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Paper Science Alumnus Jeff Reese Receives Distinguished Service Award

Jeff Reese, a 1985 Paper Science and Engineering alumnus, was recognized with TAPPI’s highest individual honor, the Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Award, at their 2018 PaperCon event. Established in 1983, this honor is presented to an individual for exemplary leadership that has significantly contributed to the advancement of the Association.

Reese’s commitment to the pulp and paper industry goes beyond his 33-year career and extensive work with TAPPI. Deeply dedicated to recruiting and training young engineers, he is an active participant in the College of Natural Resources’ Pulp and Paper and Program advisory committees. He also provides guest lectures for Dr. Ronalds Gonzalez’ senior design class and Dr. Med Byrd’s freshman orientation class.

Each year, Reese spends a week on campus conducting mock interviews with students in the paper science and engineering program to help them prepare to get internships and jobs. He meets with each of them, helping them improve their resume and tailor their stories to secure jobs.

“My two favorite hobbies have been TAPPI and working to recruit, engage and train new engineers into the pulp and paper industry,” Reese said while accepting the Joachim Award.

“I’ve been leading recruiting at NC State and helping with training engineers for 22 years now—starting before the current students were born. I’ve had the chance to help train and develop over 900 engineers in this time. Some of the early classes were about 20 engineers per year. Our most recent class has over 150 new paper, chemical, mechanical, electrical, environmental, and safety engineers,” he said.

Reese has also passed his love for both NC State and engineering on to his three children. His daughter, Diana, graduated from NC State in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in paper science and engineering. His son, Jonathan, is currently double majoring in electrical engineering and computer engineering at State, and his youngest, Joanna, a high school freshman, hopes to study engineering in college as well.

“Jeff is the epitome of a dedicated volunteer to our industry, TAPPI and NC State. He constantly challenges the status quo to keep our program and students at a world class level. We are so excited and proud of Jeff and his accomplishments!” Jennifer Piercy, director of student recruiting for paper science and engineering, and executive director of the Pulp and Paper Foundation, said.

An Extraordinary Leader

In announcing Reese as the 2018 Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Award recipient, the Association said:

It’s difficult to imagine any TAPPI member who has not directly benefited from the expertise, experience, and tireless volunteer leadership of Jeff Reese, this year’s recipient. The HLJDSA recognizes an individual for voluntary leadership and support, including contributions that have significantly and demonstrably advanced the mission and vision of the Association. Reese works for International Paper at its Cincinnati Technology Center as manager–paper solutions (his work even includes a recent study at Herman Joachim’s original mill in Bogalusa, LA).

In 1985, Reese graduated Summa Cum Laude from NC State University with degrees in Pulp and Paper Technology and Chemical Engineering. His senior project was to develop TAPPI Technical Information Paper (TIP) 0404-33 “Dryer Section Performance Monitoring.” He has since been task group chair for multiple revisions of eight additional TIPs and served as a task group member on 19 other TIPs. He has been active with numerous TAPPI Divisions and Committees since 1986 while working for Poyry-BEK, Valmet-Enerdry, Georgia-Pacific, and two stints with IP. He has served through the chair rotations of the Water Removal Committee, Papermakers Committee, and Engineering Division Council and currently serves as the WRC Drying Subcommittee Chair, Paper and Board Division Scholarship Chair, and Papermaking Specialists Subcommittee Chair.

Reese has served as a Track Manager at every Papermaking or PaperCon conference since 2006. At PaperCon 2015, he shared the podium with his father, Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medalist Dick Reese; and his daughter, NC State Paper Science and Engineering graduate and IP engineer Diana Reese, for “Back to the Future in Papermaking – Three Generations of Perspective.”

A TAPPI Fellow since 2004, Reese received the Engineering Division Technical Award and Beloit Prize in 2007, the Paper and Board Division Technical Award and Harris O. Ware Prize in 2010, and the Paper and Board Division Leadership and Service Award in 2016.

In addition to his technical areas of expertise in paper machine optimization, energy conservation, drying, steam and condensate systems, and ventilation, Reese is passionate about recruiting and training engineers for the pulp and paper industry, working with the GP Entry-Level Engineering Program since 1996 and then the IP REACH program since 2004, leading recruiting efforts at his alma mater and helping develop and present training sessions for more than 900 entry-level engineers.