“We have made significant improvements in operability with substantial dollar savings” is how Peter Hart, MWV’s manager of new technologies, put it. Asked about whether IPST has delivered useful research results for his company, Peter cited materials characterization work in the recovery area as an example. “As a result of what we learned, we solved the initial problem, and that in turn led us to an unanticipated opportunity to make some significant improvements in our digesters. We’re considering additional work through the advanced chemical recovery forum,” Pete stated.
Chief scientist Gopal Goyal of International Paper Company, who has been interacting with IPST for 23 years, echoed the sentiment. “Our focus is on cost reduction,” he commented, “and the only people with intimate knowledge of our processes are at IPST and Georgia Tech.” He mentioned an incident in which his ability to obtain same-day data from an IPST professor enabled his company to avoid costly pilot paper machine trials while constructing a major mill. “Then the professor suggested some functionality possibilities we hadn’t thought of, and we subsequently incorporated those as well,” Gopal remembered.
Cost reductions are not the only benefits of IPST listed by members recently asked about the value of their relationship. Kimberly-Clark Professional Division’s Chris Luettgen, senior research and en-gineering manager emphasized the breadth, depth, and networking his company enjoys. “There are few places to go to obtain the breadth and depth of knowledge of forest products as well as the branches into the sciences that we can get from our IPST/Georgia Tech relationship,” Chris observed. “You’d wind up replacing IPST with several options, not just one, and then you’d still not be so deep or strategic.” Chris also values the ability to connect with other organizations through just one relationship with IPST.
An IPST alumnus, Chris finds the new IPST—now fully merged with Georgia Tech—as “apples and oranges” compared to the past. “Having the opportunity to reach out to the larger community has been significant,” he continued. “We can work through IPST in order to reach Georgia Tech’s capabilities in chemistry, chemical engineering, public policy, energy, so many other areas—a clear benefit.”
Peter Hart mentioned the convenience of the Atlanta location, which enables him and the researchers to sit down together for a half-day a few times a year, which he finds important to idea generation. Networking with current and retired faculty is significant to IP’s Gopal Goyal.
Moreover, said Gopal, “IPST is very important. The US is a major producer. In Canada and Sweden and other such paper-producing countries, there are major research institutes. IPST cannot be allowed to go away.”
As it happens, IPST has no such plans.
To inquire about membership, please contact IPST director Norman Marsolan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-894-2082.