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TAPPI Journal Editorial Board Honors Gerard J.F. Ring with 2011 Best Research Paper Award

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The editorial board of TAPPI Journal has selected "The hyperbolic theory of light scattering, tensile strength, and density in paper" by Gerard J.F. (Gerry) Ring as TAPPI Journal's Best Research Paper for 2011. The paper appeared in the November 2011 issue and was one of six nominated for the award. Editorial board members assessed the research based on innovation, creativity, scientific merit, and clear and concise presentation of ideas. The paper and its author were honored at the Awards Gala Dinner on April 25 during PaperCon 2012, held April 22 - 25 in New Orleans, La., USA.

In the photo on the right, Gerry Ring accepts the TAPPI Journal Best Paper Awards from Larry Montague, TAPPI President and CEO (l) and Norman Marsolan, Chair, TAPPI BOD (r) at the PaperCon Awards Dinner on April 24, 2012.

Dr. Ring is Professor and Chair of Paper Science at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in Stevens Point, Wis., where he teaches paper machine operations, paper and fiber physics, colloid and papermaking chemistry, and industrial thermodynamics. He has authored numerous scientific articles and has been awarded three patents on superabsorbant technology. Ring's current research interests involve fiber-length analysis and paper formation. A member of TAPPI for 30 years, he is a TAPPI Fellow and served on the TAPPI Board of Directors from 2005 - 2007.

"Gerry's paper challenges giants of the paper physics community (Page, Shallhorn, Ingmanson, de Ruvo, etc.) and ties everything together neatly, using their own previously published data," said TAPPI Journal editorial board member Terry Bliss, who organized the Special Paper Physics issue in which Ring's work appeared. "Most likely it will launch a generation of new dissertations as others seek to test it. It is rewarding just to be associated with this paper in some small way."

According to Ring, the hyperbolic theory described in his paper was the result of undergraduate laboratory assignments in paper physics, where student results found D'Arcy Clark's simplification of the established Page equation inadequate in describing the strength of paper. The search for an explanation led to the discovery that hyperbolic equations of light scattering versus tensile strength were all that were needed to explain the experimental phenomena. The hyperbolic theory explains why maintaining a constant fiber length distribution, regardless of pulp type, produces paper of equal sheet strength.


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