William Buchanan

William Buchanan was born January 11, 1903, in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 1924, he received a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College, and in 1926, he received a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School. Also in 1926, he began his professional career with Appleton Wire Works as sales manager. Twelve years later in 1938, he was elected president of the company.

Mr. Buchanan’s primary contribution to the paper industry was the successful development of Appleton Wire Works from a relatively small regional supplier of Fourdrinier wires in the 1920s to the largest and most successful manufacturer of forming fabrics. This success led to the subsequent consolidation of Appleton Wire Works and Albany Felt Company, which became Albany International, the world’s largest manufacturer of paper machine clothing.

Mr. Buchanan was constantly developing and promoting advances in Fourdrinier wires to allow the papermaker to make better paper at higher speeds and lower costs. Examples include the welded seam, which replaced hand-sewn seams; the staggered weave, which eliminated the problem of wires hanging or freezing to the suction boxes; and finally, the monofilament forming fabric, which made today’s high-speed paper machines possible. He was granted several patents on Fourdrinier wires, the most important being a method for seaming metal wires.

In addition to his technical abilities, Mr. Buchanan had an uncanny knack for recognizing and motivating talented people. This was true whether it was someone on the shop floor or in management. He also knew them all by name.

Anyone who knew Mr. Buchanan considered him a success by any measure. He took a modest legacy and multiplied it many times, assuring his family’s prosperity and providing a solid base for the coming generations. He enjoyed the respect and devotion of a wide-ranging group of associates, from hourly shop workers to the heads of Fortune 500 companies. His gifts were self evident: financial acumen, an eye for talent, the ability to lead, and a deft personal touch. He conducted his business career according to principles that are available to everyone: commit yourself; grow, but carefully; hire good people, give them clear direction, and let them grow; listen and decide; never look back; never underestimate the value of common sense; and repay your good fortune.

Mr. Buchanan became a leading philanthropist in the Fox Valley, giving generously of his time and money to private colleges, particularly Lawrence University and Dartmouth College. His generosity was motivated by a deep and abiding gratitude.

During his lifetime, he served on the board of directors of Northern Paper Mills; Marathon Corporation; American Can; Chicago Northwestern Railroad; Girldings and Lewis; Employers Mutual of Wausau; and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance. He also served as chairman of the board of trustees for Lawrence University and served on the board of trustees for Dartmouth College. In addition, he contributed his time and talents to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance; Appleton Chamber of Commerce; Appleton Memorial Hospital; and the Appleton YMCA.

Mr. Buchanan was a member of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI); Paper Industry Superintendents Association; and Paper Industry Management Association.

Both Lawrence University and Dartmouth College bestowed upon him honorary degrees, and he was awarded the Distinguished Citizen Award, Appleton, Wisconsin.

Mr. Buchanan was elected chairman of the board for Albany International. In 1968, he elected to step down when he reached the age of 70. He remained active well into his eighties, visiting the Fox Valley office every morning during his months in Wisconsin, and he continued to chair the company’s annual meetings.

Mr. Buchanan died on February 12, 1993, one month after his 90th birthday. His widow, Josephine, continues to live in Appleton, WI.

Philip Nethercut

Philip Nethercut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 3, 1921. In 1942, he earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, where he was valedictorian of his class. This was followed by a master of science degree from The Institute of Paper Chemistry, Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1944. After receiving his master’s degree, Dr. Nethercut joined the U.S. Navy, where he served on combat duty in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he returned to the Institute, where he earned his doctorate.

Before joining the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) in 1957, Dr. Nethercut worked as a research chemist for Watervliet Paper Company and as a research manager for Scott Paper Company.

During his tenure as TAPPI’s executive director, Dr. Nethercut played a key role in helping volunteer leaders formulate and implement TAPPI policies. His contributions were especially significant in programs aimed at the professional development of individual members and young people early in their careers.

With his guidance, TAPPI grew in stature and importance as a major educational force in the pulp, paper, packaging, converting, and allied industries. The association continued to attract an increasing number of volunteer services of the world’s foremost engineers, scientists, and managers of these industries.

During his career with TAPPI, the association membership grew from 7,000 to 25,000. Under his leadership, the headquarter’s staff also grew to meet the greatly expanded needs of the membership. He recruited staff members with specialized skills in association operations so that volunteer leaders could concentrate on the interchange of technology rather than the mechanics of meetings or publication operations.

Dr. Nethercut was particularly active in coordinating TAPPI’s programs with those of other organizations with like interests in the United States and throughout the world. He served as a director or trustee of several pulp and paper college boards and foundations, participated in government advisory committees involved in forest product research and paper preservation, and represented TAPPI at meetings of many overseas associations.

He was the first chairman of the Technical Operations Council, giving early guidance and leadership in its development. For several years, he also chaired the Annual Meeting Committee. Dr. Nethercut was frequently TAPPI’s official representative at conferences and section meetings, providing valuable liaison between these groups and the association’s board.

His effectiveness in serving as TAPPI’s external ambassador of professional excellence was acknowledged when he received honors from several foreign associations. As the grand TAPPI and industry statesman, Dr. Nethercut was awarded both a Certificate of Merit by the Mexican Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry and a Diploma of Appreciation by the Brazilian Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry. Dr. Nethercut is a Certified Association Executive and recipient of the American Society of Association Executives’ highest honor, the ASAE Key Award. He was named a TAPP1 Fellow in 1968. He was knighted by Finland and appointed by that country to serve as Honorary Counsel in the State of Georgia in 1976. He also received the Georgia Society of Association Executives Clarke Award for Outstanding Association Executive in Georgia; and he’s listed in Who’s Who in the World.

Dr. Nethercut was a member of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives; Canadian Pulp and Paper Association Technical Section; Finnish Paper Engineers Association; Georgia Society of Association Executives; Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation; and TAPPI Empire State Section.

Dr. Nethercut retired as TAPPI’s board vice chairman in 1986. He and his wife, Lee, raised three children. In 1967, they built a second home in Vermont, where they enjoyed spending their summers.  (Mr. Nethercut died in 2006)

Niilo Erik Ryti

Niilo Ryti was born in Helsinki, Finland, on September 8, 1919. He grew up in the young, independent Republic of Finland during the period between World Wars I and II. Even though he was the son of Risto Ryti, the president of Finland, he had no special privileges during World War II. Like all others, he had to defend his country against the Soviet Union and fought on the front along with other young officers. Everything, including his studies and graduation from Helsinki University of Technology, had to wait until peace was restored.

Professor Ryti earned his master of science degree in engineering in 1944 and completed his licentiate of technology degree in 1960. During his professional career, he was a production engineer for G.A. Serlachius Oy, Kangas Paper Mill, 1945-1950, and technical manager from 1950-1960; technical manager for Oy Wilh. Schauman Ab, Pietarsaari Paper Mill, 1960-1963; and professor of paper technology at Helsinki University of Technology, 1963-1977. In 1977, he joined Jaakko Poyry International Oy and served as president until 1979, when he was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Jaakko Poyry Consulting Oy. He served as a board member for the Jaakko Poyry companies until his retirement in 1983.

As professor of paper technology at Helsinki University of Technology, Dr. Ryti was in a key position to produce qualified paper engineers, therefore contributing significantly to the technological status and development of the paper industry both in Finland and worldwide. He instituted systematic postgraduate education programs in paper technology at the university, which resulted in a number of licentiates and doctors of technology. Professor Ryti wrote a textbook on paper technology that is still widely used in Finland. He was also the editor of the Handbook of Paper Manufacture, published in 1969 by the Finnish Paper Engineers Association.

Professor Ryti trained an entire generation of Finnish paper engineers, who now hold leading positions throughout the paper industry and who apply modern methods and thinking. The current high standards set by these industries is largely based on his pioneering work as a scientist and teacher.

The research and development pursued and supervised by Dr. Ryti, both at the university and in the Jaakko Poyry companies, has had a profound and long-lasting impact on the technology and economics of the industry. He was instrumental in developing the philosophy behind the pulp characterization methods that are still being used at mills all over the world to find the optimum furnish for a given papermaking process. In addition, the first mill-scale integrated groundwood mill control system, the AGMO, was developed under his guidance. Most of the current systems are based on this principle.

Professor Ryti’s work had a considerable impact on the development of papermaking machinery. His work led to the methods for analyzing the stability of paper machines based on variance component analysis, currently widely used by paper machine suppliers and papermakers. The study on formation measurement, which he supervised at the university, led to the development of a commercial formation tester now sold under the name Ambertec. Pioneering work on the application of radioactive tracing techniques for analyzing the performance of refiners and pulp chests was also done under his guidance.

While employed by the Jaakko Poyry companies, Dr. Ryti contributed to the technical progress of the industry, notably by developing and application of radioactive tracing techniques for analyzing the performance of refiners and pulp chests. He directed the study on the international competitiveness of the Finnish forest industry conducted for the Finnish Government and the Central Association of Finnish Forest Industries. As president and board member of Jaakko Poyry International, Niilo Ryti helped many companies, governments, and international institutions in the strategic planning of their forest industries.

Professor Ryti is a member of the Finnish Association of Graduate Engineers; the Finnish Paper Engineers Association; TAPPI; and the Finnish Academy of Technology.

In 1981, he received an honorary doctor’s degree from the Helsinki University of Technology and the Lampen Medal bestowed by the Finnish Paper Engineers Association; in 1969, he received the Stenback Plaque.

Despite his demanding and time-consuming work, Dr. Ryti was devoted to his wife, Anni, and their five children, until his death in 1998. His home was always open to personal friends, who enjoyed the countless professional, philosophical, and cultural discussions to which he gave a special flavor.


Milos Krofta

Milos Krofta was born in Ljubljana, capital city of Slovenia, on July 23, 1912. The region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which became Yugoslavia after World War I. In 1992, the beautiful, partially alpine territory finally obtained its independence.

While he was in high school, Dr. Krofta decided to study mechanical engineering. He completed his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in Ljubljana and continued his studies in Prague, Czechoslovakia. In 1934, at age 22, he was the youngest engineering graduate in the history of the school. In Fall of that year, he began his specialization at the University for Paper Engineering in Darmstadt, West Germany. While in Prague, Dr. Krofta met his future wife, Maria Hybler. They married in 1937. The following year, he obtained his doctorate in papermaking technology.

Because Dr. Krofta’s father and uncle were financially involved in three paper mills, there was no question about his future employment, and he went to work in the largest of the mills in Yugoslavia. When Austria became part of Nazi Germany, most of the Austrians employed in Yugoslavia returned to their homeland, including the general manager of the Vevce Paper Mill where Dr. Krofta served as his assistant. Under this situation, Dr. Krofta became the general manager of all three mills at age 26. With World War I1 on the horizon, the demand for all materials and goods was so great that the mills were producing 150 tons a day — half the total demand of the entire country.

In 1941, the war reached Yugoslavia. Slovenia was split in two, with the Germans taking the north, including two of the Krofta factories, and the Italians capturing the south, where the larger mill was located. The Germans dismantled the two smaller mills, loaded the managers and workers into boxcars and transported them to Serbia. The large mill in Vevce, where Dr. Krofta remained in command, was under Italian occupation, and the region was declared the Italian Province of Ljubljana

When Italy fell in 1943, the Germans took Vevce. As one of the largest employers in the country, Dr. Krofta fought to preserve jobs and save his workers from the camps. At the end of the war in 1945, the mill was confiscated by the communists. In July, Dr. Krofta learned that he was to be arrested as a capitalist enemy of the people. Within a few hours, he decided to leave with a devoted employee, and they drove 70 miles in the only charcoal powered car to Trieste, which was under English military rule. Dr. Krofta, his wife, and two small daughters were reunited six months later.

For six years, Dr. Krofta operated successfully as a consultant in Switzerland and Italy. In 1951, when the war in Korea erupted and the Italian Communist Party made great political gains, the Kroftas immigrated to the United States.

During his managerial years in the Vevce Paper Mill, Dr. Krofta contemplated ways of reducing fiber loss, which then was not considered important. Because he believed fiber loss was substantial and pollution excessive, he began studying how to build more efficient equipment.

Dr. Krofta was an early and ardent advocate of water reuse and zero discharge. Starting in 1960, he built installations based on the dissolved air flotation principle. After several successful installations, he proved the advantages of his system. He promoted further sales through newly-founded offices in several countries. The reuse of wastewater was greatly facilitated by installing his patented flotation units, which at the same time protected the environment and reduced almost totally the use of fresh water. Nearly 3,000 Krofta flotation savealls and clarifiers are operating around the world. The principle of flotation combined with filtration is also applicable for potable water in many other industries.

Dr. Krofta was the founder of Krofta Engineering Corporation, Krofta Waters, Inc., and Lenox Institute for Water Technology, a nonprofit research and educational institution. Through his personal effort and sacrifice, combined with his leadership capabilities, he built the worldwide Krofta organization, which began as a one-man operation in 1947. During his career, Dr. Krofta published over 400 technical reports and papers and has more than 60 U.S. and foreign patents to his credit.

Dr. Krofta, a TAPPI Fellow, was also a Professional Engineer in N.E. States, and Diplomat of Academy of Environmental Engineers. He was a member of American Water Works Association, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was active with the American Society of Testing Materials. He received the Five-Star Award from Pollution Engineering Magazine in 1982.

Dr. Krofta worked full time, seven days a week, until his death in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Maria, who resides in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Lawrence Sanford

Lawrence Sanford was born in Tucson, Arizona, on April 18, 1925. He played tackle on his high school football team, and it was not unusual to travel 600 miles by train to play against a team in California. He also had a special love and talent for physics, chemistry, and math. Following his high school graduation, Dr. Sanford joined the U.S. Navy, where he achieved responsibility for an advanced radar anti-aircraft aiming system.

By 1950, Dr. Sanford had earned his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona, followed by a master of science degree from Cornell University in 1951. By 1955, he had also earned his doctorate from Cornell. He joined The Proctor & Gamble Company in 1955.

During his 23 years with the paper products division, he provided outstanding leadership in paper process development. His efforts led to new papermaking processes that propelled the Charmin and Bounty brands to product superiority and category leadership.

Dr. Sanford championed and led the development of P & G’s blowthrough-drying process, which revolutionized the way low-density paper is made. The process provides a differential-density sheet with higher caliper than the conventional papermaking process. Blow-through-drying affords high-density areas that provide strength and low-density areas that provide improved absorbency. The latter was the inspiration for the ubiquitous recognition of Bounty towels as the “quicker picker-upper.”

The conventional tissue-making process involves mechanically squeezing most of the water out of the tissue web. The low-density blow-through-drying process offered the potential for huge product and economic advantages, but it was not without major technical problems and controversy. With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and the new low-density process unproved, Dr. Sanford took charge of a team to deliver an economically justified and reliable manufacturing process.

Dr. Sanford, who holds three key U.S. patents, demonstrated the potential of the new process in a pilot plant. In addition to developing the theory and economic analysis, he persuaded the company that the risk of high capital investments was acceptable. Under his leadership, a group of engineers and scientists successfully designed full-scale paper machines and established the training of manufacturing technicians to operate the process. Because of Dr. Sanford’s determination, dedication, and leadership, the blow-through-drying process was commercialized, thereby establishing P & G as a leader in the tissue business.

Building on Dr. Sanford’s efforts, P & G improved the way it produces drying belts, allowing further improvements in both efficient fiber utilization and superior tissue-product attributes. After the expiration of the original patents on the blowthrough-drying patents, other companies adopted the process with modifications for tissue products, making it the preferred way in which the majority of premium consumer products are produced. The real winner was the consumer, who was the benefactor of greatly-superior tissue and towel products.

The process, which was commercialized during the 1970s, completely changed the platform of competition for tissue and towel consumer products by providing superior softness and absorbency in the Charmin and Bounty brands. Procter and Gamble’s products made with the blow-through-drying process account for over $2 billion in annual sales.

In recognition of his outstanding technical leadership, the company appointed Dr. Sanford associate director in 1967.

A consuming hobby of his has been growing orchids. His specimens compete on a national level, and since his retirement from P & G in 1990, he has become a Certified Judge of the American Orchid Society. Dr. Sanford and his wife, Patience, raised four children. They maintain their home in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Jong Dae Lee

ong Dae Lee was born in Kumrung, Kyung Buk, Korea, on May 28, 1933. He graduated from Kimchun High School in 1950 and attended Teachers College of Kyung Buk University, Teagu, Korea. In 1955, he received a bachelor of science degree in science and engineering from Kyung Buk University. Before joining YuHan Corporation in 1967, Mr. Lee held positions in several paper companies: Chung Ku Paper Manufacturing Company, 1954-1958; Korea Straw Pulp Manufacturing Company, 1959-1961; Poong Kuk Paper Manufacturing Company, 1961-1965; and Ehwa Paper Manufacturing Company, Ltd., 1965-1967.

After joining YuHan Corporation, Mr. Lee was a key person in the formation of the joint venture YuHan-Kimberly, Limited, which became effective in March 1970, and he was appointed head of the initial plant operations. On January 1, 1979, he became vice president and executive director, and in November 1980, president of the company.

Today, YuHan-Kimberly is the largest tissue and personal care company in Korea, with sales in excess of $400 million U.S. It is regarded as one of the best joint venture companies in Korea. Mr. Lee is credited with building the company from its initial start to its current 2,500 employees. The company holds the leading market share in all categories in which it competes, in many cases in excess of 50 percent total share.

Because of Mr. Lee’s drive and reputation, he was able to convince Kimberly-Clark management to place in Korea in 1982 the first nonwoven spunbonded machine outside the North American

Through the operation of the simple, yet effective paper machinery based on sound, leading tissue-making technology, and adaptions for third-world usage of cutting-edge spunbonded technology, Mr. Lee’s company has achieved remarkable production records for many products, including facial tissue, disposable diapers, and industrial wipers (paper cloth), while maintaining good corporate standing in the community. In short, what he was able to do was take old machines and remake them into efficient machines using cutting-edge technology to help rejuvenate Korean’s industrial base. YuHan-Kimberly is recognized as contributing to Korea’s growing economy and rising standard of living.

Mr. Lee’s resourcefulness and drive were responsible for the initial and subsequent success of the company. He personally designed and supervised the building of YuHan-Kimberly’s first paper-machine winder from material salvaged in the aftermath of the Korean War. Stories abound about building paper-machine rolls from 155mm gun barrels, with a sound basis in fact. He personally designed and supervised the building and marketing of smaller-scale and much lower-cost tissue machines, based on Kimberly-Clark crescent former and other technologies, which are for sale in third-world developing countries. Such machines are operating in El Salvador and Columbia. Key to this success was maintaining performance while simplifying and reducing machinery costs. Mr. Lee also designed and built lower-cost fine paper machines for companies in the Pacific Rim. Generally, Mr. Lee’s machines cost approximately one-third that of comparable machines for North America and Europe.

Mr. Lee was recognized by the Republic of Korea for contributing positively to the balance of payment through his entrepreneurship in achieving export sales of this machinery. He is a member of the Korean Paper Manufacturing Association and is presently chairman. In 1990, he received the Kimberly-Clark Corporation Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.

Mr. Lee retired in 1995. He had planned to retire earlier, but in response to a personal request from Mr. Darwin Smith, chief executive officer of Kimberly-Clark, he stayed on longer and retired in the year of Mr. Smith’s death. Mr. Lee and his wife, Kyung Aye Lee, have three grown children. They reside in Kwachon-si, Kyungki-do, South Korea.

Edgar J. Justus

Edgar Justus was born May 17, 1923, in Smithville, Missouri. He graduated from high school in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1940 he entered Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a co-op student at Fairbanks, Morse and Company until 1942, when his entire engineering class was drafted into the U.S. Air Force. He served as an engineering officer and attained the rank of Captain. He returned to Fairbanks, Morse & Company in 1946 and completed his student co-op program in 1947. In 1948, he graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. He joined Beloit Corporation in 1950 and worked there until his retirement in 1984.

During his years with Beloit Corporation, he worked as an engineer; director of research; vice president of research; vice president of engineering, research and development; and vice president, corporate research and development worldwide.

Throughout his career, Mr. Justus made many unique and extremely valuable contributions to the paper industry, most notably to the technological advancement in paper machine design and performance, as exemplified by the design and development of: Full Hydraulic Flow Boxes; Coverilo and Strata-Flo headbox designs, the latter of which produces a multiple sheet from a single stratified jet; pioneering twin wire formers, lnverform, Bel Baie and Roll Former designs; Presses, Vented and Extended Nip; Controlled Crown Rolls; suction rolls; various roll designs; Yankee Dryers; drying systems; Versa-Cai; Super L; coaters, drives, hydraulics; electrical; controls; and systems. Prior to his retirement, he guided and directed Beloit Corporation’s worldwide research and development programs in pulp, stock, and papermaking technology.

Specifically, his achievements in twin wire forming, vented press systems, and extended nip presses reduced energy consumption. He successfully achieved suction noise roll reduction and sponsored many projects to attain an improved pulp and paper mill environment. His achievements also include economical designs and manufacturing means for maximum machine function; reduced installation costs; shorter machines; compact presses; and fewer dryers. His method of producing a stratified sheet allowed the effective utilization of waste paper.

Mr. Justus, affectionately known as E.J., was an inspiration and stimulus to many aspiring engineers and students, as well as a personal inspiration and dynamic force in the industry, through countless presentations and publications and through issuance of nearly 200 patents.

His achievements and innovations have resulted in simpler, energy-saving equipment, which can be operated at higher speeds and productivity with improved sheet quality. He clearly demonstrated that papermaking technology could continue to progress and that new ways and methods could be found to advance the art and science of paper, tissue, and board making. His advanced concepts successfully altered the course of pulp and paper science and contributed to improved quality and productivity.

In recognition of his many accomplishments, Mr. Justus received several professional honors: TAPPI Fellow, 1975; TAPPI Engineering Division Award, 1988; TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award, 1988; and Georgia Technical College of Engineering, Hall of Fame for Distinguished Alumni, 1995.

During his lifetime, Mr. Justus participated in numerous public service activities, including the Wisconsin Advisory Committee Equal Education Opportunities; District V Representative; and Georgia Tech National Alumni Association. He served on the executive committee of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Foundation and the curriculum committee of North Carolina University Foundation.

Equally as active in his community of Beloit, Mr. Justus served as member and president of the school board; captain of the membership drive and aquatic chairman for the YMCA; Officer of Session, First Presbyterian Church; and director, Beloit Country Club.

Mr. Justus died in 1988. He is survived by his wife, Loula Ann, who resides in Beloit, five children, and nine grandchildren.