Welcome to the 15th Top 50 Power List. We are happy (and relieved) to say that COVID no longer dominates the list, nor our thoughts (although it still lurks dangerously in this world).
We have decided that after 15 years it’s time to refresh how we look at the list and who or what makes the final cut. We broke the 50 down into categories: Leadership, Global Issues, Innovative Products, Start-ups, and Young Professionals.
The world of pulp and paper has changed dramatically over the past few years. Yes, the production of paper products is still at the core of it, but so much more can be developed. We realize that the industry has been producing “byproducts” from its processes for years, but now they are becoming more than “by.” This is where we hope to go with the new categories.
Leadership still takes up the bulk of the list, so there will be some familiar names making an appearance.
1. MARK SUTTON, INTERNATIONAL PAPER
Under Sutton’s leadership, IP is undergoing a mini-transformation worth northwards of US$2 billion. It includes spinning off its global papers business (into Sylvamo) and selling other noncore assets — all while fighting the coronavirus pandemic. For this, Sutton was named Fastmarkets’ North American CEO of the Year for 2021. The spin-off and sales are a way to simplify the company, says Sutton, while it focuses on the industrial packaging business. More recently, Sutton has had to cope with IP’s assets in Russia in the face of the Ukrainian invasion. At press time, IP was still exploring its options concerning its 50 percent ownership in the Ilim Group.
2. WALTER SCHALKA, SUZANO
This much-honored CEO leads the world’s largest pulp producer and is committed to developing the company’s sustainable credentials. It has embraced the “bio” aspects of the pulp production process, looking into the development of nanocellulose and lignin products. Suzano has moved its initiative to capture 40 million tons of carbon ahead by five years to 2025 instead of the original target of 2030. It recently partnered with Lubrizol to codevelop natural-based ingredients using eucalyptus bioproducts for beauty, personal, and home care products.
3. CHEUNG YAN, NINE DRAGONS
Nine Dragons continues to boom under her leadership, despite regional and global challenges. Its profits have been hit lately by an increase in costs, including coal, chemicals, and recovered paper. Nonetheless, there will still be another 4.2 million metric tpy of new pulp and board capacity coming onstream by the end of the year. As well as domestic expansion of five new machines starting up in China, there is also a new 600,000 metric tpy mill starting up in Selangor, Malaysia, which is currently six months ahead of its planned schedule.
4. ANTHONY PRATT, PRATT INDUSTRIES
The hits just keep on coming for Fastmarkets’2020 North American CEO of the Year. Mill start-ups seem to happen annually. The latest is Wapakoneta, OH, in 2019 — with a new project on the books in Henderson, KY, at a cost of US$400 million, with an estimated completion date of Q3 2023. In May, the company announced the establishment of a US$200 million regional manufacturing and innovation center in Cedar Hill, TX. It will make corrugated boxes and custom packaging solutions. Pratt has now invested US$10 billion in the US; the Cedar Hill facility will be the company’s 71st in the US.
5. TONY SMURFIT, SMURFIT KAPPA
Smurfit was recently honored as International CEO of the Year at Fastmarkets’ PPI Awards in Lisbon, Portugal. One of the judges at the awards described Smurfit as “a global thinker and leader with a tremendous human touch and a consistent packaging margin performer at almost 20 percent.” The company approved 82 new converting machines last year and seven new corrugators across Europe and the Americas. SKG reported an 18 percent increase in sales to EUR10.1 billion (about US$10.83 billion) in 2021. The company recently announced that it will exit the Russian market.
6. WILLIAM KRESS, GREEN BAY PACKAGING
Kress was named the TAPPI/PIMA Executive of the Year for 2022. Perhaps more importantly, the company completed its massive US$500+ million Project Wolfpack in Green Bay, WI, which features a 685,000-tpy testliner machine using a 100 percent recycled furnish. (The machine, Marguerite K, is named after Kress’s grandmother.) It’s not all about production; the Kress family has long been a leader in promoting mill safety. The new mill also achieved net-zero water with a first-of-its-kind circular reclaimed water system (see page 16 in this issue.)
7. DAVID SEWELL, WESTROCK
Despite issues such as the pandemic, a ransomware episode, inflation, and supply chain problems, WestRock has enjoyed continued growth. It had sales of US$18.7 billion in 2021 and followed that up with a record Q1 2022 figure of US$5 billion. Product innovations to help reduce plastic waste (and packaging overall) continue as the company keeps a close eye on consumers’ demands. WestRock will build a new corrugated box facility on the site of its Longview, WA, paper mill to increase integration of the mill’s containerboard. It is also expanding its Claremont, NC, consumer packaging site by 285,000 ft2 in a US$47-million project.
8. ANNICA BRESKY, STORA ENSO
Stora Enso reported record results across key business areas in Q1 of this year, proving that Bresky is taking the bull by the horns and concentrating on what the company does best. She said at a recent meeting in Helsinki that Stora Enso’s focus is “to do good for people and the planet by replacing non-renewable materials with renewable products.” Stora Enso is mostly exiting the paper area by divesting of four out of five of its production sites, concentrating instead on fiber-based packaging. The company announced in May that it would divest of all its packaging plants in Russia.
9. ILKKA HÄMÄLÄ, METSÄ GROUP
With Hämälä at the helm, the Metsä Group has come bouncing back from the effects of the pandemic into positive growth with sales up from last year by over 19 percent to EUR6.02 billion (US$6.44 billion). The group says this is mainly due to a strong paperboard market and increased pulp demand and pricing in China. At home in Finland, the company recently held the topping out ceremony for its Kemi bioproduct mill; it’s a EUR1.85 billion investment (almost US$2 billion), the largest forest product investment ever made in Finland. After start-up in Q3 2023, the mill will make 1.5 million metric tons of pulp, be 250 percent energy efficient, and make other value-added bioproducts. Metsä Group has announced a discontinuation of all business in Russia.
10. JEAN-MICHEL RIBIÉRAS, SYLVAMO
It’s been an eventful entrance into the corporate world for this spin-off of International Paper’s global paper business since it became an independent, publicly-traded company in October, 2021. After dealing with a pandemic and related supply chain issues, Ribiéras was then forced to deal with its assets in Svetogorsk, Russia, following the onset of the Ukraine invasion. At first suspending operations, Sylvamo has now decided to exit the country.
11. PETER OSWALD, MM GROUP
Oswald recently picked up the Fastmarkets RISI European CEO of the year award for 2022, which he previously received as CEO of Mondi Group. Since Oswald joined the MM Group, he has been working hard on strengthening its product offering in virgin fiber-based cartonboard through acquisition, while taking an attractive position in kraft papers and uncoated fine papers. Acquisitions by the MM Group in 2021 include IP’s Kwidzyn mill in Poland and Kotkamills in Finland.
12. JOSEPH RAGAN, PAPER EXCELLENCE
The president and chief investment officer of the Paper Excellence Group presides over a company that hasn’t stopped growing since its founding in 2006. Starting in Canada and spreading worldwide, it now counts 40 locations while producing more than 7 million tpy of pulp, paper, and board. Most noteworthy of late has been its acquisition of Domtar. It is also in the midst of a project to restart the Prince Albert, SK, mill that has been idle since 2014.
13. CRISTIANO TEIXEIRA, KLABIN
What more needs to be said about the man named Fastmarkets’ Latin American CEO of the Year for 2021, deposing Suzano’s Walter Schalka, who had reigned for six years? Teixeira had also been named RISI’s International CEO of the Year in 2020. The company has just concluded the first phase of its Puma II project, a 450,000-metric-tpy kraftliner mill. The second phase has been announced: a 460,000-metric-tpy boxboard mill and new fiber line, to be completed in 2023. Both machines use a 100 percent eucalyptus furnish.
14. LI HONGXIN, SUN PAPER
Sun Paper continues its irrepressible march forward with the acquisition of 150,000 metric tpy of pulp and 200,000 metric tpy of uncoated paper capacity at Nanning city in the Guangxi region of China. The acquisition goes along with the RMB20 billion (almost US$3 billion) investment in building a 5.25 million metric tpy integrated facility in Nanning city’s Liujing Industrial Park. If that’s not enough, the company is building a pulp and paper complex in Beihai city (in the same region) with a design capacity of 3.5 million metric tpy.
15. TEGUH WIJAYA, APP
APP continues its ambition to become the largest and most productive pulp and paper company on the planet. Fastmarkets RISI recently reported that APP China will install a third virgin fiber-furnished cartonboard machine at its facility in Qinzhou City. And there are more plans to expand cartonboard capacity at its Ningbo and Defeng mills. APP China is now the largest virgin cartonboard producer in China. The company has also expanded capacity in its tissue operations in China at its Rudong mill, bringing the total tissue capacity to 1.63 million metric tpy, making it the largest tissue producer in China.
16. ANDREW KING, MONDI GROUP
Earlier this year, Mondi confirmed it will invest EUR1 billion (US$1.07 billion) in an expansion program for 2022-24 in order to meet growth in the packaging markets, deliver volume growth, lower the company’s cost base, and enhance its environmental footprint. Last year the company announced a major investment to modernize its Kuopio mill in Finland as well as another large investment at its Swiecie mill in Poland. There are also major investment programs taking place at its corrugated plants in central and eastern Europe, as well as in Turkey. In May, Mondi announced it will divest of its substantial Russian businesses — including its largest asset, the Syktyvkar mill. The total value of its Russian assets is EUR687 million (US$726 million). The company has been operating in Russia for over 22 years.
17. ANDERSON TANOTO, RGE
Appearing for the first time on our list comes Tanoto, who is on the executive committee of Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) and serves as managing director of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), a group of companies operating in Indonesia, China, Brazil, Spain, and Canada. The group has more than US$20 billion in assets and a workforce topping 60,000. Tanoto can be described as young, hugely enthusiastic, and talented, particularly in communicating sustainability factors. RGE recently started up its Bracell operation in Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil, which it describes as the “world’s largest and greenest pulp mill.”
18. JOSEPH KRUGER II, KRUGER
The patriarch of this family-owned company, which has been around for more than 100 years, continues to grow the business. The tissue division (Kruger Products) announced a further expansion of its Sherbrooke, QC, site with the decision to build a second LDC machine with a capacity of 60,000 metric tpy; that project is estimated to cost US$111.5 million. Recently, Kruger Specialty Papers announced the purchase of the Kamloops, BC, pulp mill from Domtar (Paper Excellence). It will now supply pulp to Kruger’s Quebec paper mills.
19. JÜRGEN AND MAXIMILIAN HEINDL
We have our first duo on the Power List. This is because founder and CEO of the Progroup, Jürgen Heindl, will be handing over the reins to one of his sons, Maximilian, at the start of next year. The Progroup has come a long way since it was founded in 1991; it now has three paper mills and 11 corrugated sheetfeeder plants across six countries in central Europe. Last year the company had record sales of more than EUR1 billion (US$1.06 billion) for the first time.
20. LARRY MONTAGUE, TAPPI
Keeping the ship steady has been a key accomplishment for the association’s leader over the past two years. With approximately 7,000 members in more than 60 countries, keeping them connected and informed despite the storms around them was critical to TAPPI’s survival. Coming out of the pandemic intact, the first in-person PaperCon/TissueCon in two years (now a joint event marketed as TAPPICon) marked a return to normalcy, a credit to all the TAPPI staff.
21. HEIDI BROCK, AMERICAN FOREST & PAPER ASSOCIATION
While celebrating the accomplishments and promoting the development of the American forest products industry, the AF&A must also help its members deal with major issues that can seriously affect them: climate change, a labor shortage, supply chain issues, and increasing geo-political tensions. For the industry’s voice in Washington, it is a complicated task with an increasingly polarized political climate.
22. JORI RINGMAN, CEPI
Always fighting in the pulp and paper corner, Ringman, director general of Cepi, continues to get the industries’ voices heard in high places in the European Parliament. The latest battle on his desk is with the EU Parliament votes on Fit for 55, which Cepi says sends the wrong signals on industry and carbonization and could hinder progress in the pulp and paper industry to decarbonize. Ringman says the parliament should concentrate on supporting the development of a European circular bioeconomy. Also on the agenda, Cepi is strongly supporting the push for forest fiber to be used in the production of textiles.
23. JUSSI PESONEN, UPM
As CEO of UPM, Pesonen is a stalwart Power List member, having been on it since the list was first published 15 years ago. In the latest financial results, UPM has seen sales up 12 percent from a year ago, despite the series of long strikes in Finland that finally ended in April this year. UPM’s pulp mill project in Paso des los Toros, Uruguay, is progressing well and is set to start up at the end of Q3 next year. Its biochemicals refinery project in Leuna, Germany, is also progressing well and will ramp up production by the end of 2023.
24. DEANNA DURAM, TRINITY CONSULTANTS
A managing consultant with Trinity Consultants for more than 20 years, Duram was named TAPPI’s Woman of the Year for 2022. Duram heads Trinity’s Woman in Leadership initiative, helping to ensure women receive advancement opportunities equivalent to their male colleagues. Some of the initiatives she helped institute include a one-on-one mentoring program and the founding of a Women’s Resource Group.
25. RISING ENERGY COSTS
Heat, power, production processes, transport; it is well known that the pulp and paper industry is a massive energy consumer, more so than most industries. Rising costs have forced producers to keep a keen eye on expenses. Alternative fuels, plus energy and water use reduction projects, have all been in the fore. The war in Ukraine has not helped matters, especially for Europeans. Unfortunately, for many it will just be a case of riding out the storm.
26. THE WAR IN UKRAINE
Just as we were beginning to allow ourselves a sigh of relief and wave goodbye to COVID-19, along comes another threat to humanity around the globe. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has not only resulted in death and destruction on a colossal scale in the country, it has had a major effect on industry and business — and the pulp and paper industry has certainly not escaped.
The Ukrainian paper and board industry has come to a standstill following the invasion on February 24 this year. According to Fastmarkets RISI, Ukraine paper and board producers usually make 1.2 million metric tpy, with the Kyiv Cardboard and Paper Mill being the largest producer, along with the Rubezhansky Cardboard and Packaging mill, a joint venture with DS Smith.
Moreover, the Ukrainian crisis has reverberated beyond the nation’s borders with major producers in Europe completely cutting ties with their operations in Russia, including Stora Enso, Mondi, Smurfit Kappa, and the Metsä Group. International Paper has an investment in the largest Russian manufacturer of paper and packaging, the Ilim Group, and has stated that it is exploring various options including the potential sale of its ownership interest in the joint venture. There have also been major challenges in the industry as the crisis adds more insecurity of supply and price hikes to gas and energy supplies.
27. LABOR SHORTAGE
An aging population, declining birthrates, a pandemic, changing attitudes toward what a career should look like: all these factors have combined to create what one top executive calls a “war for talent.” Flexible hours and working from home may be OK for office jobs, but how does this translate to a mill that must run 24/7? The same executive said perhaps it is time for companies to treat their employees more like customers. One industry example is the new collective agreement Resolute has signed with Unifor. Renaud Gagné, Quebec director for Unifor, says, “In the current context of a labor shortage and galloping inflation, we had to ensure competitive and attractive working conditions.” This model agreement may serve as a base for other employers in the industry.
28. THE SUPPLY CHAIN
In every area of our lives — home, work, leisure — the demands on global logistics supply chains have dramatically increased. Today’s mindset is “we want it now and we want it right,” plus we also want to track where it is down the chain. This on-demand mindset has beset all industries with major challenges, including lack of containers, lack of truck drivers, and escalating freight costs.
As the pandemic eases, by far the biggest problem remaining is the cost; in a lot of cases transport costs end up being as much as 50 percent of the value of the product being transported. As with every challenge, there is a solution; in this case more containers are being made, more truck drivers are being recruited by tempting initiatives, and eventually, fuel costs will come down. However, there is a new challenge: carbon emissions and climate change. Governmental measures will mean even further increases to transportation costs. There is nothing like a challenge or two to keep the paper industry on its toes!
29. FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The world’s forests play a major role in the mitigation of climate change. A key challenge on the horizon is the rapidly developing carbon market, where forest owners are paid to keep forests standing as opposed to harvesting the wood and then planting more trees. In fact, today some forest owners can earn more revenue by keeping their forests standing than by harvesting for bioproduct production, including paper products. Voluntary carbon markets now exceed US$1 billion a year in value and are growing fast.
For the time being, the bioeconomy and bioproducts are not included in climate change mitigation measures and policies recognized and regulated by COP countries. From the climate change mitigation point of view, forests are carbon sinks and stocks, but no credit is given to the substitution of using forest products instead of fossil fuel-derived raw materials. If this does not change, existing policies on forests and climate change could have huge implications when it comes to availability of wood feedstocks for producing pulp and paper.
30. THE WORLD CUP
Every four years, the world’s most popular sporting event holds us spellbound. Being held later than usual this year due to the climate in Qatar, it gives the pundits more time to study and dissect the teams. There will be the usual plethora of special magazines, newspaper inserts, and the like to help bump up paper use. Let’s just remember to recycle.
The forest products industry has a long history of producing innovative things from mill processes, from turpentine or cellophane all the way to UPM Biofore’s concept car. Of late, much of the focus has been on reducing plastic content in packaging or producing alternative transport fuels to reduce reliance on fossil fuels — e.g., Sweden’s SunPine. Let’s look at a few more recent innovations:
31. TERREX HS TEXTILE: ADIDAS/SPINNOVA
This is the first product adidas has created with Finnish company Spinnova. Designed to be a hiker’s mid-layer, Terrex HS is composed of 25 percent wood-based fiber and organic cotton. Spinnova and adidas partnered about a year ago and the sporting goods giant is working with Spinnova to scale up production of Spinnova’s fibers in more products.
32. HEINZ KETCHUP: PULPEX
One of the most famous brands in the world is undergoing a major facelift. Heinz is teaming up with Pulpex to develop a paper-based, renewable, recyclable bottle made from 100 percent sustainably-sourced wood pulp. The companies are developing a prototype to test how the technology could be used for ketchup and other packaging formats in the future.
33. TEXON VERDE: TEXON
The company has launched a bio-based, biodegradable cellulose material that can be used to create premium and luxury packaging as well as fashion and homeware accessories. Texon Verde is made from FSC-sourced cellulose wood pulp, plant-based binders, and natural pigments. It is claimed to be lightweight, tear resistant, wipeable, and easy to handle and is available in sheets and rolls.
34. RENOL: RENCOM (LIGNIN INDUSTRIES)
In 2021, the company started production of a lignin-based material (Renol®) that can replace plastics. It can be used in ratios of up to 50 percent in films (shopping bags, retail bags), injection molding (furniture and automotive parts), and as infill material for artificial athletic surfaces.
35. CELLULOSE FOAM: STORA ENSO
This is a lightweight, wood fiber-based foam material for protective and cushioning material in packaging. It can be fully recycled with paper and board. The product was named the Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2021 in a competition organized by the 2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres. As governments look to limit or ban fossil-based foam materials, this biodegradable alternative is a good fit for the emerging circular bioeconomy.
As proof we are in a very dynamic industry space, we have seen a major uptick in new start-ups, alliances, and initiatives recently as pulp and paper makers explore new products and potential new revenue streams from mills. Here we list some of the latest interesting ventures:
The new company describes itself as cross between “wood and magic” and is a carbon-efficient materials company striving to change the world by enabling its transition to sustainable solutions to win the fight for decarbonization and help mitigate climate change. As renewable materials will play a leading role, Woodoo has chosen to mold and shape natural wood from renewable forestry into materials with extraordinary performance, to help industries and corporations meet their carbon neutrality commitments.
37. SÖDRA & LENZING
Swedish market pulp producer Södra and Austrian company Lenzing, a leading global supplier of wood-based specialty fibers, signed a cooperation agreement last year with the clear objective of making a decisive contribution to addressing the enormous challenges of textile waste. The cooperation involves the transfer of knowledge between the two companies, which have been proactively driving the circular economy issue for many years, and a joint process development followed by a capacity expansion for pulp from post-consumer waste. The goal is to process 25,000 tons of textile waste per year by 2025.
Tapio Measurement Technologies is a start-up company specializing in providing lab and online analyzers and analysis services for paper, board, packaging, tissue, plastic, printing, converting, and nonwovens industries. Tapio is becoming known for its unique capability of connecting quality variations to production elements causing variations. Its latest development is the hardware-independent PapEye CloudQCS – SaaS platform for analysis of image and measurement data files.
39. METSÄ SPRING & VALMET: 3D FIBER
A new 3D demo plant at Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski bioproduct mill has begun operations in Finland. At the end of 2020, Metsä Group’s innovation company, Metsä Spring, and Finnish pulp and paper technology supplier Valmet announced a combined investment of EUR20 million (more than US$20.8 million). The 3D plant is producing finished 3D fiber-based packaging bioproducts directly from wet pulp without intermediate phases.
PulPac is on a mission to replace single use plastics globally by providing a ground-breaking manufacturing technology for sustainable, low-cost, high-performance packaging and single-use products.
41. CIRCLETOZERO: ANDRITZ
CircleToZero is a global initiative launched by technology supplier Andritz with the goal of achieving zero emissions and zero waste while creating financial growth for customers. For pulp and paper producers, this means eliminating unused industry side streams, turning them into new value-added products, and achieving zero waste and zero emission production.
Montinutra uses sawdust as a raw material in the preparation of Sprucegum™ for use in the cosmetics, techno chemical, and food industries. The mission of the new Finnish start-up is to convert forest industry side streams into valuable ingredients for the cosmetics, food & beverage, and chemical industries with scalable technology.
43. UDITA RINGANIA, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Ringania is a winner of the International Council of Forest and Paper Association’s Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award for 2020-21. In her project, Dewatering of Cellulose Nanomaterials by Ultrasound, Ringania developed a process that removed water from the very tiny particles that make up paper using sound instead of heat. This process saves time and energy, thus reducing costs.
44. MALGOSIA RYBAK, CEPI CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY DIRECTOR
In short time, Rybak has established herself as one of the leading experts at the Brussels-based organization in this area; she has a very strategic mind and is gifted in communication skills. She runs the Cepi Energy Solutions Forum, a forum to find concrete solutions for clean and affordable energy for paper and recycling mills, a highly popular monthly gathering with usual and unusual partners. She is also the youngest (and one of the few female) directors of “Processes for Planet,” a joint undertaking to finance R&D and innovation in the European industry/manufacturing sectors.
45. FRANCINE CECCON CLARO, UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DO PARANA
Another Blue Sky winner for 2020-21, Claro’s project looked at a low-cost wood-derived nanocellulose wound dressing. Results showed the new dressing was promising for wound care since it presented good adhesion to the moist wound surface/s, thus promoting the most efficient healing in the first four days. No allergic reaction or inflammatory response to the wood nanocellulose dressing was observed.
46. JESSICA SPADUCCINO, MICA CORPORATION
As communications officer for Mica, she is responsible for creating and executing Mica’s global digital content, events, and social strategy as well as protecting the business’s brand. Yet it was her leadership role in TAPPI’s YP Division and on the International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division’s (IFPED) Digital Team that won her recognition as a 2022 YP of the year. In these capacities, she has been integral in developing new online hubs for division members to gain access to valuable resources.
47. KIRK CARLSON, CLEARWATER PAPER
Carlson is another TAPPI 2022 YP of the Year. During his time at Clearwater’s Lewiston, ID, mill, he delivered solutions to improve energy efficiency, increase production and reduce chemical usage costs. His efforts helped earn the company more than US$170,000 in utility energy rebates and more than US$340,000 in combined cost savings at the mill.
48. TAMMY MOILANEN, WORLD BIOECONOMY FORUM
Moilanen, 23, joined the World Bioeconomy Forum just last year and has already made a major impact on the bioproducts world with her infectious enthusiasm and deft ability with social media platforms of all kinds. When not spreading the message about bioproducts and how they help to mitigate climate change, Moilanen can be found organizing interviews with some of the most influential scientists, politicians, and leading CEOs of the global forest products industries.
49. ANNA PAPAGRIGORAKI, CEPI SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR
With a very good psychological eye, Papagrigoraki is a master in collaborative, cross-sector action; she helped Cepi set up Fibre Packaging Europe, a first-ever alliance in the packaging value chain for coordinated and common lobbying for packaging related issues. She is also championing the forest-based bioeconomy in the European Bioeconomy Alliance, EUBA.
50. FENG JIANG, UBC DEPT. OF WOOD SCIENCE
Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Functional Biomaterials at University of British Columbia, Jiang is the most recent recipient of the American Chemical Society Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division’s KINGFA Young Investigator Award. His research focuses on converting natural cellulose into high-value products to replace petroleum-based products. Materials developed in Jiang’s lab are applicable in numerous markets including textiles and clothing, wearable electronics and sensors, and energy storage. Jiang holds several US Provisional Applications and is partnering with private companies and First Nation communities to scale up and commercialize the bio-products developed in his lab.