|Location||Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
The Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) is one of nine institutes of research at the Georgia Institute of Technology, under which relevant interdisciplinary research is organized. Initially founded in 1929 as the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin, it moved to Georgia Tech's campus in 1989, and integrated its operations with Georgia Tech on July 1, 2003.
The organization focuses on being a link between Georgia Tech and the international paper industry; it focuses research efforts on operational excellence in pulp and paper processes, refining forest biomass into sustainable fuels, and creating new biomaterials in order to open new markets.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, paper-making was a vital industry in Wisconsin, but workers were generally untrained in the science behind the industry, and relying on an apprenticeship style of teaching. In 1919, Samuel G. Plantz, the president of Lawrence College (now Lawrence University), worked with Monroe A. Wertheimer, president of the Thilmany Pulp and Paper Company (and a trustee of Lawrence College) to detail a plan for a night school for paper mill workers. Plantz envisioned workers from local paper mills teaching specialized classes, and would include a partial liberal arts curriculum to create a "well-rounded individual".
There were delays in starting the school, primarily financial in nature; Plantz had estimated that the school would require $200,000 to $250,000 to construct a building, purchase equipment, and hire professors. Plantz died in 1924; and his interim successor, Wilson Samuel, had a brief tenure. The next president of Lawrence College, Henry M. Wriston, pushed the idea forward; along with Ernst Mahler, who was then the vice president and general manager of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Neenah, Wisconsin. Mahler, then known for research in cellulose chemistry, had immigrated from Austria to work in the United States and establish one of the first research labs in the industry. He was able to acquire the financial support of 19 pulp and paper companies that encompassed 90 percent of the state's paper industry.
IPST was founded in 1929 as the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin. The school moved to a spot on Georgia Tech's northwest campus in 1989.
On July 1, 2003, the IPST merged with Georgia Tech; and on September 1, 2003, the institute received a new director, William J. Frederick, Jr., who received a corresponding faculty appointment in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Georgia Tech College of Engineering. It was re-envisioned as a more direct link between the paper industry and Georgia Tech faculty and researchers.
- "About IPST". Institute of Paper Science and Technology. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- Englehardt, Kirk (2013-06-05). "IRI Intros: 5 Questions With Norman Marsolan". Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- Wilhoit, p. 5
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- Wilhoit, p. 8
- "A Growing Family" (PDF). The Paper Trail. Robert C. Williams Paper Museum. August 2003. p. 3. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- Wilhoit, Megan Murray (2013). Hopkins, Peter, ed. From Appleton to Atlanta: The Institute's First 75 Years (PDF). Sarastoa, Florida: Sun Fung Museum Catalogs & Books.