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2017 Academic Advisory Committee Meeting 

& Senior Design Project Presentations

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Paper Science & Engineering Academic Advisory Committee (AAC) Meeting is an annual event held each spring.

Each year, representatives from the paper and allied industries gather with the Paper Science & Engineering faculty and staff to listen and assess the Senior Design Project Presentations and provide students with constructive feedback on their projects.  After the presentations the committee meeting begins with an update from Karyn Biasca, Department Chair, on the status of the Department where industry representatives input on curriculum is welcomed.   The AAC meeting is followed by a Luncheon for participants. 

There is no cost to attend this event, but pre-registration is appreciated so that we may plan for food and presentation spaces.

The schedule for May 18, 2017:

8:30 am Check-in begins

9:00 am Student Presentations

10:30 am Academic Advisory Committee meeting

12:30 pm Luncheon


Senior Design Project Abstracts

Improve the Formation of the 30 gsm sheet on the Pilot Paper Machine

Students: Dylan Byersdorf, Tyler Englebert, Levi Spaeth, David Veit

The main objective of this project is to improve the formation of a 30 gsm sheet on the UW Stevens Point Pilot Paper Machine. In the past, a 30 gsm sheet was successfully made on the machine, but it did not have the desired formation. Improving the formation of the sheet could provide a more marketable product for the university. With this improved formation, it will also open up more opportunities for outside industries to come run trials on our paper machine. Another benefit to this project is that it will allow future students to run more trials on light weight grades on the pilot paper machine. A baseline formation will first be determined through a trial on the pilot paper machine. 30 gsm handsheets will be made in order to compare the baseline formation on the paper machine verses the theoretical “perfect” formation of the handsheets. Our group will utilize the formation analyzer in the paper testing lab on campus along with an evaluation panel of our peers. Based on the results we get from our first paper machine run, our group will utilize the equipment we have along with some wet end chemical addition to further improve upon the formation. Our group plans on optimizing the dandy roll, table shake, pressure screen, headbox consistency, pulp furnish, and other physical/mechanical changes.  Our group expects to see a visible improvement in formation from the initial paper machine run. The goal is to get as close to the theoretical “perfect” formation of a handsheet as possible. 

Optimize the Operation of the Cleaners and Pressure Screeon on the Pilot Paper Machine

Students:  Justin Kreuser, Brad Piotrowski, Alex Stuplich

The UW-Stevens Point Pilot Paper Machine has a dual cleaner system involving cleaner cones and a pressure screen.  The goal of this project is to optimize the cleaner system.  We believe that optimization of any process can come from improving efficiency and reducing downtime. The pressure screen is notorious for plugging during machine runs; therefore, we are predominantly focusing on reducing and/or eliminating plugging that is occurring on the pressure screen.  We have a variety of different proposals aimed at tackling the problem.  First, we will review the operating and maintenance manual of the pressure screen and verify that the correct procedure is being followed.  The manual also has trouble shooting methodology listed.  Numerous trials will be performed in order to pinpoint any variables that may be the cause of the plugging including, but not limited to, flow rate, consistency, and pressure drop.  The next proposals, after consulting with the Lab Specialists, would be looking into a new screen basket and/or a new rotor to increase the capacity of the screen and reduce plugging.  In the end, we expect that a new SOP in the operation of the pressure screen will alleviate the problem.  We also expect to be able to reduce and possibly eliminate plugging in the pressure screen during machine operations.  With this design proposal, we should be able to complete the project at minimum budget.  Reducing plugging will improve the efficiency of machine time, whether it is for industrial trials or for student learning. 

Proof of Concept to Create a Multi-Layered Sheet on the Pilot Paper Machine

Students:  Stephen Nelson, Wesley Vann, Nika Wanserski

As the paper industry evolves, there exists a demand to introduce new products to the market and a demand to optimize the existing ones.  Producing paper grades with different or multiple furnishes is often a solution to reducing the cost of manufacture of paper products through utilization of cheaper or lower quality raw materials. Unfortunately, the lower quality paper produced with these cheaper materials may hinder important sheet qualities such as strength or printability. Producing a sheet with multiple layers is a solution to this problem as industrial innovations have allowed manufacturers to produce a high quality top layer on top of a lower quality bottom layer in a paper sheet. This multi-layer sheet of paper can provide unique optical and physical properties that cannot otherwise be attained using a single layer sheet with the same materials. The goal of this project is to divert flow from an existing stock tank to a rudimentary secondary headbox that will be placed over the vacuum section on the wet end of the machine. The headbox will be manufactured on site using cost effective materials which are safe and easy to work with. While the main principle of this project is to prove that it is possible to produce a multi-ply sheet on the UWSP pilot paper machine, it is our team’s goal to meet requested specifications made by potential customers of WIST. Various clients have requested trials to verify if WIST may produce multi-ply paper, and have supplied product specifications that they wish to meet. If the project is successful, WIST would be able to apply the outcomes and produce multi-ply sheets for these clients and future clients. Additionally, successfully accomplishing this project would allow for future research and educational opportunities.




The Academic Advisory Committee meeting is NO cost to you, the participant, but registration is requested so that we may order meeting supplies and food accurately. If you have any questions, please contact Jodi Hermsen at 715-346-4817 or

Register for the AAC meeting using the form below, or download the registration form   ( Word or PDF )


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