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.