PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Natural Fiber Welding‘s CEO, Luke Haverhals, and CTO (Chief Technology Officer), Aaron Amstutz earned a prestigious award that can launch them further in the textile industry.

The duo won the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation’s Inventor of the Year award for 2022.

The Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation‘s Award recognizes recent inventors with creations that greatly impact the world. Among recipients for this year, are inventors of mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.

Haverhals and Amstutz are being recognized for leading a company that focuses on global climate and pollution crises through their products. Natural Fiber Welding produces plastic-free products using sustainable materials from plants.

“I tell new hires at NFW that I hope in 10-15 years, NFW view is like the DuPont of natural materials. When people think who is doing the best work developing new materials in a natural space, they think of the name NFW,” said Amstutz.

Natural Fiber Welding is a company based and created in Peoria.

“I worked at caterpillar for 18 years and I have been in Peoria for 20 some years now, and I have watched manufacturing leave and I have watched jobs go. When I started at this start-up, I realized that a new company can grow and grow in Peoria, bring manufacturing, bring engineering, and do so in a whole new space,” said Amstutz.

Amstutz and Haverhals will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive the award on December 7th.

“This will put us in front of a group of people who are interested in intellectual property in Washington, D.C.