You're working for a pulp and paper company, a consultant, a supplier, an educational institution or in some capacity related to the pulp and paper industry. You may be starting your career or you may be well along in it or perhaps you've changed responsibilities or job function. You need to be aware of the latest technology and how some other mill or company solved a problem that you are facing. What did they do? Did it work? What alternatives did they consider? What better way to find the answers to these and other questions than to be a member of one of PAPTAC's twenty-four technical committees?
Attending committee meetings, having access to committee web sites, attending committee-sponsored courses and conferences or just by knowing other members with interests similar to yours ... these all allow you to stay abreast of the latest developments in your field. Since most committees choose meeting sites at mills, research centres, manufacturing centres or other venues related to the committees' interests or mandate, there are opportunities to see these facilities first hand. The time afforded by the facility and the information offered is always greater that available to a non-committee member.
Many committees arrange tours of facilities in other countries. Such tours allow an intensive information-gathering exercise, always more productive than if attempted on an individual basis.
And, speaking of gathering information, one of the best ways to do so is to attend PaperWeek International in Montreal at the end of January each year. Many of the technical committees hold meetings at this time but, in addition, they sponsor technical sessions featuring more than 200 presentations which describe up-to-the-minute technology advances and other industry-related information. These presentations attract well over 1200 of your peers and colleagues from around the world, so the opportunity to meet people and to establish networks is unlimited.
In addition to the technical sessions, EXFOR, held in the same venue, features about 500 companies exhibiting their products and services. Want to know all about the latest from adhesives to wrappers and everything in between? Then spend some time at EXFOR viewing the exhibits and talking to the company representatives. You'll be in good company with the more than 10,000 others who take advantage of this world class event, all with no admission charge!
What's that, you can't make it to PaperWeek? Then make sure you arrange to attend one of the many conferences held across Canada each year. These range from major international events to local branch conferences. Their common theme is high-quality technical presentations. Short courses are often offered immediately prior to the conference which may help justify travel costs. Some conferences organized by other pulp and paper technical associations around the world are co-sponsored by PAPTAC and, similarly, some PAPTAC courses and conferences are co-sponsored by one or more of these other organizations. The benefit to PAPTAC members is the availability of the events and the reduced registration costs.
PAPTAC organizes and offers TECH courses based on current needs, including long-standing core courses in papermaking and more recent ones dealing with such subjects as recycling and air emissions and odour control.
You want to contact someone fast? Then the membership directory will be a valuable tool. Published each year, it lists the names and addresses of the more than 5000 members and supplier sustaining members, as well as information on staff, committees, branches, past award winners and current and past officers of the association.
PAPTAC members receive monthly the Pulp & Paper Canada and/or Les Papetires du Qubec magazines and a bi-monthly News Bulletin, all of which bring a continuous flow of news and information.. All members can now access the Journal of Pulp and Paper Science online, or printed copies are available on request.
Do you need to hire someone or are you looking for employment? The PAPTAC employment advisory service is another of the many benefits available to you as a member.
As a member of PAPTAC, you may request complete sets of standards testing methods, maintenance procedures for testing instruments and engineering data sheets, all at no charge.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of PAPTAC membership is that you will be asked to serve in some capacity, perhaps as a committee chair or to assist in organizing a course or conference or by presenting a paper at one of the many PAPTAC-sponsored events. You may at some point be asked to serve on the Executive Council. No matter how you get involved and serve the association during your years as a member, you will get back more than you give. You will grow technically and professionally and perhaps most importantly, you will make many enduring friendships.
If you are not a member of PAPTAC, I encourage you to consider carefully the many benefits of membership. I believe you'll convince yourself to join. But don't stop there. Look around your workplace and make your colleagues aware of PAPTAC and urge them to join. An aging workforce will require many new technical employees in the pulp and paper industry. There is no better way for these people to learn about our great industry and to contribute to its successful future than to be a member of PAPTAC.
Ross B. Williams
Ross Williams is Past-Chairman and an Honorary Life Member of PAPTAC. He is an Environmental Engineer with Azurix North America located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.