leading to the degree of master of engineering science in Pulp and Paper Technology.
At Auburn University, he has been extremely active in people-development programs. He played a key role in substantially increasing the number of company supporters to the pulp and paper foundation and thus created additional funding for student scholarships to attract the best and the brightest students to the industry.
Cullinan is the pioneering leader in forming the Pulp and Paper Education and Research Alliance (PPERA) and its only president who has been re-elected time after time. Under his direction, PPERA provides a forum for the universities to share information and develop strategies to better meet the current and future needs of the paper industry.
Under Cullinan’s leadership, Auburn University formed a partnership with Alabama Southern Community College to develop pulp and paper operator training programs and launched the National Network for Pulp and Paper Technology Training under the auspices of the American Forest and Paper Association’s U.C. Agenda 2020 Technologically Advanced Workforce initiative.
Cullinan established the Sensor Technology Unit at Auburn to develop and commercialize near-infrared sensor systems for real time chemical analysis of pulp and paper process streams, currently used at six mill locations. Also, a Woodfiber Initiative in Science and Engineering (WISE) was started with PPERA and The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) to address the issues related to underutilized residuals in our nation’s forests. This initiative focuses on developing the fundamental science and technology needed to separate wood into its basic components at near theoretical yield in order to allow for the economic production of ethanol and other chemicals from wood as a sustainable and renewable alternative to petroleum. As follow-on to WISE, Auburn University has launched a major alternative energy initiative, and several other PPERA universities have begun similar programs focused on the conversion of pulp mills into biorefineries.
Cullinan has nearly 70 publications and has given over 150 presentations. He is a TAPPI Fellow and a recipient of the TAPPI Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Award.
He resides with his wife, Di Ann, and son, Kevin, in Opelika, Alabama.