Saturday, October 25, 2008

ESF Open House

SUNY-ESF had its fall open house on Saturday, 25 October 2008.  Two information sessions were given to students, parents, and guests about the educational programs offered in the Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering.  These programs, all chemical engineering-based, include Paper Engineering, Paper Science, and our newest program, Bioprocess Engineering.

Paper Engineering is chemical engineering geared towards the paper and allied industries.  These industries not only include paper manufacture, but industries that supply chemical to the paper industry (such as starch, dyes, etc.) and equipment and supply manufacturers.  While it is often thought that the paper industry is declining due to the "paperless office" and the advent of computers, this is not true.  About 25% of all paper used is personal care products (still needed) and about 50% is packaging (think eBay).  While the industry is changing, it will be with us for a long time and the demand for engineers is expected to be high for at least the next 5 years.

The Paper Science program is more or less an industrial chemistry program involving the application of chemistry and some engineering to the paper industry.  In addition to taking specific paper-focused courses, students are able to minor in a variety of topics such as business management, computer and information technology, biology, construction management, etc. 

Our newest and fast growing program is Bioprocess Engineering, which is "chemical engineering without the petroleum."  In this program, students get a broad chemical engineering-based education with a focus on biological processes and products.  Examples of this technology include the creation of transportation fuels and biodegradable plastics from renewable resources such as wood or other non-fossil fuel based feedstocks.  This is expected to be a fast-growing area in terms of technology and job growth.

Please see the links about to the department and the college for more information regarding these exciting educational fields and the strong job prospects in the future.

DSC_0096 Visitors exploring the making of paper on our 12-inch paper machine.

DSC_0098 Prospective student and her family learning about the papermaking process.

DSC_0102 Dr. Shijie Liu explaining the process of making ethanol from woo.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Joachim Award Winner: Keith Van Scotter

On Wednesday, 15 October 2008, the 2008 Joachim Award Winner, Mr. Keith van Scotter, spoke to students, faculty, and Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation Board of Directors members in the Varsity Room at the Carrier Dome.  Mr. Van Scotter is currently the President and CEO of Lincoln Paper and Tissue, a company in Maine that he bought out of bankruptcy and returned to operation.  It is currently a very successful company that provides specialized tissue and paper products world-wide.

Mr. Van Scotter presented how he and several others purchased and restarted the pulp and paper mill in Lincoln, ME after it went bankrupt and shut down.  He gave a compelling case for management training and understanding more than just the technical side of the industry.  Today, Lincoln paper is expanding its production capability through the addition of another paper machine.

The forum was attended by students of all grade levels from freshman (it was part of their PSE/BPE 132 course) through seniors and included graduate students.  The students benefit greatly from the interactions with the industry people that attend events such as these and the annual meeting of the pulp and paper foundation.

DSC_0012 Mr. Keith Van Scotter speaking at the Joachim Forum Dinner.

DSC_0009 The dinner portion of the Joachim Forum.

DSC_0001 Al Moore, Keith Van Scotter, Ellen Warner, Peter Jones, and Bob Kinstrey.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Two More Companies: Mohawk Paper and Hercules

Over the past week, two more companies have been on campus to interview.  The two companies represent two major facets of the industry with Mohawk Paper representing the paper producers and Hercules representing the suppliers.  Both of these companies have been long term supporters of the department, and we appreciate their continued interest in our students and programs. 

Nancy Blair and Bob Scammell visited ESF from Mohawk Papers.  Mohawk Papers produces a wide range of premium printing and writing papers that are used by a large number of companies and organizations including the Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation.  The company is an active member of the Foundation and provides many donations to the college, particularly the pulp needed for the senior paper machine runs. 

Nancy and Bob also visited with the freshman orientation class to discuss interviewing skills, the topic of the day for this class.  They both had very good advice on interviewing effectively and making the best impression possible.  In the evening session, they told the students about the career possibilities with Mohawk Paper, their expectations of interns and permanent hires, and Mohawk's employment philosophy.

DSC_0458Nancy Blair and Bob Scammell telling students about Mohawk paper.

From Hercules, Mike Kaban visited to tell students about the opportunities available in terms of both internships and permanent positions.   Hercules has a well-developed internship program that offers students opportunities to interact with students from other universities, company management, and company new hires.  These opportunities involve both professional and social events during the course of the internship.

Hercules is a producer and marketer of specialty chemicals used in a number of different industries, including the paper industry.

DSC_0463Mike Kaban speaking with students.