Barbara van Lierop at her retirement in 2007, was principal scientist in the chemical pulping program at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican). She has made significant contributions to bleaching research during her 33 year career with Paprican.
Van Lierop started her career at the Stora Enso Port Hawkesbury mill as a summer intern while pursuing a B.Sc. degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was while completing a M.Sc. at McGill University’s McDonald Campus, she became acquainted with Paprican and joined the organization.
During her career, van Lierop has been associated with major changes in bleaching technology that arose from the need to address environmental issues. These developments at Paprican included the application of oxidative extraction in pulp bleaching and the use of oxygen, peroxide and ozone in both TCF and ECF bleaching, and part of a research team that is developing technologies to improve chlorine dioxide bleaching efficiency.
Van Lierop has played an important role in the transfer of these research technologies to mills, either directly or indirectly, through her participation in both the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC) and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) committee work.
She has made major contributions to PAPTAC. She served as chair of the Bleaching Committee from 1981-83. She later served as Councilor from 1994-96 and then chair from 1996-98. She received honorary life membership in 2004.
She has also made significant contributions to TAPPI. A member since 1979, van Lierop has participated on the Bleaching Committee and the International Pulp Bleaching Conference planning committee. In 1999 she received the Pulp Manufacturing Division Technical Service Award and the Johan Richter Prize, presented in recognition of outstanding contributions that have advanced the industry’s technology.
Other honors bestowed on van Lierop include the F.G. Robinson Committee Service Award in 1982; the Douglas Jones Environmental Award in 1990 and 1993; and the Howard Rapson Memorial Award in 2000.
And in 2007, van Lierop was awarded the distinguished John S. Bates Memorial Gold Medal in recognition of long-term contributions to the science and technology of the paper industry. She was named a TAPPI fellow in 2005, an honor bestowed on less than one percent of the organization’s membership.