'Green Chemistry' Researcher to Lead Institute of Paper Science and Technology

William "Jim" Frederick Jr., the CEI Professor of Green Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, today accepted appointment as director of the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at Georgia Tech.

Dr. Frederick begins Sept. 1. In addition to his duties at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at Georgia Tech (IPST), Frederick also will maintain a faculty appointment in Georgia Tech's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

"Jim Frederick brings superb strategic and leadership qualities to this position, not to mention a strong, global perspective on issues and concerns facing the pulp and paper industry," Georgia Tech Provost Jean-Lou Chameau said.

"The coming weeks and months represent an important period in IPST's history," Dr. Chameau said. "Jim will be key in defining the technical direction of IPST and maximizing its strong ties to the forest products industry. His background and experience will help make IPST an internationally recognized research center in the field of paper science."

Frederick said the forest products industry stands at a "crossroads of redefinition," and that IPST at Georgia Tech can help during this transition period.

"The industry has begun to recognize itself as a producer and processor of biomass, as a manufacturer of diverse and environmentally sustainable products from renewable resources, and as a major provider of green energy," Frederick said.

"The direction of change is toward more profitable, differentiated products for consumers at all levels, rather than production of commodities," he said. "The changes in focus are accompanied by a need for new technology plus a need for scientists, engineers, and business people with the vision to achieve the change.

"The newly integrated IPST at Georgia Tech has the potential to be a world leader in research and education as this scenario of change unfolds," Frederick said. "My vision is that IPST will become an organization that connects industry and government with the larger Georgia Tech faculty and research base."

Among Frederick's areas of expertise is the field of green chemistry, especially as it relates to sustainable development. In 1987, the United Nation's Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

"With green chemistry and chemical engineering, we work toward sustainable development by inventing, designing, and implementing chemical products and processes that consume only renewable raw materials and energy," Frederick said.

Researchers in this field also hope to make highly efficient use of raw materials and energy; reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances; and reduce or eliminate the release of substances that might be harmful to humans or the environment.

Frederick's expertise in green chemistry -- plus his background in industry, government and academia -- should prove beneficial in his new endeavor at Georgia Tech.

Between 1972 and 1974, Frederick was a research engineer for General Motors Research. He then conducted research for Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis., between 1974 and 1976.

From 1976 to 1980 Frederick was an associate professor at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wis., and then he became the group leader for Recovery Technology Applications at the Weyerhaeuser Co. in Tacoma, Wash., between 1980 and 1983.

Frederick maintained faculty positions at Oregon State University from 1983 until 1996, and between 1988 and 1991 he was a visiting professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Finland's Abo Akademi University. He returned to Atlanta and IPST in 1997 and then was named CEI Professor of Green Chemistry at Chalmers University in August 2001.

"I'm delighted with Jim's appointment and return to IPST," said Ron Rousseau, the Cecil J. "Pete" Silas Chair at Georgia Tech and chair of the Institute's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

"He brings an impressive set of credentials to the job of director. He's been a leading researcher and administrator, and he has strong ties to the Institute," Dr. Rousseau said. "Also important is that he is well-connected to the pulp and paper industry. He knows the strengths of IPST and he knows the opportunities for strengthening the delivery of research output to member companies."

Frederick was born in Bangor, Maine, in 1945. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. He then earned his master's degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Maine in 1969 and 1973, respectively.

About IPST at Georgia Tech

The Institute of Paper Science and Technology integrated its operations with the Georgia Institute of Technology on July 1, 2003. Prior to this summer, IPST was an independent graduate school and research center supported by the paper industry for almost 75 years. Its graduates have a long history of industry leadership and can be found in countries throughout the world.

The school, founded in 1929 and previously named the Institute of Paper Chemistry, moved to the Georgia Tech campus from Appleton, Wis., in 1989. It has about 70 master's degree and doctoral students and conducts about $10 million in research annually. In 1998, IPST was recognized nationally as the fifth most innovative school in the nation in terms of patents per faculty member.