The new year will see some changes at Holzforschung/Wood Research and Technology. After 15 years as the Editor-in-Chief, Prof. em. Oskar Faix has handed over editorial responsibilities to Prof. Lennart Salmén, RI – Biorefinery & Energy, Stockholm, Sweden.
Having been an ardent supporter, author and board member of Holzforschung, Oskar Faix took over the position as Editor-in-Chief in 2003, at first together with Prof. Horst H. Nimz, and from 2004 on as the sole Editor-in-Chief. Throughout this long period of time, Oskar Faix has shaped the journal, carefully developed its scientific profile and steered it most successfully through the rough sea of an ever increasing number of competing publishing media. He made Holzforschung the successful and leading journal in its field that it is today. Moreover, he did this on top of his manifold, national and international academic commitments inside and outside his university work.
Academically, Oskar Faix’s invaluable merits lie in his broad knowledge of the wide field that Holzforschung covers: the chemical, biological, biochemical, physical and technological aspects of wood science. As an editor, Oskar Faix has shown all the dedication, scrutiny and persistence towards scientific contents a journal and publisher could wish for. His excellent reputation and network in the wood science community has also been the prerequisite for establishing international Editorial and Advisory Boards as well as continuously attracting new authors and peer reviewers. It is because of these high-ranking standards that Holzforschung has developed so successfully into a monthly journal with a firm top position in the Paper & Wood/Forestry Sciences.
Long before his activity as Editor-in-Chief of Holzforschung, Oskar Faix had become known in the cellulose community for another extraordinary achievement. He founded the EWLP (European Workshop of Lignocellulosics and Pulp) conference series, the first of which was held in 1990 in Hamburg-Bergedorf with Oskar as organizer and chairman. Since then, European wood chemists have met every 2 years for “their” EWLP, each meeting having been organized in a different country. As a member of the EWLP Executive Committee, Oskar accompanied the development of his conference series to one of the most successful in the field of wood research.
From the very beginning, and despite the Iron Curtain, the European idea was a central concern of Oskar. In the early years, this meant involving the wood chemists from Eastern Europe in the community. Thus, the wood chemists from Russia and the Baltic states succeeded in a quick integration, and in 2004 the EWLP could even take place in Riga.
A further cornerstone of the conference was the idea of offering young scientists, in particular doctoral students and postdocs, the opportunity to present their results and not just to let “established” scientists have their say. Thus EWLP was, and still is, a young conference in spirit, which offers much opportunity for vivid and friendly discussions as well as informal questions and answers, but also for personal acquaintances and friendships – and sometimes also for exuberant celebrations and parties to remember. Also the rule, which has been maintained since the foundation, to refrain from parallel sessions and thus to promote a broad education among the audience has always been the charm of these conferences.
The European Workshop of Lignocellulosics and Pulp is today one of the oldest, best-known and most renowned international conferences in the field of wood research, pulp production, and the sciences of wood components: cellulose, lignin, hemicelluloses and extractives. The 15th EWLP conference was held in Aveiro, Portugal, last year and the 16th conference will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2020.
Due to the topics of the EWLP series a close connection with the journal Holzforschung was almost automatically given. It soon became common practice to accompany the conferences with special issues in the journal. This was a classic win-win situation. The lecturers of the conference were given the opportunity to publish their results in one of the most relevant journals of their scientific discipline, and at the same time Holzforschung was able to secure many high-quality contributions in its core areas. Oskar accompanied this symbiosis from the beginning, first acting on the EWLP side, then on the journal side. Currently, selected contributions from EWLP 2018 are in preparation for a future special issue in Holzforschung.
On behalf of De Gruyter, the Editorial and Advisory Board members and all researchers who have worked closely with Oskar Faix over the years, we would like to express our sincerest thanks to him for his personal commitment and the invaluable contribution he has made to Holzforschung. On a personal level, it has always been a great pleasure to work and communicate with Oskar, be it on journal matters, academic questions or general issues of interest. Our very best wishes shall accompany him on all of his future paths.
Lennart Salmén has been a long-standing, trusted board member of Holzforschung. We would like to warmly wish Lennart all the best for his future task as the Editor-in-Chief. We very much look forward to furthering Holzforschung together with him, the Editorial and Advisory Boards as well as the journal’s wide readership and related academic community.