Atlanta, GA | June 2, 2014 Atlanta, GA
The Institute of Paper Science and Technology at Georgia Tech held its annual executive conference at the Paper Tricentennial Building this week. About fifty executives and research professionals attended the event — “Beyond the Boundaries: Opportunities in Forest Bioproducts” — representing a dozen manufacturing companies, a half-dozen supplier companies, 3 affiliate organ-izations, and a number of faculty and students.
joins the discussion
“The discussion identified many ways to apply Georgia Tech’s capabilities in innovative research in the service of forest bioproducts development, and showcase the work of our students,” said IPST executive director Norman Marsolan. “Such interactions with our members and guests about industry advancement generate significant value for all of us.”
Time well spent,” commented Peter Allen, senior technical director-Kimberly Clark. “Lots of new and stimulating ideas.” Gregg Reed, technical manager at Imerys, cited the value of networking with current and new colleagues, and gaining an update on IPST programs and activities.
Presentations covered new technologies in forest bioproducts materials production as well as improvements to existing pulp and paper manufacturing operations. Applications of “big data” gathering and modeling tools to both technology and product challenges and operating issues attracted interest. Impacts of changes in energy sources on supply and demand of petroleum-based feedstock chemicals suggested opportunities for biomass-derived chemical feedstocks. Participants heard presentations about new uses of lignocellulosic materials ranging from carbon fibers and solar-induced hybrid fuel cells to advanced composites to 3-D printing. “This was another great opportunity for pulp and paper stakeholders to meet and collaborate on developing the broad value of forest assets,” noted Renmatix process technology director Dan Floyd.
Another highlight of the meeting was its focus on IPST’s graduate students and their research. A panel of students Thursday afternoon, moderated by recent graduate Lester Li (now working at SAPPI Fine Papers), shared their perspectives about the value of the interdisciplinary degree program at Georgia Tech. Six PhD candidates presented their research Friday morning on bioenergy, paper, chemical recovery and new products from lignocellulosic materials.
Takis Taousakis (MeadWestvaco), Steve Cross,
Chris Luettgen (Kimberly-Clark) and Norman Marsolan
Georgia Tech executive vice president-research Steve Cross addressed the group March 13. “IPST is a forum for stimulating use-inspired research, driven by real-world industry challenges,” he observed. “Georgia Tech’s strategy is to create transformational opportunities through such partnerships.”
For further information, visit IPST’s website at www.rbi.gatech.edu or contact executive director Norman Marsolan.