Division Awards

November 7 - 10, 2021 | Atlanta, GA

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2020 PEERS Division Award Winners


Engineering Division


Technical Award and Beloit Prize

The Engineering Division Technical Award which is accompanied by the Beloit Prize of $2500 may be awarded annually to recognize outstanding technical contributions in the field of engineering or leadership and service to the Engineering Division.

Award winner:

Christopher Verrill

Christopher L. Verrill

International Paper (IP)


Christopher Verrill has worked at IP in the Global Technology organization since 2007 where his responsibilities include developing cost savings projects associated with black liquor evaporators and supporting IP mills worldwide with his evaporator and kraft liquor cycle process expertise. He held a research faculty position at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2002 to 2006 where he led a research effort on crystallization and fouling during black liquor evaporation. He was a senior research engineer at MeadWestvaco in Charleston, South Carolina from 1999 to 2002 where he worked on improving evaporator and recovery boiler availability and thermal efficiency. Early in his career, Verrill focused on recovery boiler modeling and black liquor gasification R&D as a research engineer at McDermott Technology Inc. in Alliance, Ohio (1994-1999), as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (1993), and as a research associate at Åbo Akademi University, Combustion Chemistry Research Group in Turku, Finland (1992).

Verrill received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Atlanta; an M.S. from Lawrence University (Institute of Paper Chemistry) in Appleton, Wisconsin; and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maine at Orono. 

He is currently the TAPPI Engineering Division honors char and was the chairman of the TAPPI Engineering Division (2014-2016). He is also the co-chair of the AF&PA Recovery Boiler Program R&D Committee (since 2007).


Leadership & Service Award

The Engineering Division Leadership and Service Award which is accompanied by the AMEC Foster Wheeler Prize of $1000 may be awarded annually to recognize outstanding leadership and service to the Engineering Division.

Award winner:

 Gregory Wedel

Gregory L. Wedel



Gregory Wedel was president of Kadant Johnson prior to his retirement. Before that he was VP Reserach and Development at Beloit Corportation.

Wedel graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1973.


Outgoing Division Chair - 2018-2020


Mark P. LeBel



Mark LeBel is Product Manager, Power Boilers North America at Andritz. Prior to working at Andritz, LeBel works at Jansen Combustion and Boiler Technologies and AE&E, Inc.  He also worked for over 27 years at Alston Power and held various engineering and managerial positions.

LeBel graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor or Science degree in chemical engineering with a minor in materials science.

Pulp Manufacture Division


Technical Award and Johan C.F.C. Richter Prize

The Pulp Manufacture Division Technical Award is given to the individual who has provided outstanding technical contributions to the worldwide science and/or practice in pulping technology. This Award is the Division’s highest technical recognition.

The Johan C.F.C. Richter Prize in the amount of $1000 is given to the University chosen by the recipient of the Division Technical Award. The prize was established by Kamyr Inc., now Andritz, in recognition of the outstanding technical contributions in pulping made by the father of continuous pulping - TAPPI Fellow Johan C.F.C. Richter.

Award winner:

 Peter Hart

Peter W. Hart



Peter Hart is Director, Fiber Technology and Innovation at WestRock where he has worked extensively in 9 different integrated mills. He also worked on Due Diligence team for purchase of Evadale mill and was part of core team for large Brazilian expansion project.

Hart has been a member of the Board of Director for the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation since 2014. He has also been an adjunct associate professor at the North Carolina State University since 2007.

Hart worked as Director, Fiber Science at MeadWestvaco from 2014-2015 and prior to that held the position as Manager, New and Applied Technologies for four years.  Prior to that he was a corporate engineer at WestRock in Brazil for eight years. Hart was also an engineer at MeadWestvaco from 1993-2010.

Hart has also been an editor for the TAPPI Journal since 2000.  He holds a PhD. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.S., Chemical Engineering and B.S. Chemical Engineering and Pulp & Paper Technology from the University of Maine.