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The FRC Committee

The people behind the Pulp and Paper Fundamental Research Society

The FRC Committee

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Joel Panek is a Research Scientist at WestRock (previously MeadWestvaco) in Richmond, Virginia. Joel completed his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Paper Science at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology. He previously was a guest researcher at STFI (now Innventia) [1999-2001] and a research scientist at Iggesund Paperboard [2001-2006]. His areas of interest include paper mechanics and converting.

Joel was appointed as Chair of the FRC and the Pulp and Paper Fundamental Research Society on 31 January 2018.

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Dr. Coffin is a Professor in the Chemical, Paper, and Biomedical Engineering Department of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he has resided since 2002.  From 1994-2002, he was a faculty member at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology.  Prior to entering the paper industry, he worked as an engineer with the General Dynamics Corp.  His degrees were earned at the University of Delaware.  In 1999-2000, Dr Coffin spent a year as a guest researcher at STFI.  Dr. Coffin’s research focuses on the mechanical response of paper and paperboard in converting and end-use.


Warren Batchelor is an Associate Professor in the BioProcessing Research Institute of Australia at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He has a PhD in Physics from Monash University on the mechanical properties of ceramics. Following his PhD, he spent two years in Vancouver working as a PAPRICAN Postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia Pulp and Paper Centre in the area of LC refining. His major research interests are in the area of cellulose nanofibres, mechanics of nonwoven networks and fibres and low consistency refining. He is a past chair of the TAPPI Paper Physics Committee as well as being an Adjunct (Docent) at Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

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Ulrich holds a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, followed by a PhD in paper science at Graz University of Technology in 2006. After a brief stint at SCA R&D Centre in Sundsvall Ulrich returned to Graz, where he took a tenure track position and eventually became full professor for paper and fiber technology in 2018.  Ulrich’s research interest is centered on fiber- and paper mechanics, adhesion, paper-liquid interaction and - more recently -  pulping technology.



John is the former FRC Treasurer and has been involved with the management of the FRC since 1998. John was responsible for organising the 2009, 2013 and 2017 Symposia but is now taking a “back seat” and purely acting as an adviser to the FRC Chair.



Steve was appointed firstly as a post-doctoral researcher and then as a lecturer (1987) in the Department of Paper Science, UMIST. In 1992 he joined Scapa Paper Machine Clothing (now Voith) following research and consultancy involvement with the company over several years. He returned to UMIST in 1999 and, due to a merger in 2004, became a lecturer in the School of Materials, University of Manchester, eventually taking early retirement in 2011.  Research interests are based around practical papermaking applications of scientific principles. In particular, the use of image analysis to study the surface, structure and strength of paper and board, de-watering during wet pressing and dimensional change during drying.  Steve was Chairman of the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Symposia but has now stood down from this role.


Graduated form The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Agriculture, 1980
Ph.D from The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Agriculture, 
1985 1985-86: Post-doctoral Fellow at Institute of Paper Chemistry (Lab. of Prof. Rajai H. Atalla), Wisconsin, USA 
1986-94: Research Associate 1989-1990: Visiting scientist at Forest Products Laboratory, USDA, Madison, Wisconsin, USA 
1994-2003: Associate Professor, University of Tokyo 
2003-: Professor, University of Tokyo 

Ph.D thesis: Preparation of Cellulose Derivatives using Non-Aqueous Cellulose Solvents (1985)

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Petri Mäkelä

3PAQ Engineering

Petri is the founder of the startup company 3PAQ Engineering. He holds an MSc in Mechanical Engineering (1997) and a Licentiate of Engineering in Paper Mechanics (2000) from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. Petri has previously worked at STFI (1998-2008), Innventia (2008-2011), Tetra Pak (2011-2014) and BillerudKorsnäs (2014-2019). His major research interests concern the mechanics of paper materials in manufacturing, converting and end-use situations. Petri was awarded the Van den Akker Prize in 2011.


Mark Martinez is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. Following his PhD, he spent four years in Stockholm working at STFI in the area of papermaking. He returned to Vancouver in 1999 to take up his current position. His major research interests are in the area of experimental and computational fluid mechanics.

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Markus Biesalski holds a Diploma Degree in Chemistry from the University of Mainz, where he also received his Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry in 1999 while working at the Max-Planck Institute. After spending 2 years at the Chemical Engineering Department at UC Santa Barbara, USA, he joined the University of Freiburg in 2002 as Assistant Professor. Since 2008 he holds a Full-Professorship for Macromolecular and Paper Chemistry, at the Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. His research focuses on combining polymer science & paper chemistry, to understand and tailor fluidic and mechanical properties of functional paper-based materials. 


Janet Preston has worked in IMERYS Minerals for over 30 years in the areas of board & paper coatings
research, including paper coating, paints and inks and in printing science.
Whilst working at Imerys Janet graduated from University of Plymouth with an honours degree in
Applied Chemistry. She then gained a PhD in Chemistry with the Interface Analysis Centre,
University of Bristol, where she studied ink and coated paper interactions. Janet has around 90
publications in this area. She is currently a senior technical support specialist & scientist in the
company’s Performance Minerals group and is working in the area of paper, board & printing.
In 2007 Janet was appointed as an Adjunct Professor (Docent) at Abo Akademi University in
Finland. She is a Chartered Chemist & Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Jean-Claude Roux has been Professor of papermaking engineering and automation at the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology (INPG) - Pagora since 1983. Since 1994 he has been Head of Research at the Paper and Printing Laboratory. He graduated in papermaking from Ecole Francaise Polytechnique de Grenoble (EFPG) in 1981 and in automation from INPG in 1982, receiving his PhD from INPG in 1986.His research interests concern physical modelling and simulation of paper manufacturing operations including pulp disintegration, refining, forming and wet pressing.  He has recently been involved in studies of runnability and of environmental problems.  He is co-author of international patents for a new dilution headbox and a photocatalytic reactor for gas effluent treatment.  Since 1993 he has acted as a consultant for paper machine manufacturers and papermakers.


Bill Sampson is Professor of Materials Modelling in the Department of Materials at the University of Manchester. He received his degrees in Paper Science from UMIST where he began lecturing in 1992. His primary research interests are in the modelling of the structure of heterogeneous materials systems and understanding the influence of these on materials properties with a view to influencing these in manufacturing processes. Within paper physics, these interests focus on the statistical geometry of fibre networks in two and three dimensions, the characterisation of stochastic textures, and the influence of sheet structure on mechanical properties. Bill was Programme Secretary for the 13th, 14th and 15th Fundamental Research Symposia.

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Wenhao Shen is a Professor in the State Key Laboratory of Pulp & Paper Engineering, South China University of Technology. She obtained her Bachelor Degree in Computer and Automatic Control at Sichuan University in 1989, her Master Degree in Automation at South China University of Technology in 1992, and her PhD in Pulp and Paper Engineering at South China University of Technology in 2000. During the year 2004 to 2005 she did post-doctoral research work in Laboratoire des Sciences du Genie Chimique, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Industries Chimiques, Nancy, France. She is a member of TAPPI, and acted as a program committee member of 33rd-35th Chinese Control Conference. She is the holder of five patents. Her major research interests are as follows: (1) Analysis of gaseous pollutants in the pulping and papermaking process; (2) Study of gas sensor based on nano-material; (3) Photocatalytic degradation of gaseous pollutants in the papermaking process; (4) Simulation, control strategies development and diagnosis for papermaking wastewater treatment processes;  (5) Simulation of paper sheet structure and prediction of paper property.


Daniel received an MSc in Vehicle Engineering (1994) and PhD in Fluid Mechanics (1999) at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. He was employed at Innventia from 1999 to 2013 and from 2009 was Deputy Director of the business area Material Processes. During the period 2008-2014 he was also Adjunct Professor at KTH. 2014 Daniel started as a full-time employee at KTH and is, since March 2016, Head of the Department of Mechanics at KTH. His research is related to multiphase flows, specifically in connection to processes related to the manufacturing of forest-based materials. Daniel is currently Director of BiMaC Innovation and active within the Wallenberg Wood Science Centre. He is holder of several patents, including being the inventor of the Aq-vane technique that received the ATIP (French Papermakers Association) gold innovation award 2004.


R&D and Technology at Andritz AG

Mario holds a Ph.D. in Chemical and Process Engineering from Graz University of Technology. His research focused on paper physics studying 3D paper structure using a serial sectioning method. After his employment at the Institute for Paper, Pulp and Fibre Technology he joined Andritz AG. As a product manager for headboxes his primary research interest has been sheet forming. At present Mario is Director of Technology and R&D for paper and board machines at Andritz AG and external lecturer for paper making technology at Graz University of Technology.

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Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Bioresources, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Hak Lae Lee is a professor at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Bioresources, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. He was earned his BS and MS from Seoul National University, and awarded Ph.D. from the State University of New York (SUNY), College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY in 1988. While working at academia, he has provided technical advice for the pulp and paper industry, and served as the President of Korea TAPPI and dean of the CALS, SNU. In 2019, he was appointed as a visiting professor at Qilu Univ. of Tech. in China. His research interests are wet end chemistry, paper coating and nanocellulose.

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