Award and Scholarship Winners

November 5 - 8, 2023 | Atlanta, Georgia

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PEERS 2023 Awards and Scholarship Winners

Celebrating Excellence

PEERS recognized leaders whose dedication and passion help drive our collective success.


Congratulations to our PEERS 2023 Award and Scholarship Winners 

Matthew Tunnicliffe

Engineering Division Dennis Anliker Memorial Award and Plant Engineering and Project Management Committee PEERS Best Paper Award

“Performance of Duplex Stainless Steel in Bleach Tower Environments – a Multi-Mill Study” by
Matthew Tunnicliffe, FPInnovations
Co—Authored by Victor Padilla (FPInnovations)

Matthew Tunnicliffe is a Senior Research Scientist and corrosion expert at FPInnovations, a leading research organization in the forest sector. He has published several papers on material performance and corrosion in various environments and has been a TAPPI member since 2012.  Some of his notable accomplishments include:

  • Co-authoring a paper on the corrosion of carbon steel in simulated digester black liquor environments, which revealed the effects of residual effective alkali and another publication on the effect of organic and extractives on the corrosion of carbon steel.
  • Awarded the TAPPI Engineering Division Plant Engineering and Project Management Best Paper Award for the paper “Performance of Duplex Stainless Steel in Bleach Tower Environments – a Multi-Mill Study”
  • Leading the Digester Safety Workgroup within the Plant Engineering committee, which facilitated knowledge sharing events and will be having their first round-table forum which will focus on the safe operation of continuous digesters at this years conference.

Matthew holds a B.A.Sc and a M.A.Sc in materials engineering from the University of British Columbia. His interest in corrosion began in 2009 when he started his master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Akram Alfantazi.  Outside of work Matthew is an avid cyclist in the summer and Snowboard Coach and Coach developer across British Columbia.

Matthew is honored to be award the TAPPI Division Dennis Anliker Memorial Award


Jim Brewster

Engineering Division Technical Award & Beloit Prize


Jim graduated from Porland State University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Following graduation, he continued studies in economics and accounting. In 1973 he joined the Crown Zellerbach pulp and paper mill in Camas Washington in the financial group. After a brief time, he transferred to the kraft pulping and recovery area and began his long career focused on kraft recovery. He worked at the Camas mill for 20 years in operations, technical and project management. In 1993 he joined JD Irving in Saint John New Brunswick Canada as production manager in their market pulp mill. In 2001 he assumed the role of mill manager. In 2006 he joined the faculty of the Kraft Recovery Operations short course (KROS). Following retirement in 2016, he has continued to consult with the JD Irving organization and teach at KROS. Kraft recovery and mill energy systems have been areas of special interest his entire career. Jim and Barbara have been married for 53 years, have 3 married children and 18 grand children.



Mark Lebel

Engineering Leadership & Service Award


Mark has been with Andritz, Inc., since 2011 and is currently responsible for the Technical Management of the Recovery and Power Boiler Aftermarket Products for North America. He is responsible for managing the Mechanical Design staff which develop solutions for recovery and power boilers including engineering studies, air systems, pressure part and other upgrades that increase equipment operating efficiency and productivity. Coordinates technology with Andritz Technical Centers in USA, Finland and Austria.
Prior to working at Andritz, Inc. Mark has worked for Jansen Combustion and Boiler Technologies, Inc., Austrian Energy & Environment, Inc., and Alstom Power, Inc. in a variety of roles from on site technical services to engineering management.
Along with the coordination of R&D and cost reduction efforts world-wide, Mark has been actively involved in numerous Industry committees, consortia, and forums.
Professional and Industry Involvement
Mark’s participation in industry organizations including, BLRBAC, the University of Toronto Recovery Boiler Fouling and Corrosion Research Consortia Representative, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Project - Development of Materials for Black Liquor Recovery Boilers among others.
Mark has been a TAPPI member since 1993. Prior roles include serving as the Engineering Division Chair, 2018 PEERS Conference Chair, PEERS Conference Planning Committee participant and Session Chair at numerous technical conferences.



Rich Garber

Environmental Technical Award and Roy F. Weston Prize



  • 1988 B.S. Chemistry, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, 1988-1989 Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Brown and Caldwell Activated Sludge Operations, 1997; TAPPI Chemical Pulping and Kraft Recovery, 1999; RTP Advanced New Source Review, 2018, etc.

Employment History (33+ years in Pulp & Paper Industry)

  • 1990 Research Associate, Boise Cascade Research & Development, Portland, OR
  • 1991-1994 Process/Env. Engineer, Boise Cascade, St. Helens, OR
  • 1994-1995 Sr. Env. Engineer, Weyerhaeuser, North Bend, OR
  • 1995-1998 Sr. Env. Engineer, Boise Cascade, Wallula, WA
  • 1998-2010 Paper Env. Manager, Boise Cascade, Boise, ID
  • 2010-2013, Corp. Environmental Director, Boise Cascade, Boise, ID
  • 2014-2018 Director Env. Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, PCA, Boise, ID
  • 2018-present Sr. Director – Environmental Operations, PCA, Boise, ID


Matthew Tomkins

Energy, Recovery & Recaust Best Paper Award

“Development of an Online Near‐Infrared Spectroscopy Analyzer for the Determination of Kraft Black Liquor Properties” by Matthew Robert Tomkins
Co—Authored by Wei Ren, FPInnovations


Matthew Tomkins is a senior engineer at FPInnovations with a PH. D. in chemical engineering where he conducts research to enhance the competitiveness of the forest sector. His area of expertise is in sensor development and applications, with a current focus on near infrared spectroscopy and multivariate analysis. His interests include process improvement, statistics and 3D printing.


Dr. Alan Rudie

Pulp Manufacture Division Leadership & Service Award & Joseph K. Perkins Prize

Alan Rudie retired from the USDA, Forest Products Laboratory in 2019 after 42 years in wood fiber research. After receiving a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from MIT in 1978, Dr. Rudie took a job with International Paper Company focused on development projects in mechanical and kraft pulping and bleaching. In 1989 he accepted an appointment as Associate Professor at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology where he focused on research in mechanical pulping and trace metals management in pulp mill bleach plants. In 2003, Dr Rudie accepted the position of Project Leader of the Fiber and Chemical Sciences Research Work Unit at the Forest Products Laboratory. At FPL he continued research on bleach plant metals management, biorefinery, and cellulose nanomaterials. In September
2016, he was promoted to Assistant Director, Wood, Fiber and Composites Research. Dr. Rudie has been a member of TAPPI since 1980. He served as the Technical Program Chair for the Mechanical Pulping Committee (1992, 95, 98), Chairman of the Research and Effluent Minimization Subcommittee of the Tappi Bleaching Committee, 2002-2003 and Pulp Manufacturing Division Awards Committee Chair, 2007 –2014. Dr Rudie is co-editor of TAPPI books, the Bleaching of Pulp (5th edition, 2012) and Production and Applications of Cellulose Nanomaterials (2013). He has 96 career publications


Mathias Lindstrom

Pulp Manufacture Division Outgoing Division Chair

Mathias Lindström works as a Senior Staff Engineer in Cost Reduction and Stewardship with International Paper’s Global Technology organization. He supports continuous process improvement and capital project development across the enterprise with a focus on safety, sustainability and improved efficiency in energy raw material consumption. He also leads best practice implementation and optimization of liquor cycle management and Pinechemicals recovery, driving cost reduction and value creation. A long-time contributor to TAPPI and North Carolina State University Pulp and Paper Foundation, he enjoys collaboration and engagement across industry, organizations and academia, with focus on the research, development, and training of future engineers and operating staff. He holds degrees in Chemistry, B.A., Wittenberg University, Paper Science & Engineering, M.S., Miami University, and Wood and Paper Science, Ph.D., North Carolina State University. A native of Stockholm, Sweden he now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina with his family enjoying culture and the adventures of travel.


Brian N. Brogdon, Future Bridge Consulting Services, LLC

Pulp Manufacture Division Dave Wethernhorn Best Paper Award

TAPPI PEERS Conference High Impact Best Paper Award

“Using Bleaching Stage Models for Benchmarking Softwood ECF Bleach Plants” by Brian N. Brogdon, Future Bridge Consulting Services, LLC

2023 Herman Joachim Leadership & Service Award winner


Dr. Brian N. Brogdon is the President of Future Bridge Consulting Services, LLC and lives in Marietta, GA.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST).  Brian is a TAPPI Fellow and a member of PAPTAC.  He is a recipient of TAPPI’s 2019 Pulp Manufacturing Division Leadership & Service Award, as well as the 2023 Herman L. Joachim Leadership & Service Award.  Dr. Brogdon has presented over 50 conference papers and has published over 30 papers in refereed journals related to pulp manufacturing, wood chemistry, and papermaking additives.  He currently serves on the TAPPI Journal Technical Editorial Board and has served as its Editor-in-Chief.  Brian is also the lead instructor for TAPPI’s Bleach Plant Operations Workshop.

Scholarship Winners


Weston Cregger

Engineering Division Charles B. Tibbits Memorial Scholarship - Rising Senior

My name is Weston Cregger, and I am an upcoming fourth-year student pursuing a dual degree in Paper Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering at NC State University. I am an active member of the university TAPPI and AICHE student chapters and am on track to graduate in May 2024. I have 15 months work experience with Kimberly-Clark, WestRock, and New-Indy Containerboard. In the summer of 2022, I will be returning to Kimberly-Clark as an intern process engineer at their Beech Island facility. Next semester, I will serve as the TAPPI student chapter IM Chair. In my spare time, I enjoy playing disc golf and cooking for friends and family.


Allison Thompson

Engineering Division Scholarship - Rising Junior


Allison Thompson is a third-year chemical engineering student at the University of Maine. She is also in the honors college and pursuing a minor in environmental engineering. She is an active member of the horticulture club, Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, and Pulp and Paper Foundation. She is currently completing the first term of her co-op at Onyx Specialty Papers in Lee, Massachusetts.


Abigail Bartsch

Environmental Working Group Douglas Barton Memorial Scholarship


My name is Abby Bartsch, and I am a fourth year at Western Michigan University, where I am double majoring in Chemical and Paper engineering. I am involved with our TAPPI student organization, called Ts’ai Lun, where I serve as our special events coordinator. I have completed two internships within the paper industry and look forward to completing my third this upcoming summer. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family and being outdoors.