Ladies and gentlemen, the first class of inductees to the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in Appleton, Wisconsin was inducted more than two decades ago in 1995, and today, more than 139 papermaking innovators and legends have been enshrined. This month, we profile Dr. Richard Kerekes, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Dr. Kerekes is Professor Emeritus from the University of British Columbia. His career in the paper industry spans more than 40 years. Through his research, he has contributed to the development of new technology in the areas of fiber processing and papermaking.
He was born on July 9, 1940 in Welland, Ontario to Joseph and Elizabeth Kerekes.
Kerekes received a B.A.Sc. (1963) and a M.A.Sc. (1965) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. In 1970 he earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McGill University (Montreal).
Shortly after earning his Ph.D., Dr. Kerekes joined PAPRICAN and was based in Pointe Claire, Quebec. In 1978 he moved to British Columbia where he helped to establish PAPRICAN in western Canada and led the creation of the Pulp and Paper Centre at UBC.
Kerekes' vigorous research program led to breakthroughs in understanding numerous operations in papermaking, including pulp mixing, refining, forming, pulp screening, pressing, and calendering. Among these accomplishments was pioneering work on the hydrodynamics of blade twin-wire formers. Application of his body of research has enabled substantial improvements to both fiber and paper quality.
His fundamental research on fiber suspensions led to the formulation of the Crowding Number, a dimensionless number important in understanding the flocculation tendencies of pulp, as well as the behavior of fibrous networks.
Kerekes is the author or co-author of over 120 technical papers and a Fellow of many technical associations and has received numerous honors and awards.
Richard and his wife, Valerie, celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2018. They have one son, Joseph.
Steve Roush is Vice President, Publisher and Editor and in charge of the International Desk at Paperitalo Publications. Many thanks go to the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame, Inc., for biographical information on Hall of Fame inductees.