Coating machine with operator at the Pilot Plant

2024 Paper and Paperboard Coating Course

Mark your calendars for Aug. 13–15, 2024

The WMU Paper Pilot Plant partners with TAPPI to offer the Paper and Paperboarding Coating Course and Fiber Recycling Course.

Register Here

Course CEU and Testimonial

CEU credits:

Earn 14 professional development hours or 1.4 CEUs with course completion.

2023 Course Testimonial

"Thank you for an outstanding training opportunity at WMU. The 2023 Paper & Paperboard Coating Course in Kalamazoo, MI over July 25-27 was a top-notch experience.  I have been to many conferences and training sessions over my 30+ year career. Lon Pschigoda and the team at Western Michigan went above and beyond with the educational setting, hospitality, the networking environment, and the outstanding list of speakers. The presentations were great, kept to a fast-paced schedule, and the course binder will be a reference tool for years to come.  Finally, the tour of the WMU Pilot Plant facilities is worth the trip alone. I will highly recommend others in my organization attend this training in the future."
-unanimous

Course Info

2 1/2 day course | Time: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

The 2024 course will be held on Western Michigan University's Engineering Campus in beautiful Kalamazoo, MI. We have a fantastic lineup with more than a dozen guest speakers, all experts in their fields! The networking alone is worth the price of admission.

The 2024 course will include tours of the WMU Paper Pilot Plant (high-speed coater, paper machine, recycling plants) and paper-related laboratories. Shuttle service from the host hotel, Radisson Plaza Hotel, will be available for the course each day. There will also be a networking dinner. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Topics covered:

  • Pigments
  • Binders
  • Additives
  • Formulations development and characterization
  • Coating equipment and process overview
  • Rheology
  • Coated products overview and applications
  • Packaging development
  • Barrier materials and curtain coating
  • Barrier coating technology will be included in most of these topics due to the popularity and relevance to the industry

Course Schedule

We are still in the process of finalizing our 2024 course schedule. Here is an example of what you can expect from last year.
2023 Course Schedule

Who will benefit

This course will benefit Process and Production Engineers, Product Development and Research Scientists, Technical Managers, Machine Supervisors, Suppliers, or other technical people who are new to the coatings field. This course will also be helpful for marketing, business planning personnel, and others involved in developing alternative grades.

Participants will gain an excellent understanding of coating raw materials, how those are processed and prepared for the coating applications, rheology, application methods, and finishing with an overview of end-use applications for coated paper and paperboard. They will also get an excellent background on the leading professionals' new developments in packaging, barrier materials, and curtain coating.

Course prerequisites:

There are no education prerequisites, but a general familiarity with coating materials and processes is recommended.

Speakers

Susan E Bailey

Susan E Bailey

PhD  Sr Manager, Business Development and Applications,
Michelman

  • Susan Bailey's Bio

    From raw materials and printhead construction to formulated systems and press side applications, Susan Bailey has a wide angle view of high speed inkjet presses. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles and undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Susan was introduced to the fundamentals of inkjet systems in imprint and specialty printing markets at Hewlett Packard. Through the development of semi-conductor processing at Brewer Science and raw material design at IGM Resins, Susan grew in appreciation of how the individual component level decisions were driving performance and market reach for inkjet application. Since joining Michelman in 2018, Susan has promoted primer and tailored aqueous overprint coatings with OEM and integration partners to provide inkjet press owners with robust system solutions that provide confidence to expand their press use and applications for inkjet in the print marketplace.

John Bergin

John Bergin 

 Senior VP (Retired),
Global Specialty Paper

  • John Bergin's Bio
    • 30+ years of coated paper experience in sales, manufacturing, operations, and business development
    • Also served on steering committees for energy, profit enhancement, labor negotiations, purchasing, and IT
    • Served as Director of Research and Development for Consolidated Papers
    • Co-author of several film coater patents
    • Tappi member since 1968 – served in many capacities including President of Research Management Committee
    • Member Pima Leadership Council
    • Member of Packaging Boards Strategy and Leadership Team

Gordon Bugg

Gordon Bugg

Senior Paper Making Expert (Coatings),
Kemira

  • Gordon Bugg's Bio
    • 30 plus years of coated paper and board experience
    • Worldwide responsibility providing technical support for paper and paperboard coatings to current and potential Kemira customers
    • Responsibilities include site support, process development and troubleshooting, training, and new business development - Areas covered include papermaking, coating, and printing/converting
    • Tappi Fellow
    • Retired military - 30 years Reserves

Brian Einsla

Brian Einsla

Brian Einsla

Senior Research Scientist in Paper Coatings,
Dow

  • Brian Einsla;s Bio
    • Earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech and Ph.D in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech developing high temperature polymers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
    • Prior to working at Dow, Brian worked at Henkel on novel adhesives and sealants as well as Los Alamos National Laboratory studying the degradation of cations under highly alkaline conditions for electrochemical applications.
    • Developed many commercially successful latex products for markets ranging from thermal paper, coated paper and paperboard, and barrier coatings for packaging.
    • Recipient of multiple external awards due to his project leadership and technical impact on the teams that won an EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, three R&D 100 Awards, a Business Intelligence Sustainability Award, and two Edison Awards for ROPAQUE™ NT-2900 Opaque polymer used in Koehler’s Blue4est® thermal paper technology and RHOBARR™ barrier coating technologies.
    • Brian enjoys spending time with his two well behaved kids and one poorly behaved dog. He’s an avid tennis player and novice cyclist and guitarist.

Jim Fogg

Jim Fogg

Jim Fogg

NA Business Development Manager, Barriers and Coatings,
Solenis

  • Jim Fogg's Bio
    • BS in Paper Science and Engineering, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
    • 38 years of Industry experience in manufacturing, Coating R&D, Specialty Product Development, and Business Development.
    • Specific experiences included multiple coater startups, Global coating support for International Paper, and Coating Barrier Development for the last 10 years.

Meggan Hostetler-Schrock

Meggan Hostetler-Schrock

Meggan Hostetler-Schrock

Director, Applications and Technical Service, Industrial Ingredients,
Primient

  • Meggan Hostetler-Schrock's Bio
    • Over 25 years of experience in the paper/packaging and industrial starch industry Spent her first years as a process engineer, Team Development Manager, and Lab & Quality Manager for a Liquid Packaging Operation working on projects focused on improvements in safety, quality, reliability, and cost
    • In 2006 began her work with Tate & Lyle (now Primient), a leading starch supplier to the paper industry, supporting the entire Industrial Starch business unit in the areas of paper (wet end, size press, coatings) and specialty (building materials, adhesives, other) applications
    • Current team is responsible for technical support and development in areas such as lab studies and analyses (starch, wet end, coatings, adhesives, rheology modification, etc.), trial support, troubleshooting and problem resolution, as well as new product and applications development project pipeline for the Industrial business unit

Brad Fadden


Brad Fadden

Manager, Manufacturing Excellence,
Graphic Packaging

  • Brad Fadden's Bio

    Brad Fadden is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Paper Science. Brad spent 18 years in the paper industry working for Graphic Packaging at the Kalamazoo Board Mill before joining Ingredion as a Senior Applications Specialist and Product Development Manager. After four years, Brad returned to work at Graphic Packaging as a coating superintendent and project manager for K2 installation. Brad has worked as a Process Engineer, Supervisor and Department Superintendent, Research & Development Manager, and Coating Superintendent. Brad’s career highlights are installing curtain coaters in Kalamazoo and in West Monroe, LA, and the K2 paper machine installation and startup from 2019–2022.

    Brad is married with three children and is an avid golfer and a self-proclaimed baseball nut.

Dr. Kecheng Li

Dr. Li

Dr. Kecheng Li

Chair of the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering,
Western Michigan University

  • Dr. Kecheng Li's Bio
    • Dr. Li received his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and the Pulp and Paper Centre at the University of Toronto, Canada; Prior to joining WMU, Dr. Li was a Professor and University Research Scholar in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick, where his was a recipient of Merit Award (2008) and was appointed University Research Scholar by the UNB Board of Governors in 2011 and then 2016;
    • Dr. Li has more than 20 years of R&D experience in pulp and paper manufacturing technologies including paper recycling and paper for packaging materials. His areas of research interests also include biorefining for biofuels, nanocellulose, biochemicals; enzyme technologies for wood and fiber processing and wastewater treatment; and state-of-the-art surface and nanoscale techniques;
    • Dr. Li has co-authored with his students more than 100 refereed papers and book chapters, developed several proprietary technologies, and holds six US patents awarded.
    • Dr. Li has been invited by universities and research institutes around the world to give seminars in e.g., Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Japan, Korea, and the USA, and by conferences and symposiums to deliver keynote speeches;
    • Dr. Li is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and has been appointed as an adjunct professor by the University of Waterloo and by the University of New Brunswick. He is also serving on the International Research Management Committee of Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI).

Dr. Lokendra Pal

Dr. Lokendra Pal

Dr. Lokendra Pal

Department of Forest Biomaterials,
NC State University

  • Dr. Lokendra Pal's Bio
    • Received a PhD in Paper and Imaging Science and Engineering from Western Michigan University
    • J. Woody Rice Associate Professor of Sustainable Materials and Engineering at NC State
    • Over 19 years of global experience in the research and technological advancement of bio-based materials and professional experience in managing and collaborating with industrial partners worldwide.
    • Spent 9 years working with Hewlett-Packard Company. He has been granted 24 patents.
    • Director of NC State's Paper Pilot Plant-Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center, supported by the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII).
    • Co-founder of Tissue Pack Innovation Lab (TPIL).
    • Pal is highly engaged in professional services to several organizations, including ACS, TAPPI, AIChE, AIMCAL, and has been active as a speaker, instructor, officer, committee chair, and member. He was named TAPPI Fellow in 2021 for the recognition of his meritorious service to the industry

Dr. Tony Lyons

Dr. Lyon

Dr. Tony Lyons

Principal,
Paper Lyons LLC

  • Dr. Tony Lyons' Bio
    • Received his Doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. He also holds a Bachelors and Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University at Buffalo
    • Over 38 years of experience in the areas of fluid mechanics, paper coating, paper finishing, and mineral pigments for paper coating, paper filling, and other specialty applications
    • He retired in 2017 from Imerys after 25 years with Imerys and established Paper Lyons LLC for the purpose of doing science and technology consulting for the paper and paperboard industry.
    • Tony is an adjunct professor at the University of Maine and Western Michigan University. He is also a past chair of the Education and Research Committee of the WMU PTF Board of Trustees.
    • He has been an active member of TAPPI since 1985 and has volunteered for various leadership roles in TAPPI including election to the Board of Directors. He holds patents in coating pigments, coating applications, coated inkjet papers, agricultural applications, and barrier coating.
    • Tony lives with his wife in Lakewood Ranch. FL. They have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. He enjoys running, golf, tennis, playing guitar, and has recently taken up painting with watercolor.

Scott McNutt

Scott McNutt

Founder and Sr. Consultant,
Nextep Partners

  • Scott McNutt's Bio

    Scott McNutt has over 40 years of experience in the paper industry, with a focus on process and product knowledge in the disciplines of papermaking, quality, engineering, operations management, Lean/Six Sigma, product development, and innovation. He is also well-versed in the downstream converting processes and end-use requirements for cut sheets, QSR, flexible packaging, and many technical specialty grades.

    He started his career in specialty paper at Dunn Paper, serving in roles in process engineering, quality management, and product development. He later transitioned to Fine Paper with Willamette in Hawesville, Kentucky, and was part of the effort to infuse state-of-the-art papermaking technology into the fine paper industry in the US. From there, he moved to Mosinee, Wisconsin to manage the production operations for Wausau Papers, returning to his specialty paper roots. To bring his career full circle, he returned to Dunn Paper in Port Huron to drive operations success and innovation.

    Traveling through the years, he has toured a vast number of pulp and paper mills in the US and abroad, exploring new technology. Scott has been a member of TAPPI since 1985, attending numerous events at the local Chapters as well as annual Conferences. In addition, he has been active in the Smithers Specialty Papers Conferences in Europe and North America. He is active in the TAPPI Mentor program and recently joined the Tappi Nanotechnology subcommittee.

    His primary focus now with Nextep Partners LLC Consulting is paper innovations for sustainable packaging applications.

Prakash B. Malla

Prakash B. Malla

Prakash B. Malla

Director of Research & Development,
Thiele Kaolin Company

  • Prakash B. Malla's Bio
    • Holds a Ph.D. in Clay Mineralogy and Clay Chemistry from Rutgers University
    • 30 years of experience in mineral pigment development and processing as well as paper coating science and technology.
    • He is currently the director of the R&D at Thiele Kaolin Company where he and his team are involved in improving and developing kaolin products and processes for improved paper coating and filler applications.
    • Additionally, he holds a Certificate in Mid-Management Program from Georgia Tech and an Executive Certificate in Management & Leadership from MIT.
    • Malla is active in the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) and has served in a variety of leadership roles, including the chairman of Coating & Graphic Arts division. Dr. Malla received the 2014 Coating Division Leadership and Service Award and the Du Pont Soy Polymer Prize. He was also selected TAPPI Fellow in 2018 and Fellow of American Society of Nepalese Engineers in 2010.
    • Malla was also elected President of The Clay Minerals Society (2015-2016). He currently serves on the editorial board of Journal of Porous Materials and Clays and Clay Minerals journal.
    • Malla has authored and co-authored of over 40 technical papers including book chapters and holds 16 U.S. patents.

Uwe Meyer

Uwe Meyer

Consultant,
Ircon-Solaronics

  • Uwe Meyer's Bio

    More than 40 years intimately involved with the development and implementation of coating drying strategies that focus on maximizing quality and tpd, through the use of infrared and convection energy, with more than 30 years as a consultant to papermills and to drying and coating equipment OEMs in US, Asia, Europe. Have been awarded a number of Patents closely related to my field of expertise. Presently serve as an exclusive consultant to Ircon-Solaronics, the global leader (technologies as well as installations) in non-contact drying technologies and strategies.

Steve Ottone

Steve Ottone

Steve Ottone

Tech Service Representative,
Mallard Creek Polymers

  • Steve Ottone's Bio
    • Holds a master’s degrees in Wood Technology from Penn State University
    • Job experience is highlighted by 10 years with various paper companies (Container Corporation of America, St. Regis Paper, Champion International), 27 years in the synthetic latex business (Reichhold Latex, DRSL, Mallard Creek Polymers) and, most recently 5 great years with Omya, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of ground calcium carbonate.
    • His areas of expertise include: Paper coating raw materials, formulation, application testing and finishing, Synthetic latex development, manufacturing, and applications technology, calcium carbonate pigments for use in paper coating and filling, and aqueous barrier coating compounding, application, and role in creating a sustainable future for paper/paperboard packaging.
    • 2020 recipient of TAPPI’s Coating and Graphic Arts Division Education and Mentoring Award for his years of mentoring our industry’s newcomers. Part of that mentoring has been participation in Western Michigan education programs, countless trials on the University’s pilot coater, and review of many technical works coming out of the University.
    • A very active participant in TAPPI; an endeavor that’s given rise to excellent technical interactions, creative problem-solving, years of conference programming and most of all a lifetime of close industry friends. For a young person just coming into the industry, this kind of participation can offer a much more satisfying career experience.

Michael Paczkowski

Michael Paczkowski

Technical Director,
Duroblade®, BTG Americas Inc.

  • Michael Paczkowski's Bio
    • Received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. After a brief two years in the chemical industry, he found his way into the paper industry.
    • In the 43 years since that time, Michael has had a wealth of technical and management experience in papermaking, coating of paper and board, tissue production and printing methods of various substrates.
    • Active member of TAPPI and FTA and has written and presented many papers related to, paper and board coating, printing, and the manufacture of creped tissue.
    • BTG and WMU have been important partners through the years with mutual support of our customers trial work. BTG has supplied countless coating blades and rods for these coating trials. 
    • In Michaels spare time, he enjoys DIY projects such as home remodeling, auto and motorcycle maintenance.

Scott Peplinski

Scott Peplinski

Business Development Manager,
Barrier Coatings

  • Scott Peplinski's Bio

    Scott has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a certificate in management from the University of Wisconsin. His work experience includes operations management of a coated specialty paper machine, directing corporate sustainability and product regulatory and stewardship, continuous improvement, quality management, product management, product development, business development and specialty paper sales. During his Product Development time, Scott focused on replacement technologies for fluoro-chemistry in OGR applications, as well as lightweight, flexible packaging applications requiring moisture and oxygen barrier. Scott also retired from the Army National Guard with 20 years of service including 2 ½ years deployed to the Middle East in support Operation Iraqi Freedom. In his free time, Scott enjoys vacations with his wife and college aged boys, camping, fishing, hunting, wood cutting, diy workshop projects, forestry management on his forested property and health and fitness.

Alexandra Pekarovicova, PhD.

Alexandra Pekarovicova

Alexandra Pekarovicova, PhD.

Professor,
Western Michigan University

  • Alexandra Pekarovicova's Bio
    • Teaching courses in rotogravure, color management, printing inks, and printability analysis - research is focused on ink formulations, ink and substrate interactions, rotogravure and flexo printing, and printability
    • Works in printed electronics and functional inks formulations, and is serving as Ph.D. and MS chair for graduate students
    • Recently supervised MS and Ph.D. thesis in coating formulations
    • Authored and co-authored over 150 papers, conference proceedings, and eight patents
    • Has served as a vice president of research papers in TAGA, Technical Association of Graphic Arts TAGA board member for eight years

Course speakers are subject to change.

Western Michigan University

WMU is a leader in the field of paper coating research and applications as well as a leading provider of undergraduate and graduate engineers and scientists, and is offering its famed paper coating course. Hundreds of papermakers and suppliers have taken WMU’s coating course since its inception. The course features three days of classroom instruction, tours of WMU’s pilot facility, and networking opportunities.