Edgar Justus was born May 17, 1923, in Smithville, Missouri. He graduated from high school in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1940 he entered Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a co-op student at Fairbanks, Morse and Company until 1942, when his entire engineering class was drafted into the U.S. Air Force. He served as an engineering officer and attained the rank of Captain. He returned to Fairbanks, Morse & Company in 1946 and completed his student co-op program in 1947. In 1948, he graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. He joined Beloit Corporation in 1950 and worked there until his retirement in 1984.
During his years with Beloit Corporation, he worked as an engineer; director of research; vice president of research; vice president of engineering, research and development; and vice president, corporate research and development worldwide.
Throughout his career, Mr. Justus made many unique and extremely valuable contributions to the paper industry, most notably to the technological advancement in paper machine design and performance, as exemplified by the design and development of: Full Hydraulic Flow Boxes; Coverilo and Strata-Flo headbox designs, the latter of which produces a multiple sheet from a single stratified jet; pioneering twin wire formers, lnverform, Bel Baie and Roll Former designs; Presses, Vented and Extended Nip; Controlled Crown Rolls; suction rolls; various roll designs; Yankee Dryers; drying systems; Versa-Cai; Super L; coaters, drives, hydraulics; electrical; controls; and systems. Prior to his retirement, he guided and directed Beloit Corporation’s worldwide research and development programs in pulp, stock, and papermaking technology.
Specifically, his achievements in twin wire forming, vented press systems, and extended nip presses reduced energy consumption. He successfully achieved suction noise roll reduction and sponsored many projects to attain an improved pulp and paper mill environment. His achievements also include economical designs and manufacturing means for maximum machine function; reduced installation costs; shorter machines; compact presses; and fewer dryers. His method of producing a stratified sheet allowed the effective utilization of waste paper.
Mr. Justus, affectionately known as E.J., was an inspiration and stimulus to many aspiring engineers and students, as well as a personal inspiration and dynamic force in the industry, through countless presentations and publications and through issuance of nearly 200 patents.
His achievements and innovations have resulted in simpler, energy-saving equipment, which can be operated at higher speeds and productivity with improved sheet quality. He clearly demonstrated that papermaking technology could continue to progress and that new ways and methods could be found to advance the art and science of paper, tissue, and board making. His advanced concepts successfully altered the course of pulp and paper science and contributed to improved quality and productivity.
In recognition of his many accomplishments, Mr. Justus received several professional honors: TAPPI Fellow, 1975; TAPPI Engineering Division Award, 1988; TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award, 1988; and Georgia Technical College of Engineering, Hall of Fame for Distinguished Alumni, 1995.
During his lifetime, Mr. Justus participated in numerous public service activities, including the Wisconsin Advisory Committee Equal Education Opportunities; District V Representative; and Georgia Tech National Alumni Association. He served on the executive committee of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Foundation and the curriculum committee of North Carolina University Foundation.
Equally as active in his community of Beloit, Mr. Justus served as member and president of the school board; captain of the membership drive and aquatic chairman for the YMCA; Officer of Session, First Presbyterian Church; and director, Beloit Country Club.
Mr. Justus died in 1988. He is survived by his wife, Loula Ann, who resides in Beloit, five children, and nine grandchildren.