Walter Brecht

Walter Brecht was born in Augsburg, Germany, on June 29, 1900. He received his Masters Degree in 1923 and Doctorate
(Dr. Ing) in 1925, both from the Technische Hochschule, now Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUD), Germany. After graduation, he moved to the United States to work as a process engineer at Hammermill Paper Company, Erie, PA, (1925-1926). In 1926, he returned to Augsburg, Germany to join Haindl Paper Company as mill superintendent. In 1931, he was invited to join TUD as a Professor and head of the Department of Paper Science and Technology (DPST) from where he retired in 1971 after a very successful 40-year tenure. At TUD, Brecht was also Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical & Chemical Engineering (1939-1944 and 1949-1951) and Rector of TUD (1956-1957).Under his leadership, DPST became one of the major pulp and paper centers in the world. His work resulted in improving stone groundwood pulp, stock preparation, refining, screening, calendaring, dimensional stability, intensified utilization of recycled fibers and issues related to environmental protection. He played a pivotal role in developing paper testing devices such as wet strength analyzer, stiffness tester and dynamic ply-bond tester.
Brecht guided a total of about 350 Masters and PhD students, including around 20% from non-German speaking countries and authored some 388 publications. Abstracts of Brecht’s 388 publications were published as special issue by Papiertechnishe Stiftung Verlag, München, Germany. Brecht also authored two books “Wastewater and Its Treatment”
(1980) and “Our Life in Augsburg – at that time” (1985).

Brecht was member of German and Austrian Paper Engineers’ Associations; the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences; a TAPPI member since 1930 and German Representative to the EUCEPA Executive Committee (1956-1973).

He also organized the International Conference of Engineers’ Training (IKIA) in 1947 and two EUCEPA Conferences in Germany; one in Darmstadt (1963) and the other in Berlin (1968); he was also the editor of both Conference Proceedings. He was the first recipient of the Mitscherlich Award of German Paper Engineer’s Assoc. (1936). Other awards included the Ullstein Award of the German Federation of the Printing Industry (1971); U.S. TAPPI Fellow (1971); the Lampen Award of the Finnish Paper Engineer’s Assoc. (1972), and Silver Merit Award from the City of Darmstadt (1980).

Brecht died in Darmstadt, Germany on September 9, 1986.


Waldemar Jensen

Waldemar Jensen was born in the small town Trostyanets in Ukraine (Russia) on August 1, 1915 into a family originating from Finland. His father was working as a doctor of medicine at a sugar mill. Soon after his birth, the Russian revolution forced the family to escape back to Finland and settle in Turku (Åbo).In 1938, Jensen received his M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Åbo Akademi University (ÅA) and joined the G. A. Serlachius Oy TAKO carton board mill in Tampere. During the Second World War, he worked for the Finnish Army developing lubrication oils from wood tar. After the war, Jensen returned to ÅA and while working as a teacher also completed his doctoral studies related to the utilization of birch wood.

After finishing his doctorate in 1948, Jensen continued to work at ÅA and, in 1951, was appointed a full professor in wood chemistry. During his time at ÅA he worked on introducing birch as a raw material for bleached pulp and on the utilization of birch bark components for the production of various chemicals. His research led to the development of the birch pulp industry.

In 1955, Jensen was appointed CEO of the industry-owned Finnish Pulp and Paper Research Institute (KCL) with the mission to develop the institute into an efficient world-class industrial pulp and paper research organization. An important part of this process was the relocation of KCL into a new building in Otaniemi, in close connection with the Helsinki University of Technology (TKK). The new modern buildings were inaugurated in 1962. Jensen also developed and implemented a system for managing and combining the interests of some 25 companies into fruitful joint research programs benefitting all of them.

In post-war Europe, international contacts between research organizations were still scarce. Jensen made a great effort in developing these and he was definitely able to put KCL on the world map of pulp and paper research and he became a very well known and respected personality in the world of research institution leaders.

During his career Jensen received the Alexander Mitscherlich Medal of Zellcheming in 1973, the EUCEPA silver medal in 1981 and the Lampen medal in gold in 1987. He was a TAPPI Fellow since 1973. He also received Honorary Doctor’s degrees from two universities, the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, in 1978 and the Helsinki University of Technology in 1988.

Waldemar Jensen retired from KCL on August 1, 1980 and died on January 9, 2009 in Kauniainen, Finland.

Theodore H Wegner

Theodore Wegner, “Ted”, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 18, 1945. He received his B.S. (1967) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and M.S. (1969) and Ph.D. (1972) in Chemical Engineering both from the University of Illinois, Urbana. He served in the Chemical Corps, United States Army, for four months before joining as a Research Engineer in the Textile Fibers Department, E. I. DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Seaford, Delaware and worked there from 1972-1977.In 1977 Wegner joined the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin, starting as a Research Chemical Engineer in 1977; became a Project Leader in 1984 and was named to his current position of Assistant Director for Wood, Fiber & Composites Research in 1989. He has been a major force in focusing the research efforts of the Forest Products Laboratory. While his initial interests were in understanding the influence of web dewatering and drying variables on paperboard properties, he expanded into biotechnology to produce better and unique wood pulps, the influence of chemical and mechanical modifications on the papermaking process, and opportunities to use wood fibers and cellulose in nanomaterials.

Wegner helped define Forest Service Research on converting forest biomass into transportation fuels, and oversees efforts to develop new strains of yeasts that efficiently convert wood sugars into ethanol and other high-valued chemicals; these sugars are recovered from woody biomass in high yield with minimal contamination from inhibitory materials. He also encouraged FPL researchers to publish their research results, present papers at conferences and develop connections with researchers outside of the Forest Products Laboratory.

In 2005, Wegner co-organized the National Science Foundation Workshop “Defining the Opportunities, Challenges, and Research Needs for NanoBiomaterials Derived from Lignocellulosics.” He was one of the principal authors of “Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry: Vision and Technology Roadmap.” Since 2006, he has been the co-organizer/co-chair of the 2006-2011 International Conferences on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials”, and he continues to serve as the Forest Service representative on the US National Nanotechnolgy Initiative (NNI).

Wegner is a strong believer of sustainably managing healthy and diverse forests under both public and private ownership, and achieving national goals of advanced manufacturing, carbon sequestration, climate change adaptation, and achieving energy independence.”

Currently Wegner is active at FPL and resides in the Madison area.

Sverker Martin Lof

Sverker Martin-Löf was born on November 8, 1943, in Hudiksvall, Sweden. He received a Tech Licentiate Degree from the Royal Institute of Technology, a Master of Engineering as well as an Honorary Ph.D. from the Mid Sweden University. He is one of Sweden’s most renowned industrialists who played a key role in a number of Swedish industries, including pulp and paper. Martin-Löf began with some fundamental work on cellulosic materials and then headed a large project in Sweden on process closure of paper machines, which had a huge practical impact on the paper industry in Sweden. Martin-Löf co-authored more than 30 research papers and technical reports at the Swedish Pulp and Paper Research Institute (STFI).

Martin-Löf joined SCA as a Division Manager in 1977. In 1983 he became President and CEO of Sunds Defibrator. He re-joined SCA in 1986, advanced to CEO in 1988, President and CEO in 1990 and then Chairman in 2002. Martin-Löf completely changed SCA’s product mix. By the end of 2012, tissue and personal hygiene products represented 80 percent of total sales of SCA.

SCA is a leading global hygiene and forest products company that develops and produces sustainable personal care, tissue and forest products and has sales in about 100 countries under many strong brands. As Europe’s largest owner of private forests, the company puts great emphasis on sustainable forest management. In 2012, SCA had annual sales of SEK 85 billion (13 billion USD) and 36,000 employees.

Martin-Löf established several globally distributed innovation networks for SCA. For example, the forest products and graphic papers R&D are located on the Mid Sweden University campus in Sundsvall. R&D for tissue and personal care products are centered in Sweden with other nodes and centers of innovation in China, Malaysia, Germany, the United States and Mexico. This distributed innovation network model allows for close interaction with customers, end-users and business partners.

SCA is currently ranked as one of the world’s most sustainable companies – environmentally, financially and socially. They’ve been recognized as one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies and as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Sustainability is an integral part of SCA’s operations and strategy for growth and value creation with a focus on a smaller environmental footprint and reduced costs and risk.

Currently Martin-Löf is Chairman of Industrivärden, one of the Nordic region’s leading holding companies with controlling investments in companies such as Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA), Handelsbanken, Sandvik, Volvo, Ericsson, SSAB and Skanska. He is also Chairman of SCA and SSAB as well as Vice Chairman of Ericsson and Svenska Handelsbanken. He is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Sven Axel Rydholm

Sven Rydholm was born in Landskrona, Sweden in 1923. He received his Master of Science in 1948 and a Licentiate in 1952, both in Chemical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. He worked as a research engineer for SCA in Sundsvall from 1948 to 1952 and for Billerud AB in Säffle from 1952 to 1977. He held various management positions in Billerud AB, among them several years as research director, and finally as President of the Pulp and Paper Division. Rydholm was the global authority on pulping processes and pulp qualities of his time. Rydholm summarized all available knowledge in the monumental work “Pulping Processes” published in 1965. This book of 1,269 pages has been used in universities, institutes, and companies world-wide up to the present day.

Rydholm was the driving force in Billerud’s decision to invest in an experimental factory with a production capacity of 10 tons per day within its research organization to study process equipment, process conditions and product qualities of continuous pulping processes and investment in a new Kraft pulp digester at the Gruvön mill. His decade long work in collaboration with AB Kamyr resulted in continuous pulping technology that is now the state-of-the-art in the industry. He obtained, among others, a patent on the path-breaking inverted top separator of the continuous digester. He was instrumental in Billerud’s decision in 1965 to establish a forest plantation and pulp mill in Portugal (Celbi), a forerunner producing high quality eucalyptus market pulp. He was also a prime reason for Billerud’s involvement in the Aracruz Celulose development in Brazil.

Rydholm eagerly promoted technologies leading to sustainable development of the pulp and paper industry. In 1971 the new bleached Kraft pulp mill at Gruvön pioneered new equipment and processes including several systems of water recirculation, chemical and energy recovery and process control. He served as chairman of the first joint committee of experts from the Swedish Forest Industry and the Swedish EPA and showed his great ability and leadership in this endeavor.

Rydholm received the SPCI Ekman medal in 1971, the TAPPI Pulp Manufacture Division Award (and JCFC Richter Prize) in 1973, and an Honorary Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in 1974.

Sven Rydholm died on March 26, 1977 in Säffle, Sweden.

Charles N. Egan

Charles Egan was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 30, 1910 and received his secondary education at Worcester Academy. He graduated from Yale University in 1933 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and did post graduate study in Finance at New York University from 1934 to 1935. While studying there, he worked at the New York firm Young and Ottley.

From 1934 to 1940, he worked as an engineer at Mead Corporation in Chillicothe, Ohio and then joined Hennepin Paper Company, serving as Vice President and General Manager from 1940 to 1946. During this time, the war years, he rescued a failing business and created a highly profitable business that was sold to Time, Inc. in 1946.

In 1947 he bought the Little Rapids Pulp Company and moved his family to DePere, Wisconsin. In 1950 he acquired the Wolf River Paper and Fiber Company in Shawano, Wisconsin. In 1953, after having vastly improved the pulp mill, he sold it to Proctor and Gamble, leaving his company, after sale, with two early 1900 vintage paper machines on the Wolf River. From this base, Egan led the development of very lightweight papers with unique and diverse characteristics that ultimately assured long term success of Little Rapids Corporation as one of a handful of small, family owned paper companies in the United States of America. An example of Egan’s vision is the development of medical disposables by Little Rapids. The initial entry was under Egan’s direction and has since expanded under current management into beauty and dental businesses.

Besides his leadership of Little Rapids Corporation, Egan was a Director of Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, President and Chairman of Green Bay Tissue Mills, Inc., President of the American Tissue Association, and President of the Pulp Consumers Association. He served as President of the Wisconsin Paper Group, was on the Board of Directors of the American Paper Institute which in 1993 became the American Forest and Paper Association. He was also a Director of the Green Bay Packers, Rotary Club of Green Bay and President of the Oneida Golf and Riding Club. He served on St. Norbert College’s Development Council and was a member of TAPPI.

Charles Egan died in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1977.