Service Award

TAPPI's International Nanotechnology Division

2017 NanoDivision Leadership and Service Award

Sean P. Ireland

Vice President Business Development, FiberLean Technologies Ltd.

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, was the first Chair for the TAPPI Nano Division, 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 Assistant Director at the USDA Forest Service--Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin where he has 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 helping define and implement the Forest Service research agenda on forest biomass to bioenergy conversion. He serves as the Forest Service lead for three 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 developing the vision, agenda, and priorities for nanotechnology within the forest products industry sector. He co-chaired the first US workshop on Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry and is co-editor/author of “Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry: Vision and Technology Roadmap”. He was co-chair and/or organizer of the 2006 - 2011 TAPPI International Conferences on Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry. Wegner has coauthored a number of papers on the role and vision for nanotechnology in the forest products industry and serves as a Forest Service representative on the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. He also serves as a federal representative on the U.S. Forest Products Industry’s Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance and participated in the development of a number of forest products industry technology 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 of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI). 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 for E. I. DuPont.

2015 NanoDivision Leadership and Service Award

J. Philip E. Jones

Jones 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. In 2006 and 2007 he co-chaired the TAPPI International Nanotechnology Conference for the Forest Products Industry. 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. Ted Wegner at the US Forest Products Lab and Jones started a Nanotechnology workshop in 2004 and went on to initiate the TAPPI International Nanotechnology Conferences, subsequently establishing the TAPPI Nanotechnology Division.