Lothar Göttsching was born August 7, 1936, in Berlin, Germany, to Robert and Margarete Göttsching. Dr. Göttsching began his distinguished career in paper technology in 1956, obtaining his first degree in paper engineering in 1961 from the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt (TH Darmstadt), now Technische Universität Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt). From 1961 to 1966 Dr. Göttsching was a research assistant at the Finnish Pulp and Paper Research Institute (KCL) in Helsinki. In 1969 he received his doctorate (Dr.-Ing.) at TH Darmstadt. From 1966 to 1971 he was head of research and development for Vereinigte Verpackungsgesellschaft GmbH in Monheim/Rheinland, a company with five board and paper mills. In 1971 he returned to TH Darmstadt to become the fourth person to lead the Institute of Paper Science and Technology following Prof. Dr.-Ing. Walter Brecht.
As head of the program at TH Darmstadt, Dr. Göttsching has trained more than 500 paper scientists for the paper and allied industries. Dr. Göttsching provided exposure to paper making technology well beyond the borders of Germany. He has nurtured and grown relationships around the globe. In 1985 he took a group of students on a tour of mainland China’s paper technology following a study tour to Kenya and South Africa in 1984.
Dr. Göttsching has also been a prolific author. He has published over 400 articles and is the author/editor of three books. He was the editor and a major contributor to Recycled Fiber and Deinking, a book jointly published by the Finnish Paper Engineers’ Association and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) as part of a multi-volume series on papermaking technology. His major areas of research included pressing, drying, and recycling of paper including pulping and deinking of recycled fibers. One major part of his work was devoted to environmental protection by closed white water systems, biological effluent treatment and reject and sludge treatment in the paper industry. Further priority was given to the analysis of organic and inorganic detrimental substances of pulp, paper, white water, reject, and sludges.
In addition to providing leadership to the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Darmstadt, Dr. Göttsching has been an active member and leader in many paper industry organizations. He is a member of the Finnish Paper Engineers’ Association (PI), the German Paper Engineers’ Association (ZELLCHEMING), the Canadian Paper Engineers’ Association (PAPTAC), the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Association (TAPPI), and Japanese Tappi, among others. He has served on the board of directors of the German Paper Engineers’ Association (1971-2007), was the chairman of the Technical Committee for Pulp and Paper Testing of ZELLCHEMING (1971-2002), was a member of the Executive Committee of EUCEPA (1973-1999), and served as the chairman of Executive Committee of EUCEPA from 1975 to 1983, being responsible for the organization of more than a dozen conferences and symposia in ten European countries.
Dr. Göttsching has been recognized for his service and contributions to the industry by the Finnish Paper Engineers’ Association with the Jansson Award (1972), honored by TAPPI as a Fellow in 1981, received the Brecht Medal of the German Paper Engineers’ Association in 1983, was named an Honorary Member by the EUCEPA Liaison Committee for the Pulp and Paper Industry (1984), and received the Stenback Plaque of the Finnish Paper Engineers’ Association in 1989, followed by the Honorary Membership of PI in 2004. He received a Dr.-Ing. h.c. from the Technical University of Grenoble in 1994.
On October 1, 2002, Dr. Göttsching retired from TU Darmstadt, but his influence on the industry continues by lecturing at home as well as abroad (e.g. Eastern Europe, India, Vietnam, Brazil).
His family includes wife Christel and children Silke Nos, Kirsti Langsdorf, Bernd Göttsching, Alexander Göttsching, and four grandchildren.
In the beginning of his career he enjoyed among other hobbies: jogging, cross-country skiing, and playing the flute. On his retirement, his wife persuaded him to take up golf, though his handicap is still a well kept secret! Thanks to their fine physical and mental conditions, Lothar and Christel are increasingly interested in traveling in Europe and abroad, including cruises in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean (2008) and to South Africa as the next destination.