R. Duane Smith is a process manager-web handling and specialty winding at Davis-Standards, LLC, focusing on machine design and process development. Duane has been a member of TAPPI since 1977 and was named a TAPPI Fellow in 2011.
As a TAPPI member, Duane has served as Division Chair of TAPPI’s Finishing and Converting and PLACE Divisions, now the International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division, as well as chairing the division’s Winding and Awards Committees. He has also served as Conference and Technical Program Chair on several of TAPPI’s flexible packaging conferences and courses and participated as session chair for numerous conferences. Duane is the recipient of several awards: the TAPPI Finishing and Converting Division and Thomas W. Bush Prize; the TAPPI PLACE “Al Davis” Best Session Developer Award; the TAPPI PLACE Division Technical Award and Rohm & Haas Prize; and the Society of Plastic Engineers Certificate of Recognition for significant contributions made to the society and the industry.
He continues to be very involved in TAPPI’s IFPED Division. He is Task Group Chair, co-editor, and co-author of the Ultimate Roll and Web Defect Troubleshooting Guide and contributed the chapters on winding in the Extrusion Coating Manual, Third Edition; Film Extrusion Manual, Second Edition; and the upcoming Film Extrusion Manual, Third Edition due to be released Spring 2020, all published by TAPPI Press.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In 1977, two years after graduating from college, I was given the opportunity to write a technical paper and have it published. In 1980, I wrote and published my second technical paper and presented it at the 1981 TAPPI Finishing and Converting Conference. I received such positive feedback that I began to write and publish on a regular basis while working full time and building a log cabin where I have lived for more than 35 years. To date, I have published 32 technical articles, written three chapters in the TAPPI Film and Extrusion manuals, published three books through TAPPI Press, and have made more than 85 technical presentations.
- What is your work schedule like when you’re writing for a TAPPI publication?
I do a lot of traveling with my job which means time away from home. This gives me time to develop new ideas and turn them into papers and presentations.
- What advice do you have for anyone considering writing for a TAPPI publication?
DO IT!!!! Get ideas from the challenges you've faced and how you have overcome them. Then write to share these ideas with others so they can learn from your experiences. Helping others learn and succeed is VERY FULFILLING!