Nation’s leading paper engineering researcher awarded endowed professorship

Contact: Deanne Puca
Three people in suits stand next to each other holding a plaque.

Dr. Kecheng Li was presented with his professorship by Dr. Steven Butt, left, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Brian Pahl, managing director of the Paper Technology Foundation.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Kecheng Li, chair of the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering, was awarded the University's inaugural Paper Technology Foundation Endowed Professorship during the spring 2023 semester.

This distinguished award recognizes Li’s many contributions to the pulp and paper industry and the paper engineering program at Western. The additional funding provided by this endowment will enable additional research, participation in trade association committees and the publishing of technical papers.

Li joined WMU in 2016 as professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering. Prior to joining WMU, he was a professor and University research scholar in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

Li obtained a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto. His areas of research include pulp and paper, biorefining for biofuels, nanocellulose and biochemicals; enzyme technologies for wood and fiber processing and wastewater treatment; and state-of-the-art surface and nanoscale techniques. He has also developed more than 10 proprietary technologies and holds six U.S. patents. Li is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry.

A second endowed professorship honoring the late Dr. Raymond L. Janes, will be awarded in the near future and has been funded by select foundation member companies and alumni.

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