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Meet the Newly Elected Division Leaders 
for the AIChE Forest Products Division, 2007

Oct. 2007 Update: 2007 has been a year of change for the Division. After six years of service as Chair and 13 years of service as a Division leader, Dr. Chris Verrill stepped down as Chair. Many thanks to Dr. Verrill for dedicated service for so many years! The Vice Chair, Jeff Lindsay, is now serving as Chair. During this year, we have completed two elections to add new officers. An election at the end of September added Dr. Shri Ramaswamy as Vice Chair and Dr. Amar Mohanty as Director. An election in June added Ken Nichols as Secretary, and the folling Directors: Dr. B. V. Ramarao, Dr. Lei Kerr, and Dr. Yulin Deng. Biographical information is given bleow.

Several new people were added to the group of Leaders of the Forest Products Division in two recent elections, one in Spet. 2007 and another in late December 2006 and early January 2007. Here is information about these leaders that was provided with the electronic ballots that were sent to Division members, with the most recently elected candidates first:

Vice Chair: Dr. Sridharan (Shri) Ramaswamy

Sridharan (Shri) Ramaswamy
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
University of Minnesota
2004 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, Mn 55108
Tel: (612) 624 8797, Fax: (612) 625 6286

Dr. Sridharan (Shri) Ramaswamy is Professor and Head of the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. From 2003 to 2006 he was Professor and Head of the Department of Bio-based Products (formerly Wood and Paper Science). He was Associate Professor from October 1995 to June 2003, also at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. He has taught many undergraduate and graduate level courses in Paper Science and Engineering. His research emphasis has been in transport processes in porous media and papermaking process development.

Prior to joining the University, Shri was a Senior Project Leader at Scott Paper Company (Philadelphia, PA), 1994-1995, working with papermaking processes research and development with special emphasis on vacuum de-watering and through air drying. Prior to that he was a Senior Research Engineer at Hercules Inc. (Wilmington, DE), where he worked from 1990 to 1993 pursuing applications technology development in paper chemicals with a special emphasis on compression strength, alkaline sizing, wet strength and dry strength.

He has a Ph.D. in Paper Science and Engineering from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY, 1990. Other degrees include M.S. Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University, 1988; M.S. Paper Science and Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, 1986; a Diploma in Pulp and Paper Technology, University of Roorkee, Roorkee, India, 1981; and B.S. Physics, University of Madras, Madras, India, 1979.

Director: Dr. Amar Mohanty

Amar K. Mohanty
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, School of Packaging
Michigan State University
130 Packaging Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1223
Phone Number: 517-355-3603
Fax Number: 517-353-8999

Dr. Amar Kumar Mohanty is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Packaging, Michigan State University. Recently, he has accepted the position of Professor and Premier's Research Chair in Biomaterials and Transportation and will be the Director of a new Bioproducts Discovery and Development Center at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He earned his Master's degree in Chemistry with gold medal and the Ph.D. in Chemistry with emphasis on polymers and natural fibers from the Utkal University. He has more than 200 publications to his credit, including 134 peer-reviewed journal papers, 3 book chapters and 5 US Patents. Dr. Mohanty is an accomplished researcher and was the holder of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Technical University of Berlin, Germany and received the Andrew Chase Forest Products Division Award for 2006 from the Forest Products Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Dr. Mohanty's principal research is focused on biobased materials, nanotechnology, renewable resource-based materials, natural fiber composites, biodegradable and biobased polymers, nanoblends, nanocomposites, and value-added materials from the byproducts of biofuel industries. He was the lead editor of a book Natural Fibers, Biopolymers and Biocomposites published by Taylor & Francis CRC Press in 2005. Dr. Mohanty is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy.

Dr. Mohanty has been one of the Division's most active organizers of technical sessions for the past several years, bringing a wide variety of exceptional talent to our sessions at the Annual Meeting. This year he will be chairing three sessions. His vision in programming bio-based materials sessions since 2002 and his many efforts to promote bio-based themes were recognized last year when AIChE presented him the Andrew Chase Forest Products Division Award.

Director: Dr. B. V. Ramarao

B. V. Ramarao, Professor
Paper and Bioprocess Engineering Dept.
SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
310 Walters Hall
Phone: (315) 470-6513
Fax: (315) 470-6593

Dr. B.V. Ramarao is a Professor in the Paper and Bioprocess Engineering Dept. at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse. He is Associate Director of the Empire State Paper Research Institute since 2003. He has served as Acting Chair in the Faculty of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, SUNY College of Env. Science & Forestry, 1999-2000. He has been on the SUNY faculty since 1986, and was Senior Fellow, Dept. of Chem. Eng., National Univ. of Singapore, 1995-1996.

Ram has a Ph. D. in Chem. Eng. from Clarkson University (Potsdam NY 1986). He has been active in AIChE for many years and has been serving in the Forest Products Division as Programming Chair since 2005 and will continue in 2007. He has been an active participant in AIChE Annual Meetings and in the Forest Products Division business meeting, and has served as a session chair at the Annual Meeting three times.

He is a member of the National Working Group on Nanotechnology in the Forest Products Industry (sponsored by TAPPI) and other industry groups. He has 47 peer-reviewed publications and one patent.

His research interests include fluid particle separations, consolidation and dewatering of pulp suspensions, colloidal and surface phenomena, transport and thermodynamics of moisture in paper and other cellulosic materials.

Director: Dr. Lei Kerr

Assistant Professor
Paper and Chemical Engineering
Miami University
Gaskill Hall 252A
Oxford, Ohio 45056-3629
Phone: (513) 529-9229
Fax: (513) 529-2201

Lei Kerr is an assistant professor of Paper and Chemical Engineering at Miami University, Oxford, OH. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Wuhan Institute of Chemical Technology, Wuhan, China in 1997. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Florida, Gainesville, FL in May, 2004. She joined Miami University in August, 2004. Her background is in photovoltaics, with research interests in flexible solar cells, nanostructured materials and paper coating. Her role in the FPD division since the 2005 Annual Meeting has been to prepare the program guide for annual AICHE meeting. Lei also wishes to help the Division cover broader research areas such as printing electronics which use paper as substrate, and will be adding such topics to the guides she prepare for the Annual Meeting.

Director: Yulin Deng

Associate Professor
Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Chemical and Biological Engineering
500 10th Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332-0620
Phone: 404-894-5759
Fax: 404-894-4778

Yulin Deng is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. Yulin received his PhD in Polymer Chemistry from the Manchester University UK.

Dr. Deng has been an active member of AIChE since joining in 2003, participating in Annual Meetings and attending Forest Product Leadership events. He served as session chair for Renewable Materials at the 2004 Annual Meeting, as session chair for Nanotechnology in Forest Products at the 2005 Annual Meeting, and as the session chair of Properties and Design of Biobased Products at the 2006 Annual Meeting. Dr. Deng is interested in further serving the Division by eventually taking on the Program Chair position.

His research interests include nanomaterials and composites, hydrogels, drug delivery, polymer synthesis and characterization, fiber modification, and paper recycling.

Dr. Deng has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers and over 50 conference paper, and holds 2 patents. Among his honors are the Certificate of Excellence from IPST at Georgia Tech, Certificate of Excellence (Jan, 2005), the Teacher of the Year Award at IPST (2003), the IPST President Award for Research, 1999, and the Sichuan Province Technology and Innovation Award, 1986. Dr. Deng is also a member of the International Board for Progress in Paper Recycling.

Secretary: Dr. Kenneth M. Nichols, Ph.D., P.E.

Energy Manager
Corporate R&D
Weyerhaeuser Technology Center, WTC 2B2
32901 Weyerhaeuser Way So.
Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 924-6602

Kenneth M. Nichols, Ph.D., P.E., is Energy Manager in Corporate R&D, at Weyerhaeuser Company where he coordinates safety audits of boilers, burners and thermal oil heaters at Weyerhaeuser wood-products mills and provides technical support to improve their reliability, reduce fuel and operating costs, and ensure environmental compliance. He joined Weyerhaeuser in 1992. Prior to that he was Assistant Professor of Engineering at the Institute of Paper Science & Technology, 1988-1992, and a Research Engineer in Combustion Research at US EPA, 1987-1988. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University, 1987, in addition to an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from BYU, 1985, and a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Math from Southern Utah University, 1983.

Dr. Nichols has been a member of AIChE since 1983, and has served as Treasurer of the Forest Products Division since 1993. After thirteen years in that position, he looks forward to a change in duties as Secretary of the Division. His activities at AIChE Annual Meetings have also included service as Co-Chair at the Annual Meeting for "Reaction Engineering in the Forest Products Industry" (Los Angeles, 1997), Co-Chair of "Environmental Developments in the Pulp and Paper Industry" (Miami, 1995), Chair of "Environmental Assessment and Management" (St. Louis, 1993).

Former Vice Chair, now Chair: Dr. Jeffrey D. Lindsay

Jeffrey D. Lindsay
Director of Solution Development
Innovation Edge
1526 South Commercial Street, Suite#200
Neenah, WI 54956
Blog: Sharp IP: Disruptive Intellectual Assets

Jeff became Vice Chair while serving as Corporate Patent Strategist and Senior Research Fellow at Kimberly-Clark. In August 2007, Jeff left K-C and joined Innovation Edge, a management consulting firm that helps inventors bring their products to market and helps companies strengthen their innovation systems and pipeline. Jeff is a registered US patent agent since 1997, and has been active in many aspects of patent strategy and intellectual asset activities. His research efforts at K-C have resulted in 94 US patents so far. His R&D efforts at K-C have covered RFID technology, chemical modification of fibers, improved tissue manufacturing, activated carbon fabrics, and a variety of new product concepts. Jeff founded the Intellectual Property Chapter at K-C, a community of practice that brings inventors, managment, and Legal together for training, networking, and various initiatives. He also served as Chair of the Research Fellows organization at K-C, as well as a patent facilitator for various groups. Prior to joining K-C in 1994, Jeff spent seven years at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology first as an Assistant Professor and then as Associate Professor in 1992. Jeff has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University, 1986, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.

Jeff was formerly a Director of the Division for several years and received a "Director of the Year" award. He has been serving as the Webmaster of the Division's Website (http://www.forest-products.org) for the past six years. He has chaired several Forest Products sessions in the past ten years and attended a majority of the Annual meetings.

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The URL is  www.forest-products.org
Curator: Jeff Lindsay,   Contact:
Created: Feb. 5, 2007; Last Updated: Oct. 1, 2007
URL: "http://www.forest-products.org/2007-elections.html"