The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology is a unit within the
College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point.


WIST  News
April  2015
In This Issue
Research, Education, and Laboratory Services

pilot paper machine 





WIST provides laboratory services, research and education to help businesses compete, and to grow the economy of Wisconsin and the region. Technologies and ideas developed by WIST will help preserve a healthy environment for future generations.


WIST operations are supported in part by funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Follow-up Links



Mark your calendars and plan to be in Stevens Point October 20 for the fifth annual Focal Point conference. We are putting together another top-notch slate of expert presenters, this year zeroing in on paper- and paperboard-based materials for use in food packaging and food seviceware applications.
Brand owners generally prefer the natural look and feel of paper- and paperboard-based food packaging and serviceware compared to plastic products. Existing favorable environmental characteristics enhance the appeal, and these products have high potential for even greater environmental advantages when it comes to end-of-life management. On the other hand, performance sometimes is regarded as inferior to plastic in certain applications. But that is changing as innovative coatings emerge from the laboratory and into the marketplace. These new developments may lead to greater market penetration for paper- and paperboard-based products in the food industry.
This one-day conference will:
  • Provide brand-owner perspectives on paper-based food packaging and serviceware items
  • Provide insights from leading converting companies about future needs and trends in paper and paperboard packaging
  • Describe a number of innovations targeting superior performance
  • Cover end-of-life management practices that improve environmental footprints
  • Provide regulatory insights for those wishing to supply to European markets.
The conference will be of benefit to paper and paperboard manufacturers and converters, as well as suppliers of chemicals and polymers to the paper and paperboard industries, brand owners and the QSR sector.
See our conference  website for updates.
Nanomaterials course
offered June 11
Have you been fascinated by reports of the transformative potential of nanotechnology but a little unsure what it all means? A new mini-course offered by WIST provides "nanotechnology literacy" and introduces participants to some of the tools and techniques of the science. The properties of nanoparticles are unlike bulk materials because the properties of nanoparticles are size and shape dependent. Therefore scientists have the potential to create materials with specific properties.
To some degree, we have been controlling nanoparticle formation for centuries, as the colors in centuries-old stained glass were obtained with different sized particles of gold and silver. However, only in the last few decades, have we had the analytical tools to image nanoparticles and the synthetic methodology to, occasionally, control the shape and size of particles. Participants will be introduced to scanning probe and electron microscopies that allow individual nanoparticles to be imaged as well as techniques used to analyze larger samples of nanoparticles. Additionally, the wide variety of synthetic techniques used to prepare nanomaterials will be discussed. Throughout the course, the use of nanomaterials in consumer products, medical diagnostics, and sensors will serve as examples, and the environmental considerations of nanoparticles will be discussed.
After completion of this mini course, the participant should be able to:
* explain on a basic level unusual phenomena observed on the nanoscale
* explain on a basic level tools used to characterize nanomaterials
* provide multiple examples of nanomaterial preparation
* discuss several current and predicted applications of nanomaterials.
This one day course, on June 11, runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is included. The course fee is $450.
This course is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about nanotechnology. Your instructor is Robin Tanke, Ph.D., is a UW-Stevens Point professor of chemistry. She has research experience with silver and germanium nanoparticles since 2000 as well as course instruction in nanotechnology since 2003.
Register online here.
New workshop offered in coating and lamination
This course is designed for those working in paper converting, coating, printing and flexible packaging, such as engineers, technicians, chemists, scientists, sales representatives, and customer service representatives. Representatives of companies that supply adhesives, inks, silicones, papers, plastic films and aluminum foils will also benefit.
You will get expert instruction by Dr. Roland Gong, an assistant professor of paper science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Roland has a Ph.D. in paper and imaging science and engineering from Western Michigan University, where he researched paper coating using new materials and cutting-edge facilities.
This two day course provides six hours of classroom instruction and six hours of hands-on experience, all for $999. Lunch and break refreshments included both days.
Participants will work with state-of-the-art coating and lamination facilities and advanced test instruments at UW-Stevens Point. More information is on the WIST website
Course dates are August 20-21. To register online, click here.