Leadership & Service Award

TAPPI's International Nanotechnology Division

Leadership & Service Award:

The NanoDivision's Leadership & Service Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, and have made significant contributions to the NanoDivision.   Nominations and assessment are made from within the NanoDivision counsel where selection is based on several factors, such as, serving on the NanoDivision leadership team, chairing the NANO Conference, Chairing committees, organizing workshops, serving on committees, chairing sessions, giving technical presentations at NANO conferences, giving webinars, etc. 

2018 NanoDivision Leadership and Service Award

Colleen C. Walker, Ph. D

University of Maine

Colleen Walker is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.  She joined the nanotechnology adventure of Phil, Ted and Sean with the panning of the 2009 NANO conference, when TAPPI first started to organize the NANO conference.  She was instrumental in coordinating the efforts in establishing the NanoDivision within TAPPI. From 2009 to 2018 she was critical in the planning and organizing of the TAPPI NANO conferences.    From 2011 to 2018, she was part of the leadership team, helping to build the committee structure of the NanoDivision, coordinating resources and volunteers to help support the NanoDivision, and provided guidance and insight as to what other TAPPI Divisions were doing so that we can be unique.  Colleen has been extremely active at writing review articles and summaries of various NanoDivision events and activities.

Colleen is the Director of the Process Development Center at the University of Maine where she leads the Center’s mission to provide cost-effective, rapid response research and technical services for the pulp, paper and packaging industries.  Prior to joining the University of Maine in June 2018, Colleen was Technical Director at TAPPI. She has over 20 years of experience in R&D, new product and business development in the paper industry, having worked for ABB, Tenneco Packaging, Westvaco, and Georgia Tech. Colleen received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware, and her masters and doctorate degrees from the Institute of Paper Science & Technology.

2017 NanoDivision Leadership and Service Award

Sean P. Ireland

Vice President Business Development, FiberLean Technologies Ltd.

Sean Ireland is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.  He joined Phil and Ted’s “excellent adventure in nanotechnology” around 2009, and he was a champion at getting VIPs interested in the potential of cellulose nanomaterials, there was not ladder too high that he would not climb. He was the key driver in the establishment of the NanoDvision as an official Division within TAPPI.  He led the effort to develop the “Rethink Trees” video in 2011.  He was co-Chair of the TAPPI NANO conference in 2011 and 2015.   From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Chair of the NanoDivision.  Sean has been extremely active at NANO conferences, often participating in panels, chairing sessions, securing funding for student poster awards, etc.

Sean Ireland is Vice President Business Development for FiberLean Technologies Ltd. He has over 30 years’ experience in electronics, electrical engineering and process control from the military to industrial manufacturing; however, his real desire is in growing new technologies through passion and motivation. Over a decade ago, his interest shifted to the physical and surface sciences of nano-scale technologies with a focus on cellulosic nanomaterials. During the past decade, Sean has delivered multiple keynote presentations on nanotechnology to diverse audiences across the globe, striving to motivate them to work with these new materials. Additionally, Sean has been integral in working with multiple government agencies to obtain federal funding for critically needed nanocellulosics research and development.

Prior to working for FiberLean Technologies, he served in the U.S. military where he started as a non-commissioned officer working with many weapons platforms. In the late 1980’s, Sean received his officer commission and in 1990 his flying wings.  He then went on to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Later, Sean was appointed as the Commander of the 174th Forward Operating Location (FOL) located at 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York, until accepting a position within the pulp and paper industry.

While working for Champion International, International Paper and Verso Paper, he is credited with patents and applications in neural modeling, non-linear systems, control algorithms, specialty paper and coating formulations. He has authored or co-authored several technical papers on non-linear systems and nanocellulose technology and the vision for nanotechnology. Sean is very active in TAPPI’s Nanotechnology Division, but also active in PaperCon, PLACE, CORREXPO and the Student Summit. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Maine, and is on the Scientific Advisory Board for P3Nano, and the former Co-Chair for the Agenda 2020 Nano Materials and Novel Products Task Force and on the Board of Executives of Agenda 2020 Technology Consortium.

2016 NanoDivision Leadership and Service Award

Theodore Wegner

USDA Forest Service - Forest Products Laboratory

Ted Wegner is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.   In 2004, Ted along with Phil Jones started their “excellent adventure” in forest products-focused nanotechnology when they co-organized a Nanotechnology workshop titled “Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry, Vision and Technology”, which was the “seed” for the establishment of the TAPPI NanoDivision.  Ted was co-Chair of the NANO conference in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. He was on the NANO conference organizing committee in 2010. In 2011, he was one of the four key members to establish the NanoDivision as an official Division within TAPPI.  From 2011 to 2014, he served as the secretary of the NanoDivision. Ted was a strong advocate for the TAPPI NanoDivision to: 1) have an inclusive, collaborative international focus and 2) cover all aspects of biorenewable nanomaterials science, characterization, safety, production, and use. 

Ted Wegner was Assistant Director at the USDA Forest Service--Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin where he had line-management responsibilities to identify and carryout innovative R&D in the areas of wood, fiber, and composites research. He has been a leader in defining and implementing the Forest Service research agenda for the conversion of forest biomass to bioenergy and chemical feedstocks. He served as the Forest Service lead for three significant government-industry-university public-private partnerships-- the “Consortium for Advanced Wood-to-Energy Systems”; “P3Nano”, and the “Biorenewables Deployment Consortium”--a network of organizations interested in influencing the course of the emerging wood to bioenergy and biomaterials economy in the United States. He has been a leader in helping develop the initial vision, agenda, and priorities for nanotechnology within the forest products industry sector. Wegner has coauthored a number of papers on the role and vision for nanotechnology in the forest products industry and served as a Forest Service representative on the multi-billion dollar U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. He also served as a federal representative on the U.S. Forest Products Industry’s Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance (now the Alliance for Pulp & Paper Technology Innovation) and participated in the development of a number of forest products industry nanotechnology and bioenergy/biomaterials roadmaps. He served on the Secretary’s Forestry Research Advisory Committee of the USDA. He was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science and a TAPPI Fellow. He was the recipient of the 2011 Andrew Chase Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and was inducted into the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in 2013. Wegner holds Chemical Engineering degrees from the University of Wisconsin (Bachelor of Science) and the University of Illinois (Master of Science and PhD). Prior to joining the Forest Service, he worked in research for E. I. DuPont. Wegner's work in forest products research at the Forest Products Laboratory spanned 39 years from 1977-2016.

2015 NanoDivision Leadership and Service Award

J. Philip E. Jones

PhylloSci, LLC

Phil Jones is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.   In 2004, Phil along with Ted Wegner started their “excellent adventure” in forest products-focused nanotechnology, by co-organizing a Nanotechnology workshop titled “Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry, Vision and Technology”, which was the “seed” for the establishment of the TAPPI NanoDivision.  Phil was co-Chair of the TAPPI NANO conference in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013. He was on the NANO conference organizing committee in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he was one of the four key members to establish the NanoDvision as an official Division within TAPPI.  From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Vice-Chair of the NanoDivision.  Phil has been extremely active at NANO conferences, often participating in panels, chairing sessions, etc.

Phil received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from King’s College, University of London, in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Physics (solid-state properties of synthetic kaolins) from the University of London. In 1975 he joined English China Clays plc. (English China Clays is now a part of Imerys). In 1979, he transferred to ECC International’s lab in Sandersville, Georgia where he became Vice President, Technology. His work has concentrated on developing and understanding the mechanisms for white mineral pigment performance where pigment characterization and ways of structuring mixed mineral systems have allowed micro and nano-engineering. Jones became involved at TAPPI by going through the Chairs of the Coating Division, Research Management Division as well as twice serving on the TAPPI Board of Directors and chairing their Technical Operating Committee. He is a TAPPI Fellow and served on the board of the Empire State Research Associates at Syracuse, NY. He was also invited to join the CTO committee of Agenda 2020 and went on to start and chair their nanotechnology work group. Phil retired from Imerys in 2015 and now leads PhylloSci, LLC.