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Progress in Paper 2014 Raleigh NCBy Guest Blogger, Dr. Joel Pawlak; Asst. Professor, Dept. of Forest Biomaterials

From September 8-11, 2014, the international paper physics community is coming to Raleigh and NC State University for its annual meeting. This is a group of scientists dedicated to understanding the behavior of paper from a physical standpoint.

Over the years, NC State has had a number of professors involved in this community. Perhaps some of you alumni remember taking a class from Dr. Olf, Dr. Kocurek, Dr. Ram, Dr. Rojas, or even me, Dr. Pawlak? These faculty members have all taken part in the paper physics community over the years.

This year’s meeting is part of annual gathering of this paper physics community that rotates around the world. These meetings date back to the 1960’s when the concept of describing the properties of paper from a fundamental standpoint was first explored.

Early work described the tensile strength of paper, formation of paper, bonding in paper, and the strength of single papermaking fibers. Over the years, the science has continued to advance and involves a diverse set scientific principles that describe the water resistance of paper, barrier properties of paper, and the compression strength of paper. Advanced mathematical modeling of paper, state of the art imaging and x-ray tomography are all now staples of the scientific approaches used by the community.

This year, the conference will be hosted by NC State and sponsored by Domtar and MWV.

This will be the first time NC State will host the conference and provides us an opportunity to showcase the strength of paper science and engineering program at NC State. The focus of the conference has evolved to include emerging areas of paper industry including novel products and materials from forest products.

The conference has been timed to coincide with the annual NC State Pulp and Paper Foundation meeting. If you are planning to come to Raleigh this fall for the foundation meeting, consider extending your time and taking part in the paper physics conference earlier in the week.

I look forward to seeing in Raleigh this fall and I hope that you will come to both the paper physics conference and the annual foundation meeting!