Education at the Wisconsin Institute
for Sustainable Technology

We provide papermaking courses for industry professionals including Hands-on Papermaking, Hands-on Pulping and Bleaching, and more. 
WIST education also offers a series of short courses in sustainability including sessions on sustainable energy, bioplastics, life cycle assessment, green chemistry, and business modeling.
In addition, we developed an interdisciplinary biofuels minor curriculum now being offered at UW-Stevens Point.

New course offered in coating and lamination

Coater Roland at back end 027.JPGThis course is designed for those working in paper converting, coating, printing and flexible packaging, such as engineers, technicians, chemists, scientists, sales representatives, and customer service representatives. Representatives of companies that supply adhesives, inks, silicones, papers, plastic films and aluminum foils will also benefit.

You will get expert instruction by Dr. Roland Gong, assistant professor of paper science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Gong has a Ph.D. in paper and imaging science and engineering from Western Michigan University, where he researched paper coating using new materials and cutting-edge facilities.

Course dates: August 20-21, 2015

Location: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Participants will receive six hours of classroom instruction, six hours of hands-on experience on state-of-the-art equipment, lunch and break refreshments both days, all for $999.


Register online here.



At the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand coating and lamination fundamentals and their applications
  • Recognize the various types of coaters and laminators and their applications
  • Understand workflow and unit operations
  • Recognize the raw materials and their properties, and learn their influences on the final products
  • Understand test basics
  • Apply the knowledge in operation and quality control
  • Hands-on experience of coating and lamination trials

Second chance:
New paper course series 
offered again in spring 2015

Free tuition for spring pilot offering — but space is limited

If you missed taking WIST's new papermaking professional courses in fall 2014, we have good news. The courses will be offered tuition-free one more time, in spring 2015. We’ve created a new series of three courses in papermaking fundamentals designed for individuals associated with the manufacture, testing, and marketing of all grades of paper. Individuals involved in the purchase of paper will also benefit from the detailed knowledge acquired during these courses. Take one course or all three.

The spring series begins with a revised version of Hands-on Papermaking on March 26-27, with new and updated course content. Measuring and Controlling Paper Formation will be offered April 16-17, and on April 30-May 1 we’re offering another new course, Introduction to Papermaking Additives. (See below for course outlines.)

The courses were developed with grant funding from UW System to enhance workforce skills and expertise. Tuition for each course normally is $800. But the new and revised courses are free this spring in a pilot offering. Each pilot course participant must complete a course evaluation at the conclusion of the class and complete a follow-up survey six weeks later.

In addition, workplace supervisors will be asked to complete a survey about the effectiveness of the course six weeks after the course. Each course is offered in our popular format. We start with morning classroom sessions. After lunch (included) it’s off to the university’s pilot paper machine and/or paper testing lab for hands-on sessions guided by Paper Science & Engineering faculty and WIST laboratory staff.

Take one course or all three. But register early because space is limited. Use the links below to jump to an online registration form. Registration will close automatically for each course at 16 registrants. If you receive a registration closed message, you may place yourself on a wait list for future course offerings by emailing We expect that future courses will be offered at full tuition rates.

Register for Measuring and Controlling Paper Formation

Register for Introduction to Papermaking Additives

Hands-on Papermaking is full for the spring course offering. To be put on a wait list, email

Measuring and Controlling Formation

This course on April 16-17 provides attendees with a unique perspective on the operational principles of optimizing the formation of paper. Formation is the most important paper property affecting paper’s porosity, opacity, smoothness, printability and strength. Formation is much more than just an appearance property of paper. This course will emphasize that manufacturing a quality sheet of paper involves every aspect of the paper manufacturing process from fiber selection to consolidation of the sheet on the forming table. This course will also emphasize the visual measurement of formation as well as the instrumental measurement of formation. This course uniquely features exercises on UWSP’s pilot paper machine where attendees will produce paper at different formation levels. Attendees will then participate in group exercises that evaluate formation using both visual and instrumental methods.

The course runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; lunch is included.

  • Understand why paper making fibers floc.
  • Understand manufacturing techniques that minimize fiber floccing.
  • Understand the relationship between paper properties and formation.
  • Understand both visual and instrumental measurement of formation.
  • Understand the difficulties associated with the correlation of visual formation assessment and the instrument measurement.

Your instructor for Measuring and Controlling Formation is Dr. Gerry Ring, former chair of the UW-Stevens Point Paper Science & Engineering Department.

Participants in the fall 2014 session rated this course highly overall and all said they would recommend this course to others. Evaluation comments included:

"This course does a good job explaining Paper Formation and how it affects numerous other paper qualities, as well as how it can be manipulated and improved." — Andy Pope, NewPage corporation

"Although this course is still in pilot phase, it was well organized and very informative." — Heather Mullins, Gusmer Enterprises

"Coming from the maintenance side of paper production, I have received a better view of my customer (operations) and his/her needs to tune and adjust their equipment to make a quality sheet." — Rodd Wilson, NewPage Corporation, Stevens Point

Introduction to Papermaking Additives

This course on April 30-May 1 provides attendees with an overview of the common paper making additives used in industry today. Clear descriptions of how and why these additives work are presented in classroom discussions. Emphasis will be placed on where additives are introduced into the paper making process. Potential interactions with both equipment and other additives will also be discussed. The relationship between additives and enhanced performance of paper will be discussed. This course uniquely features exercises on UWSP’s pilot paper machine where attendees will produce paper with different additives. Attendees will then participate in group exercises that evaluate the properties of this paper using typical laboratory tests.

The course runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; lunch is included.

  • Understand the difference between acid and alkaline papermaking.
  • Understand the difference between process additives and product improving additives.
  • Understand the basics of retention aid functionality.
  • Understand the difference between wet and dry strength additives.
  • Understand foam control, pitch control and the biocides.
  • Understand the purpose and use of fillers.

Your instructor for Introduction to Papermaking Additives is Dr. Gerry Ring, former chair of the UW-Stevens Point Paper Science & Engineering Department

“This course is an excellent source for increasing knowledge on the basics that occurs at the wet end of the paper machine, especially the mechanisms for the interaction.” — Michelle Wilson, Georgia Pacific

“The course was informative and comprehensive! Enjoyable!” — Chris Pynnonen, Senior Scientist, IPS Testing.


Pilot Paper Plant is outstanding educational and lab services asset

WIST operates a Fourdrinier pilot paper machine on the UW-Stevens Point campus. The machine is an important asset for the university's paper science and engineering program, with students benefitting from the hands-on experience. It is also used in WIST's hands-on courses in papermaking. The machine is managed by WIST's Laboratory Services Division, which performs contract services for industry. Revenue earned from contract runs on the machine supports student learning, equipment maintenance and upgrades, and WIST research and development. Don Guay talks about the paper machine's importance to students in this short video. Don was formerly director of WIST Laboratory Services.