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Thank you PAPTAC


August 1, 1999
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Sir:On January 28, 1999, Ross Williams presented me with a certificate on my election to Honourary Life Membership in PAPTAC. While this election came as a great surprise, I accept it with the knowled…

Sir:

On January 28, 1999, Ross Williams presented me with a certificate on my election to Honourary Life Membership in PAPTAC. While this election came as a great surprise, I accept it with the knowledge that there are may technically oriented persons who can take a share in that recognition: be they professors at McGill, all my mill managers and intermediate supervisors during my mill time or the many technical people with whom I was associated during my work in Toronto and within my various activities associated with PAPTAC. The net result of all this is that I feel I should share some insights with the younger generation of technical members, as well as with more senior members in the mills.

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In the mills I found it most important to keep up to date with new technology:

(1) By studying the latest publications;

(2) By building a personal library with pulled technical magazine articles;

(3) By creating a pocket binder, with clear photographs of flowsheets and other technical facts. This binder was handy at meetings in an office or when checking charts and graphs in the middle of the mill.

(4) My final step for remaining technically up to date was by becoming active within what is now PAPTAC, first at the Branch level and eventually at the Committee and Council levels. I particularly encourage young engineers who have the feeling of becoming technically obsolete, to talk to their managers. It may be surprising how quickly doors open for self-improvement.

There are two more recommendations for the young generation:

According to the December 1998 editorial by Jaclin Ouellet in Les Papetires du Qubec, R&D is still under siege, that is some people still believe that R&D can be turned off and on like a water tap. It cannot. It appears that this type of thinking has not changed since the 1960s. I therefore recommend to all engineers to become better project evaluators for your projects, better than the best accountant in your corporation. How intensively do universities deal with the subject of financial evaluation of projects?

Inform your superiors about what you have learned at technical conferences.

And now to the senior members of this Association, those who hold the purse strings.

(1) Encourage the young generation to come to Technical Conferences to learn, or to participate in Technical Committees and to learn as well. Give them an opportunity upon their return to share their findings with you and your staff, not just by writing a report. You may want to coach those who go to a convention for the first time on what to look for and how to look for new developments, fostering new ideas.

(2) The budgetary aspect of PaperWeek 99 too was part of Ouellet’s editorial. Using PAPTAC’s PaperWeek or education as a budgetary yo-yo is very short sighted. Look at your long-term goals of the technical superiority of your employees. They deserve the very best.

Thank you for allowing me to acknowledge the great honor given to me by PAPTAC and for sharing some of my experiences with you.

George R. Weiss

Guelph, ON


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