JJ Johnston Memorial Scholarship

John “JJ” Johnston Memorial Scholarship

In memory of pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape author and influencer John “JJ” Johnston, PSTC is proud to announce the John “JJ” Johnston Memorial Scholarship to be given to one student interested in pursuing further education in PSA tape and related fields.


Applicants should meet the following qualifications for consideration:

• Be an undergraduate student of chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, materials sciences or physics

• Have an expected date of graduation not more than 12 months after application date


The recipient will be given an award valued at $2,500, including:

• Free registration for PSTC’s upcoming inaugural Tape Week 2022, happening May 2-5, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

• A two-night complimentary stay at the Tape Week 2022 host hotel

• $500 cash to use towards travel expenses associated with attending Tape Week 2022

How to Apply

Applicants will be required to submit a short text entry via email to info@pstc.org, articulating why they are deserving of the scholarship. Applicants can also supplement their entry with a video (MP4 or MOV file, two-minute maximum length, portrait or landscape orientation) to expand on and further articulate their text entry.

Along with including name, school and major, it is highly recommended that applicants respond to the below prompts:

• Why did you choose your current field of study?

• If you could choose your ideal job and role, what would that be and why?

• What are some special projects you have worked on? What topics interest you most?

• How would receiving the John “JJ” Johnston Memorial Scholarship support you in both your short- and long-term educational and professional goals?

Notification of Selection

Applications are being accepted from August 9 to March 16, and selection will take place the first week of November. The recipient will be notified of selection shortly after.

Any questions can be directed to Michelle Miller, PSTC Executive Vice President, at mmiller@pstc.org.

About John “JJ” Johnston

John “JJ” Johnston ⁠— born November 8, 1925, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England ⁠— was an influential figure in the pressure sensitive adhesive tape industry and strong supporter of PSTC. Following his participation in World War II in the Royal Air Force, he embarked on a career that was his lifelong passion: tape. This career spanned 70 years, finally retiring completely when his eyesight would no longer allow him to continue at the age of 94. His talents as a researcher were recognized when he was recruited by Dr. William Scholl to join his research team at Arno Tapes in Michigan City, Indiana. Dr. Scholl sponsored the immigration of the family to the United States in February 1959. During John’s career, he became a prolific researcher, once developing 18 new tape products in 18 months. His career rose to Vice President of Research and Development, and subsequently a consultant to the tape industry around the world, including Germany, Canada, Mexico, Peru and China.

John holds multiple patents relating to the tape industry including the one of which he is most proud, Duct Tape. He authored the textbook of the tape industry, “Pressure Sensitive Adhesives, A Guide to Their Function, Design, Manufacture, and Use.” John also authored several chapters in other publications in the industry, as well as numerous papers relating to the field. Many of the papers were presented at both national and international conferences. In 1973, he presented the first technical paper to a round table of his peers. This annual presentation is now known as “The John Johnston Adhesive Technology Session.”

In 1958, from London University, John received bachelor of science degrees in Chemistry, Physics, Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, with a diploma in Nuclear Energy. His interest in education continued as he taught Junior School post war and taught first and second year Chemistry and Creative Thinking as an adjunct professor at Purdue University. John continued teaching not only in the industry but as a lecturer at the FBI Academy. He continued to consult with the FBI on difficult cases where tape was a part of the forensic evidence. The National Archives searched out his expertise in restoring documents damaged by tape.

John authored “Strong by Night, History and Memories of No. 149 (East India) Squadron, Royal Air Force, 1918/19-1937/56.” This is one of the squadrons he served during World War II.

John’s accomplishments included the War Medal 1939-1945 (UK), Defense Medal (UK), NASA consultant for adhesives used in the Space Program, Honorary Life Member of the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council of North America (1999), Man of the Year of the American Society of Conservators (2006), Lifetime Achievement Award of the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council of North America (2006), American Academy of Forensic Science Regional award–Southwestern Association (2007), and the FBI Appreciation Award (2008 and 2012).

John passed away on May 25, 2021, in Charlotte, North Carolina, survived by his sons, Ian, Trevor and Alan; 10 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and three great, great-grandchildren.

Scroll to Top