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Celebrating all things paper: The wonder and the legacy, continued
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György Vámos

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, close to 150 papermaking innovators and legends have been enshrined. This month, we profile the late György Vámos, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

György Vámos was born in Budapest, Hungary, on July 7, 1912. He received his degree in mechanical engineering in 1934 and his PhD in chemistry from Budapest University of Technology in 1956.

After receiving his engineering degree, he began his career in the paper industry at the Csepel Paper Mill in 1934 and became a vice-director in 1944. In 1949 he founded the Hungarian Paper and Cellulose Research Institute and headed it for 23 years. Under his management the institute elaborated and introduced several pulp and paper making technologies, the most important ones being the production of pulp from wheat straw, the use of hardwood species for pulp production, and the production technology of printing-writing papers and household and hygiene papers. Thanks to the foundation of the Paper Research Institute, the country acquired its own research base and became a net paper exporter.

In 1949 Dr. Vámos also founded Papiripar, the Hungarian Paper Industry Journal. He was chief editor of the publication from 1949 to 1998.

Starting in 1972 he worked as the first general director of Budapest Polytechnic where he organized the department of paper technology and educated several generations of engineers for the industry. He wrote many technical publications in Hungarian for the paper industry in his country among which were The Handbook and The Technology Vocabulary of the Paper Industry and text books for students. Throughout his whole life he organized the international cooperation of paper makers and paper scientists of eastern and western European countries.

György Vámos was very active in the paper industry and was a founding member of the Technical Association of Hungarian Paper & Printing Industries, acting as its president from 1978 to 1983. He was also the founding chairman of the Association of Scientific and Industrial Journalists. Membership was also held in the Association of German Paper Makers and the International Association of Scientific Paper Makers (IASPM).

Dr. Vámos' wife, Ilona Szaruas-Vámos, was a piano teacher and cultural manager of the city of Budapest. She passed away in 1992. Dr. Vámos followed her in death in 2002. They had one daughter, Éva Vámos, in 1942, and have one grandson, Gabor Eros.

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.

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