NC State University to Host “Progress in Paper Physics Seminar 2014”

Progress in Paper 2014 Raleigh NCBy Guest Blogger, Dr. Joel Pawlak; Asst. Professor, Dept. of Forest Biomaterials

From September 8-11, 2014, the international paper physics community is coming to Raleigh and NC State University for its annual meeting. This is a group of scientists dedicated to understanding the behavior of paper from a physical standpoint.

Over the years, NC State has had a number of professors involved in this community. Perhaps some of you alumni remember taking a class from Dr. Olf, Dr. Kocurek, Dr. Ram, Dr. Rojas, or even me, Dr. Pawlak? These faculty members have all taken part in the paper physics community over the years.

This year’s meeting is part of annual gathering of this paper physics community that rotates around the world. These meetings date back to the 1960’s when the concept of describing the properties of paper from a fundamental standpoint was first explored.

Early work described the tensile strength of paper, formation of paper, bonding in paper, and the strength of single papermaking fibers. Over the years, the science has continued to advance and involves a diverse set scientific principles that describe the water resistance of paper, barrier properties of paper, and the compression strength of paper. Advanced mathematical modeling of paper, state of the art imaging and x-ray tomography are all now staples of the scientific approaches used by the community.

This year, the conference will be hosted by NC State and sponsored by Domtar and MWV.

This will be the first time NC State will host the conference and provides us an opportunity to showcase the strength of paper science and engineering program at NC State. The focus of the conference has evolved to include emerging areas of paper industry including novel products and materials from forest products.

The conference has been timed to coincide with the annual NC State Pulp and Paper Foundation meeting. If you are planning to come to Raleigh this fall for the foundation meeting, consider extending your time and taking part in the paper physics conference earlier in the week.

I look forward to seeing in Raleigh this fall and I hope that you will come to both the paper physics conference and the annual foundation meeting!

View the preliminary technical program and register for the conference>>

McCord to Serve as Research Associate Dean for NC State College of Natural Resources

Dr. Marian McCord - NC State UniversityDr. Marian G. McCord has been selected as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Natural Resources at NC State University.

Dr. McCord is currently a professor with appointments in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science at North Carolina State University, the Joint UNC/NCSU Department of Biomedical Engineering, and is an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University, as well as a Master of Science in Bioengineering and a Ph.D. in Textiles and Polymer Science both from Clemson University. She joined the faculty of the College of Textiles at NC State in 1994 and leads NC State’s Global Health Initiative.

Dr. McCord sees her research field as “textiles as interventions” – i.e., textiles that prevent or treat disease, or improve human health and well-being. Some of her global health related projects include nonchemical insecticidal bed nets and low cost hemostatic bandages. She is a scientific advisor to Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), a social venture dedicated to meeting the needs for safe and affordable sanitary products for women in the developing world. The College of Natural Resources is also a partner in the SHE project.

Dr. McCord has been the co-director of the Atmospheric Plasma Laboratory at the College of Textiles at NC State University for 14 years, and is a cofounder of Katharos, Inc., a company that aims to provide phosphate filtration solutions for end-stage renal disease patients.

She has made significant contributions to her field including serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Fiber Bioengineering and Informatics, as an officer and executive committee member of the Triangle Global Health Consortium Advisory Board and the steering committee of the NC One Health Collaborative.

Recently Dr. McCord was recognized as one of 125 Transformational Women at NC State for her work as Director of the Global Health Initiative and for her work with SHE.

“Over the last 20 years, Marian McCord has built an interdisciplinary portfolio of research focused on improving human health and wellness by developing novel textiles that prevent and treat disease. She has a proven track record assembling and leading multidisciplinary research teams and has received funding from a wide variety of sources.” says Dr. Mary Watzin, dean of the College of Natural Resources. “Through her work, Marian has earned a national and international reputation for solving practical global health challenges. I am delighted that she is willing to take on this new challenge and am confident that she will bring creativity, energy, and a genuine appreciation of power of collaboration to the College of Natural Resources.”

“I’m looking forward to joining CNR, and to working with the faculty, staff and students to advance the College’s research initiative” says Dr. McCord. “I think that CNR is the right place for me to be able to make a significant impact in addressing some of the greatest challenges facing society today.”

Originally from Newport Rhode Island, Dr. McCord lives in Apex with her husband and two children. She will assume her duties as associate dean of research on August 1, 2014 and will hold academic rank in the Department of Forest Biomaterials.

Carnivore Mystery: Why Fishers Thrive in East, Not West

Zoologists Scott LaPoint and Roland Kays weigh a weasel-like fisher in the wild.

Zoologists Scott LaPoint and Roland Kays weigh a weasel-like fisher in the wild. Fishers, which weigh 4 to 12 pounds, are fierce predators.

For weasel-like fishers it’s a good time to live in the East.  The fierce little carnivores are reclaiming historic habitats, including the Bronx, New York.  But it’s a different story for fishers in the West, which haven’t been as successful in repopulating areas they once roamed in the Pacific and Northwest.

Dr. Roland Kays in the College of Natural Resources at NC State University is part of a team investigating reasons for the regional differences and devising strategies for successful reintroduction.

This National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society funded research has been published online in Animal Conservation.

Read More in The Abstract>>


Devine Receives CESU National Network Award

Dr Hugh Devine, NC State UniversityCongratulations to Dr. Hugh Devine who has been awarded the 2014 Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) National Network Award. This prestigious award is presented biannually to recognize individuals who have contributed substantially to the development, implementation or accomplishments of the CESU Network.

Dr. Devine is an Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management and the Associate Director of the Center for Geospatial Analytics in the NC State University College of Natural Resources.

The CESU Network is a national consortium of federal agencies, tribes, academic institutions, state and local governments, nongovernmental conservation organizations, and other partners working together to support informed public trust resource stewardship. The CESU Network includes 354 partners, including 14 federal agencies, in seventeen CESUs representing biogeographic regions encompassing all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Opinion – Insurance Industry Behind The Curve In Addressing Wildfire Danger

Firefighters douse final hotspots at David and Sherri Roberts home that was destroyed by fire 24-hours earlier on a hilltop in Escondido (LA Times)

Firefighters douse final hotspots at David and Sherri Roberts home that was destroyed by fire 24-hours earlier on a hilltop in Escondido (LA Times)

Dr. Toddi Steelman, co-director of the Fire Chasers Project at North Carolina State University’s Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources and executive director of the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, asserted in a Los Angeles Times Op-ed that while wildfires are inevitable, wildfire disasters are not; and that while we can’t control the natural world, we can control the built environment and the economic incentives that put us at risk.

Of great concern? That when it comes to wildfires, the insurance industry is behind the curve.

Read the complete article in the LA Times>>