Gary Smook was born in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., on August 16, 1934. He received his education at the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor of science degree in 1956.Upon graduation he began his industrial endeavor with Rayonier Inc. (1956-61) and then increased his expertise at Celanese Corporation (1961-66) and MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (1966-74). During this introduction period he held various engineering, production, and managerial positions which advanced his knowledge in such areas as paper pressing, drying, kraft pulping, technical training and administration, and resource utilization. This led him to work for the British Columbia Institute of Technology for 20 years (1974-94), teaching pulp and paper technology courses.
While teaching at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and drawing on his extensive engineering and supervisory experience, he wrote Handbook for Pulp & Paper Technologists. The “Smook Book” soon became the “bible of the industry” for education institutions and became a run-away best seller. The “Smook Book” is now in its 3rd edition and has sold an unprecedented 70,000 copies over 24 years. It has been adopted as the standard textbook for most introductory pulp and paper courses throughout North America and the English-speaking world.
The “Smook Book” has also been translated into French, Spanish, Polish, Chinese and Korean. It was the major source of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry’s (TAPPI) first interactive laser videodisc training course and their later successful CD-ROM entitled How Paper Is Made.
Shortly after the textbook was completed, he began writing a companion volume on pulp and paper industrial terms and completed this effort after six years with the publishing of his Handbook of Pulp & Paper Terminology in 1990. This book is now in its 2nd edition.
Mr. Smook retired from British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1994 but has remained active in the publishing field, serving as technical editor on two additional books: Paper Machine Design and Operation(Gunnar Gavelin, 1998) and Paper Science and Paper Manufacture (John Peel, 1999).
During his active years, Mr. Smook reported on his work in over 30 technical publications and was awarded the Weldon Medal of the Canadian Pulp & Paper Association’s Technical Section for his paper “Variables Affecting Press Performance on High-Speed Newsprint Machines.”
Mr. Smook was active in the paper industry associations, including Technical Association of the Pulp & Paper Industry (TAPPI), Pulp & Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC, formerly CPPA), Paper Industry Technical Association (PITA), International Association of Scientific Papermakers (IASPM), and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, receiving their Meritorious Achievement Award in 1994. He also served 10 years on the Joint Textbook Committee of the Paper Industry (TAPPI & CPPA) and culminated 10 years of service by being chairman of CPPA Professional Development Committee. He is a TAPPI fellow.
Mr. Smook and his wife, Hilda Wiebe, reside in Vancouver, British Columbia.