Alf de Ruvo was born October 28, 1938 in Sweden. After obtaining his M.Sc. in Chemistry and a Licentiate (Ph.D.) in Engineering with emphasis on paper technology, he moved to the United States where he worked as a research scientist for about 2 years.
In 1970, he accepted an appointment at the Swedish Forest Research Laboratory (STFI) where he quickly rose to become head of research in their Pulp and Paper Technology Department and worked on many projects dealing with paper physics, paper composites, converting and product properties. He was the motivating force behind a unique experimental paper machine. His greatest achievement was creating a research climate that inspired people. He was full of imagination and built a great international contact network.
Alf de Ruvo’s soul was in research. In 1983, he became Director of Research at Sunds Defibrator AB where he achieved many breakthroughs of new technologies. He was committed not only to the technical development but also to the introduction of Sund’s technologies to customers.
In 1987, he joined Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) where, in 1993, he became the executive vice-president and the head of R&D. At SCA he was the moving force behind radical renewal of the SCA’s product portfolio thereby establishing a new research culture in the company. He spearheaded a composite materials approach on paper packaging materials. He also worked on the water absorption/sorption and surface chemistry properties of hygienic products. He implemented the use of CTMP in the adsorption core of hygiene products
Alf de Ruvo’s achievements for the Swedish forest products industry in general, and for SCA in particular, have few parallels. He improved the relationship between industry and academia. He also initiated forest products industrial research at many academic institutions and his efforts were decisive for the development of what is now the Mid-Sweden University. He has published 79 technical papers.
He was a member of the Board of Directors of STFI, served on the board of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation, and was Chairman of the Board of the Forest Products Industry Research College (FPIRC) at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
In recognition of extreme contributions to the Pulp and Paper Industry, the Swedish Association of Pulp and Paper Engineers awarded him its prestigious Ekman Medal in 1998.
Alf de Ruvo died on September 23, 2000. A foundation was organized in his honor that awards a scholarship of 500,000 Swedish Krona (SEK) in his name every year.