2011 Arne Asplund Mechanical Pulping Award Goes to Three

March 24, 2011 - Metso announced that the Arne Asplund Mechanical Pulping Award 2011 has been granted jointly to: Keith B. Miles, Dr. Marc J. Sabourin, and Dr. William C. Strand. The award recognizes their work on how to control the mechanical pulp quality as well as the energy consumption, utilizing the concept of refining intensity directly or indirectly.

"Their contributions have in total greatly advanced our understanding of how to optimize the efficiency of the TMP refining process," Metso said in a written statement.

The award will be presented on June 28, 2011 at the International Mechanical Pulping Conference in Xian, China.

Keith B. Miles joined Paprican (today FPInnovations), in Pointe-Claire, Canada, in 1968, and during a long professional career remained within the institute's Mechanical Pulping Division. Miles held the position of Principal Scientist until his retirement in 2010.

Miles has published many early pioneering studies on the fundamental mechanisms in chip refining, based on measurements of refining zone temperature distribution, plate gap, dynamic disc alignment and shaft thrust. He has also developed a breakthrough theory of steam and pulp flow in the refining zone. Today's generally accepted concept of refining intensity, which has emerged from his work, has been a valuable tool in processing design and control of the relationship between specific energy and pulp quality in chip refining processes, Metso said.

Dr. Marc J. Sabourin graduated Ph.D. from Manchester University of Science and Technology, UK. He has worked in the pulp and related supplier industry since 1986 and currently holds the position as Global Director at Andritz Inc.

Over the years, Dr. Sabourin has made a number of contributions in order to improve the energy efficiency in chip refiner processes putting fundamental studies from Pulp and Paper Institutes such as FPInnovations and KCL into practice. Early on, Dr. Sabourin adapted the concept of refining intensity, defined by Miles and May, for process optimizing in refiner processes regarding energy efficiency using high disc rotational speeds.

Dr. William C. Strand graduated from University of Idaho, Moscow, USA, in 1989 with a Ph.D. His work began with the Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm in 1983 and continued in a cooperation with Sunds Defibrator (today Metso) and Stora (today Stora Enso). During that time, Dr. Strand studied fundamental mechanisms in the refining gap and called attention to the importance of using high production rate to reduce energy demand in refining.

In 1989 as a founding partner of Pacific Simulation, Dr. Strand began the development and implementation of advanced pulp quality control systems for which he is most highly recognized. He has developed Forgacs pioneering work on how to characterize mechanical pulp by applying advanced mathematics. Dr. Strand's creativity of how to develop software has made it possible to implement his fundamental ideas in a large number of mill applications.

The Arne Asplund Mechanical Pulping Award Foundation, responsible for appointing the winner of the award, was established in 1985 to commemorate Dr. Asplund’s contribution to the pulp and paper industry worldwide. The award was established to promote the development of new technology of the manufacture of high-yield pulp in refiners and is awarded to a person or persons in recognition of outstanding achievement in the research and development of mechanical pulping technology. The award consists of gold medals and an honorarium of SEK 25,000.

The award was made possible through a donation from the Sunds Defibrator Company, currently part of Metso, to the foundation in 1985. The Chairman of the Foundation is Professor Hans Höglund, Mid Sweden University.