WMU News

New director named for printing pilot plant

Nov. 15, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A veteran print and paper industry professional has been appointed to oversee the Western Michigan University Printing Pilot Plant at a time when WMU's entire paper and printing research operation is expanding and actively seeking new research, testing and evaluation contracts with industry.

Doug Cox brings more than 25 years of paper, converting and printing experience to his new role as director of the Printing Pilot Plant. He comes to WMU after working in technical paper sales, marketing, printing technical service, quality control, paper machine technical support and education for such firms as Plainwell Paper, Simpson Paper, Champion International Corp. Appleton Papers, Asia Pulp and Paper USA. His credentials include bachelor's and master's degrees earned at WMU in printing and paper engineering.

Cox joins Jan Walter, general manager of pilot plants, and Rick Reames, paper pilot plant director, in oversight of WMU's extensive paper, coating, printing and recycling pilot plants. Walter came to the University in January to manage the entire pilot plant operation. Reames is a long-time WMU researcher. WMU pilot plants operate as independent research operations for clients, offering impartial and proprietary research analysis. The plants are affiliated with WMU's Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering, offering faculty and students research opportunities as well as hands-on experience with industry.

WMU's Printing Pilot Plant, which Cox will direct, has research capabilities that include gravure, flexo, offset and non-impact printing. The plant is staffed by a team of full-time professionals.

In summer 2002, WMU pilot plant activities will begin a move to the University's Parkview Campus in Kalamazoo, Mich., which also will be home to WMU's new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences building, due for completion in 2003, as well as a Business Technology and Research Park, which will welcome its first private-sector partners next spring.

The pilot plants will occupy a new $18 million building, with new coating research facilities up and running by fall 2002. The remaining pilot plants will eventually move to the Parkview Campus site over the next several years.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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