Ronnie Hise graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in – Forest Science. In 1979, he graduated from NC State University with a MS – Wood & Paper Science; and in 1981 he graduated from NC State University with a PhD – Wood & Paper Science. We recently reached out to him to find out about his experiences here at NC State, his current career, and advise for current students. Thanks for sharing Ronnie.
Experience at NC State
- Internship/co-op experience: Substitute teaching.
- Best memory at State: Substitute teaching WPS “Wood Chemistry” classes for Professor Josef Gratzl.
- Interacting with visitors and grad students from other countries who came to Raleigh.
- Worst memory at State: Don’t have any.
- Clubs/Hobbies: President of the Graduate Student Association for the College of Natural Resources and Intramural softball
- Favorite part of PSE program: Interacting with the world-class faculty at NCSU. Being able to conduct hands-on lab work to study the reaction kinetics of delignification with pulping additives
- Most important thing PSE taught me: The entire industry for making paper and pulp is renewable and highly sustainable. The future of this industry in the US depends on further optimizing and improving the process to reduce costs. The improvements will be driven by technology and implemented by dedicated professionals like the ones graduating from the PSE program at NC State.
Current Career Experience
- Company/Job Position: Vice President for Technical and Business Development, Bonanza Associates, LLC
- Favorite Part of Job: I get to work with a number of paper mills and demonstrate how Predictive Modeling software can save money and reduce energy usage. As an Adjunct Professor, I get to interact with faculty, staff, and students at NC State.
- Biggest Accomplishment in Career: Discovering the mechanism by which chlorinated dioxins were being formed in the process of pulp bleaching, and developing alternative bleaching process to prevent the formation of these highly toxic compounds.
- What other positions have you held: Spent 29 years working for Westvaco and later MeadWestvaco in a variety of roles. Most were technically-oriented, but I also was involved in M&A (mergers & acquisitions) both in the US and internationally, and led an internal New Ventures group for several years. The most interesting Venture was a company focused on RFID tagging of retail packaging, which conducted store trials with CVS Pharmacy and Tesco Supermarkets
Advise for Current Students
- Take every opportunity to participate in industry associations like TAPPI. Volunteer for assignments that no one else wants, and work harder than everyone else. Keep learning; it is a journey, not a destination. Don’t be afraid to change roles in your career. Embrace new opportunities. Help those who are coming behind you; stay active as an alumni. Ask your boss for career advice. Thank your mentors. Be an active supporter of the Pulp & Paper Foundation when you graduate. One of my best experiences was serving as President of the foundation from 2011 – 2014.
- Hometown: Big Spring, Texas
- Family: Married to Barbara McCutchan Hise (she serves on the College of Natural Resources Foundation Board and has her MS and PhD in Forestry from NCSU). Two grown children, Rachel and Adam. Rachel works in Washington DC and lives in Arlington, Adam works and lives in Boulder CO.
- Hobbies/Interests: Farming, golf, horses and motorcycles, volunteering at NC State; active in the Pulp & Paper Foundation.