Johan Gullichsen was born on June 28, 1936, in Pihlava, Finland. He received a master of science degree in 1962. In 1988, he was awarded a Doctor h.c. in Technology (Honorary Doctor) from Åbo Akademi University.
Professor Gullichsen started his career as a research assistant at the Finnish Pulp and Paper Research Institute from 1962-1964. He then became a project engineer at Ekono until 1970, at which time he co-founded Arhippainen, Gullichsen & Co., serving as president. In 1989 he was appointed professor, Pulping Technology, Helsinki University of Technology, serving until the end of 1999. He also served as department head of Forest Products Technology from 1990-1992 and dean of the faculty of Process Engineering and Material Science, 1993-1996.
Professor Gullichsen is an innovator in the processing of pulp fiber suspensions at medium consistency. Medium consistency processing allows a three-fold reduction in water usage. This technology, created and developed by him, provides significant benefits to pulp quality, reduces environmental impact, and thereby, improves the profitability in pulp and paper production. It results in reductions in chemical usage, fiber losses, effluent and energy. It has been especially valuable in the processing of recycled waste paper.
He is the recipient of more than 60 patents and has over 180 publications around the world. In addition, he currently holds chairmanships with the Ahlstrom Corporation, the Walter Ahlstrom Foundation, the Runar Bäckströom Foundation and the Viapori Warf Foundation.
Professor Gullichsen and his wife Anna have two daughters, Maria Gullichsen and Maire Gullichsen-Ehrnrooth, and a son, Johan Gullichsen.