Dr. Kerekes is Professor Emeritus from the University of British Columbia. His career in the paper industry spans more than 40 years. Through his research, he has contributed to the development of new technology in the areas of fiber processing and papermaking.
Richard was born on July 9, 1940 in Welland, Ontario to Joseph and Elizabeth Kerekes.
Kerekes received a B.A.Sc. (1963) and a M.A.Sc. (1965) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. In 1970 he earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McGill University (Montreal).
Shortly after earning his Ph.D., Dr. Kerekes joined PAPRICAN and was based in Pointe Claire, Quebec. In 1978 he moved to British Columbia where he helped to establish PAPRICAN in western Canada and led the creation of the Pulp and Paper Centre at UBC.
Kerekes’ vigorous research program led to breakthroughs in understanding numerous operations in papermaking, including pulp mixing, refining, forming, pulp screening, pressing, and calendering. Among these accomplishments was pioneering work on the hydrodynamics of blade twin-wire formers. Application of his body of research has enabled substantial improvements to both fiber and paper quality.
His fundamental research on fiber suspensions led to the formulation of the Crowding Number, a dimensionless number important in understanding the flocculation tendencies of pulp, as well as the behavior of fibrous networks.
Kerekes is the author or co-author of over 120 technical papers and a Fellow of the following technical associations: The Chemical Institute of Canada, TAPPI, The Canadian Academy of Engineering, the International Academy of Wood Science, and PAPTAC. He has received numerous honors and awards including: the John S. Bates Gold Medal of PAPTAC, the TAPPI R&D Award and W.H. Aiken Prize, the Johannes Van den Akker Prize (in 2007 and 2009), and the TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal.
Richard and his wife Valerie celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2018. They have one son, Joseph.