Hannu Viljami Paulapuro was born in Rauma, Finland on January 7, 1947. He received his Master of Science degree in 1971 and his Doctor of Technology in 1979, both from Helsinki University of Technology with a major in Paper Technology and a minor in Applied Mathematics.
After receiving his Master’s degree, Paulapuro joined Jaakko Poyry Oy, where he worked until 1984. During this period, he held different positions related to paper technology and process development. From 1981-1984 he worked in the United States where he gained much experience on paper machine diagnostics. These were clearly very influential years for Paulapuro, as he often emphasized the importance of international work in one’s career.
In 1984, Paulapuro joined KCL (The Finnish Pulp and Paper Institute) and also started lecturing paper technology subjects at Helsinki University of Technology. He continued to hold dual positions at these locations for more than two decades and was often known for working seven days a week to carry his high workload.
In 1990, Paulapuro became full professor of paper technology at the Helsinki University of Technology. He was a legendary figure and one of the most productive professors at the university. He taught and guided the research of about 350 Masters of Science students and about 50 Licentiate and Doctoral students. Many of his students have gone on to prestigious careers in the forest products industry. The education and research programs he started became the pioneering programs in Finland’s internationalization efforts. His core values in scientific excellence, strong industrial connections and an international perspective have been imprinted on huge numbers of European paper industry professionals.
Paulapuro is best known for his love for research and many contributions to paper science. For example, his work on process diagnostics, mechanical pulping, wet pressing and fiber and paper physics is still recognized today. His work has been widely published in large number of Journals and Conference publications. The book series he edited, “Papermaking Science and Technology”, is still in wide use today.
Professor Paulapuro retired in 2010 but continues to mentor students and facilitate paper science in various committees and boards.