This year marks the passing of John Parker, inventor of the Parker Print Surf Roughness Tester and internationally recognized paper scientist. After graduating from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, England, in 1952, Parker joined the Bowater organization, working on various technical issues, including calendar barring and basis weight studies. The Print Surf instrument was developed in 1964 in response to a need to effectively predict printability of newsprint. The patented technology used in the instrument was licensed to Messmer Instruments, now part of the TMI Group of Companies, who developed it commercially and marketed it worldwide.
In 1978 Parker’s original work on the Print Surf and other aspects of paper science resulted in the award of a Ph.D. by the Faculty of Engineering, Cambridge. Parker joined the staff of Messmer Instruments in 1989, where he led a team that developed a novel online web monitoring system as well as continuing to refine the Print Surf instrument. Mike Moore, a principal scientist of the TMI Group, says, “It was always an inspiration to work with John. His great depth of research experience meant that he could make a major contribution to every phase of a project and he was able to explain complex ideas in a way that everyone involved could understand.”
When Parker retired in 1997, he had published over 40 papers and contributed to many international conferences on paper technology as an organizer or participant. His