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 Heikki Peltola, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Heikki Peltola was born in Asikkala, Finland on May 14, 1943.
Mr. Peltola graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1969 with a Master of Science degree. After beginning his career at Enzo-Gutzeit, he joined United Paper Mills Corporation (UPM) in 1971 as a production engineer. After an exemplary career with UPM spanning nearly four decades, he retired in 2005 as Senior Vice President of Technology.
In the 1970s and 1980s, UPM saw rapid growth and expansion in manufacturing of wood-containing printing papers. Mr. Peltola managed the construction and start-up of multiple of these new lines. Judicious risk-taking and some key development partnerships enabled successful incorporation of new technologies into full-scale production assets for the first time. Some of these technologies were: mechanical pulping (TMP), twin-wire forming, high-speed electric drives, wider machines, and on-machine blade coating. These bold moves put UPM in a strong competitive position when other companies were faltering. This strength enabled UPM to expand through acquisition and merger into UPM-Kymmene, the forest-based bio industry giant that it is today. Mr. Peltola's technical leadership and wise project management was critical to the success of the company and to the advancement of many technologies important to the paper industry.
Mr. Peltola served in numerous project management and technology roles at various UPM mills throughout Europe and beyond, including as Technology Supervisor at a UPM joint venture in China and Singapore. In 2001, he was named Senior Vice President of Technology.
In 2005, Mr. Peltola and his wife retired to a life in the country on their forest farm in Finland.
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.