UBC Partners with Mercer International to Establish Industrial Research Chair in Advanced Forest Bio-Products Engineering

Vancouver, Canada – June 13, 2012 – The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Pulp and Paper Centre in the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC have recently established a $1 million partnership with Mercer International, a global leader in the production of NBSK pulp, renewable bioenergy and oher bio-products, to create an industrial research chair in Advanced Forest Bio-Products Engineering.

“This research initiative will build on our long history of partnering on education and research excellence with the pulp and paper industry,” says Dr. James Olson, Professor and Director of the Pulp and Paper Centre. “We know that forests will play a large part in future climate change solutions by providing truly renewable energy, fuels, chemicals and materials. This chair will enable us to more fully support the industry’s transformation into the emerging bio-economy.”

“This Chair along with two new assistant professor positions in forest bio-refining and green process and products engineering is a strategic investment by the Department to ensure leadership in the new bioeconomy,” said Dr. Peter Englezos, Professor and Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. “Using forest bio-mass for bio-energy, bio-chemicals, and bio-products will maximize forest value and help mitigate climate change. This exciting initiative between Mercer International, the Department, and the Pulp and Paper Centre supports the larger commitment of the university to provide global leadership in sustainability.”

The chairholder, who will be appointed in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and who will work closely with the Pulp and Paper Centre, will focus specifically on establishing the scientific and engineering breakthroughs needed to create commercially viable opportunities for sustainably converting Canada’s forest-fibre resources into new high-value bio-products. In so doing, the research will ensure a strong and vibrant forest sector that will bring economic prosperity for the province and provide lasting solutions for global sustainability.

“Our strategy of continuously striving for world-class performance, and of implementing new and innovative technologies which improve our social, environmental and economic sustainability, is at the core of why Mercer International is proud to support this research chair in Advanced Forest Bio-Products Engineering at UBC”, said David Gandossi, Mercer’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary.

The Faculty would like to thank Mercer International for their support and their commitment towards a successful and sustainable future for British Columbia.

The Faculty is currently recruiting for this chair position, and expects it to be filled by the end of 2012.

For more information about the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, please visit: www.chbe.ubc.ca

For more information about the Pulp and Paper Centre at UBC, please visit: www.ppc.ubc.ca

About Mercer International Inc.
Mercer International Inc. is a global leader in the production of high quality Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp, renewable bio-energy and other bio-products. The company operates three large and very modern softwood pulp mills, with two in Germany, and one in British Columbia, Canada.The three mills have a combined pulp production capacity of over 1.5 million tonnes per year and a combined electrical-generating capacity of 259 MW.

For more information, please contact:

Jeannie Scarfe
Manager, Communications and Stewardship
Development and Alumni Relations
Faculty of Applied Science
604-827-5572
jeannie.scarfe@ubc.ca

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