The Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering (PBE) provides graduate education leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees through the graduate program in Paper and Bioprocess Engineering. Four options are available within this program:
Graduate studies reflect the strong trend toward diversification in the industry and offer opportunities for study in a variety of subjects related to the manufacture of pulp and paper as well as other products, chemicals, and energy from sustainable raw material sources. Individual study programs and research plans are designed to meet specific personal needs.
An important component of the M.S. and Ph.D. programs is thesis research under direction of a major professor. Much of this research is carried out under the auspices of one of the premier research institutes of the world, the Empire State Paper Research Institute (ESPRI), a renowned organization supported jointly by ESF and the Empire State Paper Research Associates (ESPRA), an international consortium of leading industrial companies. ESPRI's research activities aim to generate new information regarding the fundamentals, the science, the engineering and the technology of the production of products and chemicals from renewable resources such as wood in an ecologically sound manner. Recent work has been directed to fundamental investigations of pulping, bleaching, coproducts from wood, additives, paper recycling, effluent disposal, the papermaking process, the properties of paper, reactions of wood components during mechanical and chemical treatments, novel wood component separation techniques, new biotechnologically based pulping methods, process modeling paradigms, the structure of wood and wood fibers, evaporation, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and chemical recovery. Pilot scale equipment in Walters Hall is often used as an integral part of these research programs.
Many research projects are carried out in cooperation with other College departments. Examples of such projects include a wide-ranging study of toxicity of paper industry effluents in cooperation with the Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, and a cooperative project on the theoretical and experimental analysis of the mechanical properties of fiber and paper with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University. Cooperative studies enable access to the latest equipment in the computer field, including supercomputers.
Examples of inter- and intra-institutional collaborations include the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology and the Department of Chemistry, as well as many industrial cooperators. Cooperative studies enable access to the latest equipment in the computer field, including supercomputers. The department enjoys excellent external support in the form of graduate assistantships, fellowships, and grants from ESPRI, and other industry sources, as well as a number of government granting agencies.
Students can be accepted into the program from a variety of backgrounds. Successful students who have pursued advanced degrees in the Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering have had backgrounds in chemical engineering, pulp and paper engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, chemistry, biological engineering, biology, biotechnology, and manufacturing, among many others. Students planning to obtain graduate degrees in Paper and Bioprocess Engineering should have strong undergraduate preparation in some of the following areas, depending on the particular area of study chosen: mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, biological sciences, and computer science.
Students in this program master a variety of subjects that are normally found in a chemical engineering program, and supplement those studies with advanced courses specific to Bioprocess Engineering. The program focuses on the use of wood and other renewable biomass materials to replace petroleum in energy and industrial product applications.
The department enjoys excellent external support in the form of graduate assistantships, fellowships, research assistantships, and support from industry as well as a number of government granting agencies.
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