Leadership & Service Award

The Nano Division’s Leadership & Service Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and have made significant contributions to the Nano Division. Nominations and assessments are made from within the Nano Division Council. Nominations are based on several factors such as serving on the Nano Division leadership team, chairing the NANO Conference, chairing committees, organizing workshops, serving on committees, chairing sessions, giving technical presentations at NANO conferences, giving webinars, etc.

2023 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Emily Cranston
University of British Columbia

Dr. Emily D. Cranston is a Professor and President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bioproducts at the University of British Columbia (Canada). She is a global leader in bio-based nanomaterials chemistry. Her research aims to expand the use of nanocellulose as an environmentally-friendly alternative to petrochemical-based components in high-performance, value-added, sustainable products. Previously, Emily was the Canada Research Chair in Bio-Based Nanomaterials at McMaster University. She received a B.Sc. in Chemistry (2001) and Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry (2008) from McGill University (Canada), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden).

Emily believes that collaboration is the key to driving the impact of research; by working with experts in new application areas, as well as commercial receptors of new technologies, she has demonstrated industrially-meaningful results and provided a world-class training environment for researchers. Emily has industrial partnerships with 20 global companies and has collaborated with 30 professors/research leaders in over 10 different countries. She has published over 130 scientific papers and reviews and has trained 105 researchers. She was awarded the KINGFA Young Investigator’s Award (2016) and the Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lectureship (2018) from the American Chemical Society. In 2021, Emily received an E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (awarded to six early stage academic researchers nationally) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She is also the recipient of the TAPPI Nanotechnology Technical Award (2021) and the 2021 LeSueur Memorial Award from the Society of Chemical Industries of Canada

Emily acted as the Vice-Chair of the TAPPI Nano Division from 2014 to 2020, co-chaired the TAPPI Nano conference in Montreal (2017), co-founded the annual end users’ panel discussion at the TAPPI Nano conference, and her graduate students pioneered the TAPPI Nano Student committee. Emily believes that these leadership and networking opportunities have been paramount to her career and is a proud member of TAPPI.

2022 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Lisa Rushin

Lisa Rushin has served as Engineering, Nanotechnology and Pulp Manufacture Division Manager since 2013.  In February 2022, she moved into a new role as Division Manager for TAPPI’s Converting Divisions. 

In her role as Manager of Nanotechnology Division, Lisa dedicated herself to ensuring the Division’s annual international Conference was a success. Her relationship skills were instrumental in leading and driving the Division’s significant growth.  As part of her commitment to that growth, Lisa cultivated and nurtured member and volunteer relationships as a way to strengthen connections within the TAPPI Nano community.  Additionally, under her leadership, the NANO conference has grown in stature, recognition, participation and attendance.

Lisa has been with TAPPI since 1990. Throughout her tenure, she has served the industry and TAPPI’s many volunteers with dedication, commitment, and a true passion to be the best. In previous roles, she was PRESS Operations Manager, E-publishing Team Lead and TAPPI Journal Publisher, as well as having supported Information Services and Executive Team Management. She attended Clayton State College.

In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her children and six grandchildren. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, running and participating in obstacle course races. 

2021 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Dr. Robert J. Moon
USDA Forest Service - Forest Products Laboratory

Dr. Robert Moon has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.  He presented at the very first conference in 2006, where he was also featured on the cover of the conference program guide, and has been active ever since.  He has either presented at or co-author oral presentations at every TAPPI “NANO” Conference from 2006 to 2021.  He has been a member of the conference organizing committee from 2008 to 2020; was Co-chair for NANO conference in 2012; was the student poster competition organizer for 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2015; has been active in securing funding for the conference, the NanoDivision Awards, and the student poster awards; he has chaired numerous sessions, participated in panels, co-organizing workshops, active in student mentoring, has presented the NanoDivision Awards, and at many NANO conferences he has been known to sing karaoke till the early morning hours.    

From 2014 to 2020, he served as the Chair of the NanoDivision where he and his leadership team (Emily Cranston, Leslie McLain, Lars Axrup, Colleen Walker, Lisa Stevens) were task to legitimize the NanoDivision.  To achieve this, Robert led the development of a new organizational structure for the NanoDivision consisting of a leadership team and 5 committees (e.g., Producers, End-Users, Research, Student, and Webinar) that execute specific functions of the NanoDivision, its outreach, its engagement and the organization and planning of the NANO conference.  Robert also led the establishment of the NanoDivision website, three new awards (Leadership & Service,  Mid-Career, and Student to recognize achievements of our members), and wrote the policy and guidance manual for the NanoDivision.  Robert was also the “de facto” chair of the Awards Committee from 2015 to 2020 and has been a member of the Composites Processing and Testing Sub-committee since 2017.  Under Robert’s leadership, the NanoDivision has grown to become self-sustaining, has expanded interest of cellulose nanomaterials (CNMs) beyond the pulp and paper disciplines and industries, has expanded interest to other renewable nanomaterials, has expanded informational outreach, has expanded industry participation, has increased student involvement and engagement, and the NANO conference has grown in the stature, recognition, participation and attendance.

Dr. Robert Moon is Materials Research Engineer for the USDA Forest Service - Forest Products Laboratory.  Robert received a B.S. in Metallurgy from the University of Wisconsin, a M.S. and PhD in Materials Engineering from Purdue University. He is an expert in processing-structure-property-performance relationships and since 2007 has worked with a diverse range of teams targeting both the fundamental and applied sciences in characterization, modeling, surface modification, nanocomposites and utilization of CNMs. These efforts have led to pioneering work in thermal-mechanical property measurement and modeling of CNMs, CNM films, and CNM-polymer composites, capturing anisotropic structure-property relationships for crystalline cellulose, as well has the hierarchical structures within the CNM-composites.  Utilization efforts have led to pioneering work of cellulose nanocrystals as an additive to cement as well as to fiber-glass for improvements in strength. In the area of CNMs, Robert has 56 SCI ranked journal publications, 2 patents, and a co-editor of 1 book.  Robert has led or co-led several critical reviews or knowledge synthesis publications on CNMs, the most impactful of which was his 2011 Chemical Society Review paper “Cellulose nanomaterials review: structure, properties and nanocomposites”, with over 4600 Google citations (as of June-2021), it is currently the most Google cited paper dedicated to cellulose nanomaterials.  

Robert is also an Adjunct Professor at both the School of Materials Engineering (at Purdue University), and the School of Materials Science and Engineering (at Georgia Institute of Technology). He serves as Technical Advisor to P3Nano, the US public private partnership to advance commercialization of CNMs.  Since 2008 he has been active many workshops, roadmapping, and national academy of science assessments in the area of renewable materials and CNMs.  Since 2011 he has been active in TAPPI and ISO standards for CNMs, and in 2020 he became the convenor for the technical group ISO TC6 TG1 - cellulosic nanomaterials.

2020 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Hamdy Khalil, Ph.D
Woodbridge Foam Corporation

Hamdy Khalil joined the TAPPI Nano Division in 2010. He championed the creation of the “End Users Panel” for the industrial applications of Cellulose Nano Crystals (CNC), Cellulose Nano Fibers (CNF), and Cellulose Micro Fiber (CMF) in Automotive, coatings, Adhesives, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. He worked relentlessly to recruit senior industrial representatives from various industries to share and present their success stories during the annual TAPPI Nano Division meetings. With the help of many TAPPI Nano Division Colleagues, the “End Users Panel” became a popular permanent feature of the Annual Conference. Actually, the Panel’s session evolved to become one of the most attended session.

Neither Hamdy nor the Division ever lost the “Purpose” of the End users Panel – to propagate the use of cellulosic based material and foster collaboration globally.

Hamdy has been a champion of Biotechnology for a longtime. In the early nineties he led an effort at Woodbridge Foam to introduce renewable and sustainable materials in the manufacturing of Automotive interior parts. The successful commercialization of the product gained acceptance and Woodbridge gained leadership before the use of renewable material became fashionable. For his pioneering efforts in this area, Hamdy was recognized by the Canadian Society of Chemical Industry and was the 2016 winner of the Le Sueur Memorial Award for the development of technical excellence through chemical creativity and Innovation. Hamdy is one of twelve Canadian Scientists who have the honor of winning this prestigious award.

Hamdy is regular invited speaker in many Conferences and workshops in Japan, North America, Brazil, Malaysia, Germany, the Netherland and Portugal. He chaired many international Polyurethane Conferences in North America and around the world. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Guelph. Hamdy is a member of the following Boards:

The Ontario BioAutoCouncil; The Center for Research and Innovation in the Bio Economy (CRIBE). Member of NRC Steering Committee for Bio-Products Development, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the business lead “ArboraNano”.

Dr. Khalil introduced and published groundbreaking chemistries in the following areas:

  • Reformatsky reaction for the synthesis of Vitamin A analogues,
  • Wittig Reaction for the synthesis of Polyene,
  • Phase transfer catalysis for the synthesis of hitherto known Sulfur and Oxygen heterocyclic five and six membered ring compounds useful in Pheromones and Pharmaceuticals syntheses.

Hamdy is the authors of six patents and over twenty peer reviewed publications.

He received a BSc Double major in Chemistry and Physics from the University of Alexandria, MSc in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cairo University, MSc in Organic Chemistry from Laurentian University; PhD in Natural Products synthesis from University of Windsor; and Post-Doctoral Fellow National Research Council ( NRC).

Prior to joining Woodbridge, Hamdy had the following occupations:

  1. Lecturer- University of New Brunswick Fredericton Campus
  2. Labatt’s Pharmaceutical Division
  3. PolySar Corporation, Analytical Laboratory Supervisor, Liason for the Manufacturing of Halogenated Rubber, Latex Division Group Leader, Technical Marketing
  4. BF Goodrich-Global Technical Director

Hamdy’s passion is to mentor young scientists and witness their success.

2019 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D.
Vireo Advisors

Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D. is Founder and President of Vireo Advisors, an international SME focused on regulatory and safety strategies for novel bio-based and nanoscale technology commercialization. She develops state of the art analyses for public and private organizations toward safe and sustainable new product development. Dr. Shatkin is an environmental health scientist and recognized expert in environmental science and policy, human health risk assessment, emerging substances policy and nanotechnology.

Since 2005, Jo Anne has provided leadership on the responsible development of nanotechnologies, serving as an expert to the joint WHO_FAO Expert Panel on Nanotechnology in Food, the Canadian Council of Academies, the US/Russia Bilateral Commission for S&T Nanotechnology EHS Panel, and currently to the US National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Quadrennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. She serves as EHS Advisor to P3Nano, the US public private partnership to advance commercialization of nanocellulose. Her team coordinates several international collaborations working to advance adoption of alternative testing strategies and methods for new substance evaluations, including with the OECD, and a multinational public/private partnership to advance safety demonstration of cellulose nanomaterials. She also teaches courses, gives talks and publishes on topics of stakeholder acceptance and demonstration of nanomaterial environmental health and safety, and is working to advance life cycle approaches to risk analysis for new technologies, including for safer manufacturing. Dr. Shatkin is author of Nanotechnology Health and Environmental Risks Second Edition (CRC Press 2012). She received an Individually Designed Ph.D. in Environmental Health Science and Policy and her MA in Risk Management and Technology Assessment from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic University in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

2018 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Colleen C. Walker, Ph. D
University of Maine

Colleen Walker is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.  She joined the nanotechnology adventure of Phil, Ted and Sean with the panning of the 2009 NANO conference, when TAPPI first started to organize the NANO conference.  She was instrumental in coordinating the efforts in establishing the NanoDivision within TAPPI. From 2009 to 2018 she was critical in the planning and organizing of the TAPPI NANO conferences.    From 2011 to 2018, she was part of the leadership team, helping to build the committee structure of the NanoDivision, coordinating resources and volunteers to help support the NanoDivision, and provided guidance and insight as to what other TAPPI Divisions were doing so that we can be unique.  Colleen has been extremely active at writing review articles and summaries of various NanoDivision events and activities.

Colleen is the Director of the Process Development Center at the University of Maine where she leads the Center’s mission to provide cost-effective, rapid response research and technical services for the pulp, paper and packaging industries.  Prior to joining the University of Maine in June 2018, Colleen was Technical Director at TAPPI. She has over 20 years of experience in R&D, new product and business development in the paper industry, having worked for ABB, Tenneco Packaging, Westvaco, and Georgia Tech. Colleen received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware, and her masters and doctorate degrees from the Institute of Paper Science & Technology.

2017 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Sean Ireland
FiberLean Technologies Ltd. 

Sean Ireland is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.  He joined Phil and Ted’s “excellent adventure in nanotechnology” around 2009, and he was a champion at getting VIPs interested in the potential of cellulose nanomaterials, there was not ladder too high that he would not climb. He was the key driver in the establishment of the NanoDvision as an official Division within TAPPI.  He led the effort to develop the “Rethink Trees” video in 2011.  He was co-Chair of the TAPPI NANO conference in 2011 and 2015.   From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Chair of the NanoDivision.  Sean has been extremely active at NANO conferences, often participating in panels, chairing sessions, securing funding for student poster awards, etc.

Sean Ireland is Vice President Business Development for FiberLean Technologies Ltd. He has over 30 years’ experience in electronics, electrical engineering and process control from the military to industrial manufacturing; however, his real desire is in growing new technologies through passion and motivation. Over a decade ago, his interest shifted to the physical and surface sciences of nano-scale technologies with a focus on cellulosic nanomaterials. During the past decade, Sean has delivered multiple keynote presentations on nanotechnology to diverse audiences across the globe, striving to motivate them to work with these new materials. Additionally, Sean has been integral in working with multiple government agencies to obtain federal funding for critically needed nanocellulosics research and development.

Prior to working for FiberLean Technologies, he served in the U.S. military where he started as a non-commissioned officer working with many weapons platforms. In the late 1980’s, Sean received his officer commission and in 1990 his flying wings.  He then went on to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Later, Sean was appointed as the Commander of the 174th Forward Operating Location (FOL) located at 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York, until accepting a position within the pulp and paper industry.

While working for Champion International, International Paper and Verso Paper, he is credited with patents and applications in neural modeling, non-linear systems, control algorithms, specialty paper and coating formulations. He has authored or co-authored several technical papers on non-linear systems and nanocellulose technology and the vision for nanotechnology. Sean is very active in TAPPI’s Nanotechnology Division, but also active in PaperCon, PLACE, CORREXPO and the Student Summit. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Maine, and is on the Scientific Advisory Board for P3Nano, and the former Co-Chair for the Agenda 2020 Nano Materials and Novel Products Task Force and on the Board of Executives of Agenda 2020 Technology Consortium.

2016 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

Theodore Wegner
USDA Forest Service - Forest Products Laboratory

Ted Wegner is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.   In 2004, Ted along with Phil Jones started their “excellent adventure” in forest products-focused nanotechnology when they co-organized a Nanotechnology workshop titled “Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry, Vision and Technology”, which was the “seed” for the establishment of the TAPPI NanoDivision.  Ted was co-Chair of the NANO conference in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. He was on the NANO conference organizing committee in 2010. In 2011, he was one of the four key members to establish the NanoDivision as an official Division within TAPPI.  From 2011 to 2014, he served as the secretary of the NanoDivision. Ted was a strong advocate for the TAPPI NanoDivision to: 1) have an inclusive, collaborative international focus and 2) cover all aspects of biorenewable nanomaterials science, characterization, safety, production, and use. 

Ted Wegner was Assistant Director at the USDA Forest Service--Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin where he had line-management responsibilities to identify and carryout innovative R&D in the areas of wood, fiber, and composites research. He has been a leader in defining and implementing the Forest Service research agenda for the conversion of forest biomass to bioenergy and chemical feedstocks. He served as the Forest Service lead for three significant government-industry-university public-private partnerships-- the “Consortium for Advanced Wood-to-Energy Systems”; “P3Nano”, and the “Biorenewables Deployment Consortium”--a network of organizations interested in influencing the course of the emerging wood to bioenergy and biomaterials economy in the United States. He has been a leader in helping develop the initial vision, agenda, and priorities for nanotechnology within the forest products industry sector. Wegner has coauthored a number of papers on the role and vision for nanotechnology in the forest products industry and served as a Forest Service representative on the multi-billion dollar U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. He also served as a federal representative on the U.S. Forest Products Industry’s Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance (now the Alliance for Pulp & Paper Technology Innovation) and participated in the development of a number of forest products industry nanotechnology and bioenergy/biomaterials roadmaps. He served on the Secretary’s Forestry Research Advisory Committee of the USDA. He was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science and a TAPPI Fellow. He was the recipient of the 2011 Andrew Chase Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and was inducted into the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in 2013. Wegner holds Chemical Engineering degrees from the University of Wisconsin (Bachelor of Science) and the University of Illinois (Master of Science and PhD). Prior to joining the Forest Service, he worked in research for E. I. DuPont. Wegner's work in forest products research at the Forest Products Laboratory spanned 39 years from 1977-2016.

2015 Nano Division Leadership and Service Award

J. Philip E. Jones
PhylloSci, LLC

Phil Jones is one of the four founding members of the TAPPI NanoDivision and has made significant contributions in leadership and in service to the NanoDivision.   In 2004, Phil along with Ted Wegner started their “excellent adventure” in forest products-focused nanotechnology, by co-organizing a Nanotechnology workshop titled “Nanotechnology for the Forest Products Industry, Vision and Technology”, which was the “seed” for the establishment of the TAPPI NanoDivision.  Phil was co-Chair of the TAPPI NANO conference in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013. He was on the NANO conference organizing committee in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he was one of the four key members to establish the NanoDvision as an official Division within TAPPI.  From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Vice-Chair of the NanoDivision.  Phil has been extremely active at NANO conferences, often participating in panels, chairing sessions, etc.

Phil received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from King’s College, University of London, in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Physics (solid-state properties of synthetic kaolins) from the University of London. In 1975 he joined English China Clays plc. (English China Clays is now a part of Imerys). In 1979, he transferred to ECC International’s lab in Sandersville, Georgia where he became Vice President, Technology. His work has concentrated on developing and understanding the mechanisms for white mineral pigment performance where pigment characterization and ways of structuring mixed mineral systems have allowed micro and nano-engineering. Jones became involved at TAPPI by going through the Chairs of the Coating Division, Research Management Division as well as twice serving on the TAPPI Board of Directors and chairing their Technical Operating Committee. He is a TAPPI Fellow and served on the board of the Empire State Research Associates at Syracuse, NY. He was also invited to join the CTO committee of Agenda 2020 and went on to start and chair their nanotechnology work group. Phil retired from Imerys in 2015 and now leads PhylloSci, LLC.