ISA PUPID Scholarships
Mike Waller - PUPID Education Co-Chair
ISA Pulp & Paper Industry Division is back to its “old ways” of awarding $1000 scholarships to college students pursuing a career in pulp & paper. For this year, the winners are “top-notch” students and have impressive scholastic records as well as extracurricular activities. Both have demonstrated a significant interest in the instrumentation/process control component of the pulp and paper industry, and have meaningful work experience in the industry. The winners are James A Stockard and Mark L. Lambert. Both winners sent in their completed application form from the PUPID website, an official transcript from the applicant's university, three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s character, and answered three questions describing their interest in the pulp and paper industry, their educational accomplishments, their school activities and their leadership roles. You can read a little bit about them in the rest of this article.
James A Stockard, a junior majoring in Paper Science and Engineering with a minor in Computer Information Systems at Miami University in Oxford, OH, hails from Louisville, KY. He will graduate in May 2003 with a GPA of 3.19. Jay is the President and founding member of Tau Beta Pi, the university engineering honor society; on the Miami University Paper Science and Engineering Student Advisory Council, an active member of Student ISA and TAPPI. He has received many awards including the Stanley and Ruth Trosset Award, Honeywell-Measurex Sponsored Foundation Scholarship Miami University Pulp and Paper Foundation Upperclassman Scholarship, Miami University Pulp and Paper Foundation Scholarship (awarded for past 4 years), and the A. R. McMicken Memorial Scholarship (Miami University) Colonel Scholarship (Centre College). He enjoys photography, reading, biking, hiking, horse riding, rock climbing, swing dance/ballroom dance, and puzzles.
When asked why he needs this scholarship; he says “To put it simply, tuition at Miami is not cheap. Over the past few years, tuition has steadily risen. However, it has been more of a burden on me due to Miami's tuition rate for out of state students. Out of state students are often penalized more whenever there is a tuition increase. Just recently, Miami decided to raise tuition by 11.9% while in state students have a 9.9% increase. Currently, my tuition is 2.15 times higher than in state, not including housing. The ever-growing tuition coupled with a necessity to remain an extra semester due to course conflictions has led me in search of funding. I need to locate sources of revenue in order to be able to attend my graduating semester.
In describing the most important things he has learned from his employment: he says, “We live in interesting times would be the major thing that I have learned on the job. In most of my work thus far, the day-to-day operations of any situation for an engineer involves change. From my co-op experience, I was often presented with projects that would require me to call upon a variety of knowledge. More often than not, I would be spending time in books trying to understand what it was that I was being asked to do. My experience on my co-op ranged from Deink Processes, to Environmental issues, Quality issues, Paper Machine Processes, or even computer related issues. Coupled with this aspect is the rapid pace at which these duties needed to be performed or arose. I often had to reprioritize things in order to meet deadlines and attend to the more serious situations immediately. Another important thing I have learned is the importance of honesty and integrity on the job place. I saw many people put to the test when it came to fulfilling their obligations or even simply being honest with others about current situations at the mill. I have carried this experience with me as something that I shall never forget. I try to live by it daily in hopes of being an honorable man. A final thing that I have taken away from my job experiences is that it is ok not to understand everything. As I said earlier, I often needed to spend time reading books in order to understand the stuff going on around me. I would ask questions in hopes of learning things as well as carefully watching others performing even the simplest of tasks in order to understand what it was that, I am doing.
When asked to elaborate on his interest and participation in the pulp and paper industry thus far and in the future: he says, “My interest in the industry has been increasing since being accepted into the program. I enjoy engineering and working with the machines. However, I am coming to understand that it is not merely engineering questions and system analysis that I am going to be doing. I am also going to be watchful of the industry as a whole. This realization has hit home over the past few years as I have been watching the job market, and the graduating seniors struggling to attain jobs. I believe in order for me to effectively participate in the future with the growing educational demands, I need to achieve graduate degrees in a paper related field. My current participation within the industry besides work-related endeavors or Student TAPPI functions include attending many of the student conferences and local TAPPI meetings either volunteering or interacting with the industry representatives. I am planning on attending this year's Paper Maker's conference in Atlanta. I also try to facilitate knowledge about the program by working with high school and elementary students showing them some of the fun aspects of papermaking. I have been fortunate enough for this summer to be accepted into the Institute of Paper Science and Technology's intern program. This experience will likely help me in attending this school after graduation. My assigned research project deals with fiber physics of various types of pulps currently not used within the United States but in foreign industry. The results of this research will be published within a book used in industry. If l am able to get into IPST's graduate program, I plan on working with fiber physics or perhaps with the mechanical aspect of designing equipment.
Mark L. Lambert, a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering Computer Process Control at the University of Alberta, from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada, who will graduate in June, 2003 with a GPA of 7.9 / 9.0 (3.51 / 4.0). Mark is a founding member and served as President, Vice-President and Treasurer of the Computer Process Control Student Technical Group; a member of the University of Alberta's Engineering Students Society; is a Student Member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologist and Geophysicists of Alberta (APPEGA), is a Scouts Canada Beaver Leader for children ages 5- 7, and is a Golden Key National Honors Society Member. Mark has received other awards including the Rutherford and Engineering Entrance Scholarships in 1998, the Celanese Canada Undergraduate Scholarship (1998 - Present), and in 2001 received the ISA Educational Foundation Scholarship. His poem; “Helen”, was published in Voices in the Wind in 1998. He also enjoys reading, painting, attending opera and theatre, mountain biking, sailing, skiing (downhill and cross country), hockey, darts, horse back riding and rugby. Mark has worked for Celanese Canada Inc. and had co-ops with both Weyerhaeuser Canada, and Weldwood of Canada Hinton Division.
When asked why he needs this scholarship; he says “In the last year, through both my academic studies and work experiences, I have been able to determine the areas of specialty I will explore in my future career. While I enjoy doing control audits and other loop health activities, my area of focus has shifted towards advanced control methods. My work experience in the pulp and paper industry has exposed me to some of these techniques. The pulp and paper industry has processes with large amounts of dead time (such as lime recovery in a kiln), which lend themselves well to advanced control techniques, such as model based control or Smith Predictors. It is difficult to learn about these subjects in an undergraduate setting, and thus either graduate studies, or field experience must be undertaken to really understand these applications. The award of a PUPID scholarship would give me the option to pursue a graduate degree or help me finish my undergraduate studies debt free.”
In describing the most important things he has learned from his employment: he says, “The most important thing I have learned from my employment in industry is that often, the solutions to the problems one faces are not always simple. There may not be a single piece of software that will solve your communications problem, or a single control scheme that will stabilize your process and sometimes there is no one right answer. Such problems can be very frustrating, and require one 'to think outside the box'. I have learned to use the resources at hand to solve the problem and if those are not sufficient to try and find the answer through contacts I have made in school or at work. Sometimes, one cannot find a correct answer, yet the problem has to be resolved, so assumptions are made and checked later. This can lead to set backs in projects that have to be dealt with, either by making another assumption and repeating the process again, or re-examining the problem all together. This entire method of problem solving is almost always subject to deadlines, and has to be done in a proficient and effective manner. Through my limited experience in industry I have started to learn how to deal with such problems, as one does not often experience these in school, and so far I have been successful.”
When asked to elaborate on his interest and participation in the pulp and paper industry thus far and in the future: he says, “I have had one, four-month cooperative education (coop) term in the pulp and paper industry, and am currently completing another four-month term. During my first coop term with Weyerhaeuser, in Grande Prairie, I helped mainly in the area of loop health and reliability, using commercial, and in house, software packages to perform loop audits, diagnose outages and propose possible solutions. I also helped to trouble shoot problems in various areas of the mill, maintain area assessments, and tune control loops. During ISA 2001 in Houston, Texas, I had the honor of presenting a paper for Dr. Leoncio Estevez-Reyes entitled Triangulation Solves the Process Control Performance Puzzle; which was based on his work with Weyerhaeuser. I am currently working for Weldwood of Canada Hinton Division, in their DCS group. My main effort involves helping them select automation software and hardware, trouble shooting communication problems between various pieces of equipment, including: field devices, multiplexers, PC's, and their DCS. I focus mainly on loop performance software, analyzers, and smart positioners (software and hardware). During these six months in industry, I have learned a great deal about controls, and different control strategies. It is my hope that in the future I can work in the pulp and paper industry, specializing in advanced control strategies: in particular fuzzy logic based control for lime kilns, and other control methods for pulp machines and digesters.”
Now that PUPID has gotten back to giving away the college scholarships, hopefully the word will spread and the coming years will bring many more applicants. Start spreading the word for the 2003 PUPID Scholarship!