Dr. Junyong Zhu Receives 2014 TAPPI Research and Development Technical Award

Monday, April 28, 2014

ATLANTA, Ga. – Dr. Junyong Zhu, Team Leader, U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory, has been named winner of the 2014 Research and Development Technical Award and William H. Aiken Prize by TAPPI’s International Research Management Committee (IRMC). This award is given for outstanding accomplishments or contributions which have advanced the technology of the paper and related industries in the field of research and development. The award will be presented to Dr. Zhu at PaperCon 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.

“During his career Dr. Zhu’s research and development work have focused on areas such as studies in biomass utilization, mill pulping and fiber processing technology and processes. His work has made a significant contribution to the industry’s fundamental understanding of these areas as well as our ability to use materials commercially,” notes Larry N. Montague, president and CEO of TAPPI. “His research work spans both laboratory and mill level studies and this prestigious award recognizes the importance and the impact of this work.”

After spending the first decade of his career as a Professor at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Dr. Zhu joined the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory in 2003, where he’s currently a team leader for studies in woody biomass utilization for sugar/biofuel, chemicals, fiber, and cellulose nanomaterials production. Zhu is also an Adjunct Professorship in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Zhu’s work includes extensive research on wood fiber and biomass utilization using laboratory as well as mill studies. It includes work developing the Kraft pulping process and air emission controls, novel flotation deinking technologies, test methods for pulp and paper analysis, upgrading and pretreatment of forest residues for biofuel production and novel methods for the production of cellulose nanomaterials. It has also included research on understanding the fundamentals of cellulase enzyme interactions with lignocelluloses for woody biomass bioconversion.

A prolific author and co-inventor on 17 U.S. patents and applications, he also contributes his expertise to several technical journals including TAPPI Journal, China Pulp and Paper, BioEnergy Research, BioResources, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy.

Dr. Zhu has been very active in his career serving with industry groups including the TAPPI Biorefinery Committee, the Forest Plant and Bioproducts Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, State of Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program, Canadian National Science and Engineering Research Council and the U.S. National Science Foundation bio-fuel-cell program. He’s also served on international groups such as the Austrian Science Fund Research Program on bio based resources. Dr. Zhu was honored with the 2014 U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief for R&D’s Distinguished Science Award for sustained research excellence and he’s been named a fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS).

Dr. Zhu holds a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Beijing University, M.S. from Arizona State University and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of California-Irvine.