Introduction to Pulp and Paper Technology Course

St. Petersburg, Florida
Monday, January 08, 2024 to Thursday, January 11, 2024

This training event is among the highest rated of all TAPPI courses! Offers introductory- and intermediate-level content covering technology, including “what” happens, and “why” things happen. This course provides the foundation for learning advanced topics more quickly. Learn from one of the most well-known and enthusiastic instructors, Dr. Michael Kocurek.

Course Dates:  January 8-11, 2024

Join your peers marking this 50th year in 2024.

This four-day course delivers the most comprehensive introductory/intermediate overview available in the industry covering all of today's pulping and papermaking technology.

You can gain an in-depth overview of the entire pulp & paper mill’s major processes, including:

  • Wood & Fiber Raw Materials
  • Paper Mill Refining
  • Pulping
  • Pulp Processing, including Bleaching
  • Wet End Additives
  • Paper Machine Operations
  • Chemical Recovery Overview
  • Coating
  • Recycling
  • Environmental Control

Attendees learn more in this short course than at any other comparable training.  Review the detailed Course Schedule to see for yourself.

Interested in becoming a mill manager or superintendent?
This training can help you reach that goal by enabling you to think on a mill-wide basis.  

The curriculum is comprehensive, and covers everything from the incoming wood and chips, pulp mill operations, chemical recovery, recycling, stock prep, paper machine operations, pulp and paper quality, and environmental topics.

Learning Outcomes
TAPPI Fellow and Paper Industry International Hall of Fame Inductee, Dr. Michael Kocurek, is working alongside an additional expert instructor in delivering the curriculum.

They will help you:

  • Demonstrate overview knowledge of  mill operations, products, process variables, equipment, and terminology.
  • Describe examples of how one part of the mill affects another.
  • Explain the importance of thinking on a mill wide basis.
  • Discuss how the pulp and paper processes affect product properties and quality.

Evaluations after this course result in consistently high ratings for Dr. Kocurek and for the learning outcomes with 97 percent reporting that the training is good to excellent.

Huge Collection of Visuals
Dr. Kocurek presents a unique collection of more than 2,100, which includes the visuals from the new 4th Edition of the Handbook for Pulp and Paper Technology by Gary Smook, which we use as the course textbook.
The curriculum corresponds with every chapter within that book for enhanced learning.  You get to keep your course copy of "The Smook Book" as it's often called at the end of the course.

The total experience, plus the instructor's enthusiastic teaching style and knowledge of mill processes, has produced the result of the TAPPI Introduction to Pulp & Paper Technology being its longest running short course and consistently one of TAPPI's highest ranked courses. 

Pre-Course Survey
Each year, this course is customized to each class of attendees, with diverse backgrounds and interests, using a pre-course survey.  Content and discussion time is adjusted to accommodate topics of interest to you. In short, you'll get answers to your specific pulp and papermaking questions.  

Questions not answered in class or the interaction sessions are referred to other industry experts.

The TAPPI Introduction to Pulp & Paper Technology Course offers both introductory- and intermediate-level content covering technology, including “what” happens, and “why” things happen.

Introductory-Level Content (70%)
This course includes introductory-level topics that include:

  • Vocabulary and overviews of processes and technology
  • Equipment overviews and descriptions
  • Product properties and effects of processes 
  • Effects of one part of the mill on other parts
  • Environmental control

Intermediate-Level Content (30%)
This training presents various process variables, the “why things happen,” and provides a needed foundation for the advanced-level topics below.

Advanced-Level Content (0%)
The curriculum does not include process and equipment training in depth; process control, PID diagrams; mill-specific troubleshooting and optimization, runnability nor case studies, etc. These are topics for more advanced and specialized courses, but you'll gain the foundation for learning advanced topics more quickly.

Overall, You Will...

  • Gain a broad perspective by exploring the entire pulping and papermaking processes.
  • Get to meet and learn from Dr. Mike Kocurek, one of the industry's leading instructors.
  • Increase your ability to contribute to improving mill operations.
  • Get personalized answers to specific questions and operating problems.
  • Learn how to interact more knowledgeably with other mill personnel.

Who Attends?
Attendees are a mix of new industry and new position people from mills, suppliers corporate, and organizations.  They attend for a number of reasons, including:

  • Gain an overview of the entire mill, plus specific areas of interest
  • Refresh technical knowledge
  • Think on a mill-wide basis
  • Better understand the effects of P&P processes on product quality


A Copy of the "Smook Book"
Included with your course fee is a copy of the valuable reference manual called the "Smook Book" or specifically titled, The Handbook for Pulp and Paper Technologists by Gary Smook.  Thirteen years in the making, this manual is considered the must-have book for professionals in the pulp and paper industry and widely used by P&P companies, colleges and universities because it includes hundres of illustrations, charts and tables.

The Professional Certificate
Included with the course fee is the exam where you can earn the newly developed TAPPI Professional Certificate for the Introduction to Pulp and Paper.  This certificate exam assesses competence in the areas covered in this course and demonstrates you are ready to capably manage your industry’s demands.

Earning this certificate with a score of 80% or higher demonstrates you have gained significant introductory-to-intermediate knowledge of pulping and papermaking technology. 

Your Notebook
You will receive a course notebook that includes more than 2,000 visuals, charts and diagrams.  

Professional Development Credits
You will earn 26 professional development hours or 2.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for completion of this course.  TAPPI's Professional Development department has been accredited as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

TAPPI Members receive discounted rates for this course.
If you're not a member yet, we want you to join us!

A Past Participant Said...

"I liked Dr. Kocurek's presentation of the material in a light and humorous manner, giving real-world examples along the way."

Read what another previous attendee wrote in a blog for about what he learned in this course!

Need Custom Training on this Topic?

The content for this course can be tailored specifically to your company's needs and delivered by a TAPPI instructor onsite at your location or as virtual and blended learning formats.
With TAPPI Company Classroom, we’ll work with you to determine your training needs and develop a curriculum to match your objectives.
Contact us to get started.

mike k 11.4.png

Dr. Michael J. Kocurek, Course Chair
Dr. Kocurek, professor emeritus of Paper Science & Engineering at North Carolina State University, is one of the world's most recognized educators in the pulp and paper industry.  

His focus is on pulp and paper technology, linerboard manufacture, tissue manufacture, paper properties, and workforce and professional development.

He has taught students and thousands of industry operators and professionals at more than 200 mills and 50 paper industry corporations, government and other organizations, including TAPPI, the Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the American and Forest Association (AF&PA).  Additionally, he has taught undergraduate and graduate students since 1970.

Dr. Kocurek has developed seven distance e-Learning P&P technical courses under a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant at Coastal Alabama.

He is the course chair for TAPPI's oldest and highly ranked short course on Introduction to Pulp & Paper Technology (50 years).  He is the editor of 11 books, including the recognized Pulp and Paper Manufacture series covering the entire field of pulp & paper. He has authored and/or co-authored 25 video publications, including the Introduction to Pulp & Paper series- again covering the entire field of pulp & paper.

Dr. Kocurek received his B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees in Paper Science & Engineering from the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, and Syracuse University.  He has served as paper science department head at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, an academic program he founded; and NC State University. He also has served as executive director of the Herty Foundation, an authority agency of the State of Georgia. While at Herty, he oversaw a $27 million modernization of the laboratory, creating the largest pilot scale P&P and advanced fiber development center in the US.

His honors include TAPPI Fellow, TAPPI Distinguished Service Award, TAPPI Paper and Board Division Technical Achievement Award; and induction into the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame - an honor bestowed to recognize people who have made preeminent contributions to the global paper industry.

Thomas Holmthomas holm.jpg
Tom is the owner of Yggdrasil Pulp Consulting LLC, providing process analysis, capital justification assistance, and training services to the Pulp and Paper Industry. He has worked with Buckman International as a global subject-matter expert in pulping and related processes. During his six year tenure, he worked with Sales Associates and their customers in 19 countries. He is the author of a series of global webinars discussing various facets of the pulp industry from pitch control to bleaching enzymes. He has authored several papers and made presentations for World Pulp and Paper, TAPPI, Pulp and Paper Canada, ABTCP and CIADICYP.

He has taught introduction to pulping courses for customers and sales associates alike on four continents and has visited over 150 mills, roughly half of which are in North America. This is his third year as an instructor for TAPPI’s Introduction to Pulp and Paper short course.

Prior to joining Buckman, Tom worked for the Willamette mill in Hawesville, Ky., Weyerhaeuser and eventually Domtar (now Paper Excellence). After working as an intern at Hawesville in 1982, and two summers at the Red River Mill in Campti, La., he remained with the company after receiving his BS in Paper Science and Engineering in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He held various positions at the Hawesville site including a four-year stint as the technical manager of the Kentucky Medium mill until it’s closure, when he returned to the pulp mill. He also managed the corporate PSM audit team and severed as the first chair of the Domtar corporate fiberline manager’s roundtable. He was involved in four fiberline startups, as well as one recovery boiler startup.

In addition to consulting, he is currently the Chairman of the board of directors for the Perry County Port Authority and Hoosier Southern Railroad.

A Past Participant Said...

"I liked Dr. Kocurek's presentation of the material in a light and humorous manner, giving real-world examples along the way."

Read what another previous attendee wrote in a blog for about what he learned in this course!

Earn 2.6 CEUs for completing this course!

Course Schedule
January 8-11, 2024

8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Overview of the Industry

  • Industry trends, statistics and information sources

Wood and Fiber Raw Materials

  • Wood and fiber source
  • Differences between hardwoods and softwoods, and important fiber properties that affect paper properties

Preparation of Wood and Chips for Pulping

  • Woodyard operations including debarking, chipping, screening, storage, and recovery

Overview of Pulping

  • Primary categories, incl. chemicals and cooking conditions
  • General pulping terminology
  • Common pulp properties and tests

Kraft Pulping

  • Major types of equipment used in pulping
  • Overview of primary operations in the digesters
  • Major pulping variables
  • Overview of some major kraft pulping trends

Mechanical and Semi-Chemical Pulping

  • Primary mechanical pulping processes
  • Mechanical vs. chemical and hybrid pulp properties

Networking Hour with Refreshments

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Pulp Processing

  • Overview of fiber line pulp processing including washing, screening and cleaning
  • Major equipment types and key operating variables


  • Bleaching processes, including oxygen delignification, chlorine dioxide, caustic extraction, peroxide, and other
  • Bleaching equipment, chemicals, and reactions
  • Trends and environmental issues


  • Categories of recycled paper and board
  • Types of contaminants with recycled paper and problem
  • Overview of different operations and equipment involved with contaminant removal

Chemical Recovery

  • Overview of the major recovery operations, including evaporation, combustion, and recausticizing
  • Composition and properties of black liquor and what happens in the evaporators and recovery unit
  • How pulping liquor is regenerated in recausticizing
  • Lime kiln operations at an overview level

8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Introductions to Paper Grades and Properties

  • Important paper and board properties and tests, including strength, optical and printing properties

Paper Mill Stock Preparation

  • Refining process, primary effects on fibers, and the effects of refining on paper machine operations and paper properties
  • Primary additives used in paper, including strength adhesives, pigments, sizing, and retention aids

Paper Machine Wet End Operations

  • Stock approach system operations prior to the paper machine
  • Main types of headboxes in papermaking and internal ops
  • Sheet forming process, slice operations, jet to wire effects, fiber orientation, formation, microturbulence, dewatering, and sheet structure variations
  • Sheet forming operations and paper properties
  • Forming fabrics, save alls
  • Twin wire gap formers, varieties, mechanisms of dewatering, and sheet structure


8:00 am - 4:00 pm


  • Types of press section configurations and press nip
  • What happens to the sheet during pressing
  • Pressing variables and trends


  • Overview of dryer can internal operations with steam and condensate, major water removal rate differences, major equipment & operating variables that affect rate of drying
  • How drying and sheet shrinkage affect paper and board properties; and the role of felts, draw, and sheet restraint
  • Overview of tissue machine yankee drying and creping

Calendering and Winding

  • Different types of calenders
  • Sheet properties, examination of major calendering variables
  • Winding and roll finishing operation overview

Surface Treatments

  • On machine size press operations, including equipment types and the variables that affect starch pick up in the size press
  • Primary components in a coating, including pigments, adhesives, and additive
  • Differences between roll, air knife, and blade coater
  • Coating drying, equipment and mechanism, supercalendering

Environmental Control

  • Overview of primary and secondary effluent treatment
  • Review of air & water environmental issues associated with the P&P processes

Mill Services

  • Steam Systems
  • Water Systems

New Topics Integrated for 2024!

  • Addressing the Recycling Crisis
      - Decreased exports
      - Effect of E-commerce of boxes shipped to homes.
  • Mill Wide Energy Optimization
  • Papermaking Best Practices

A Past Participant Said...

"I liked Dr. Kocurek's presentation of the material in a light and humorous manner, giving real-world examples along the way."

Read what another previous attendee wrote in a blog for about what he learned in this course!

2024 Registration Rates


Before/On December 15

After December 15


Meeting Registration








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Group Meeting Registration, per person (3+ people from the same location)








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Payment Policy
TAPPI requires that all registration fees are paid in full prior to the start of the course. Attendees paying by check will be registered for the course only after the payment has been received.

Cancellation Policy:
If you find that you have to cancel, your full registration fee will be refunded if TAPPI’s Registration Department receives written notification (fax acceptable at  +1.770.209.7206 by  (December 8th, 2023).  Please note:  There will be a 50% refund for all written cancellations made after (December 8th, 2023) but no later than 5 business days prior to the start of the course (Dec. 29, 2023).  Understandably, after Dec. 29, 2023, no refunds can be issued.  Substitutions, however, will be accepted any time without a penalty. 

100% - Cancellation received by (December 15th, 2023)
50% - Cancellations received after (December 15th, 2023) and no later than (Dec. 29, 2023).
NO REFUND- Cancellations received after (Dec. 29, 2023). 


Attendance Justification Toolkit
We understand it can be challenging to ask for approval to attend TAPPI training events, so we've created an Attendance Justification Toolkit below to assist you with the approval process and in making a strong case for the investment.

Before the Event: Communicate the value of your attendance and any expenses that can be anticipated.

After the Event: Summarize your experience and learning outcomes.

Your preparation will help you earn the greatest benefit from TAPPI training.

In many cases, the work you put in beforehand can also help you determine what information that you want or need to learn from the experts who will assemble to lead this instruction. The interaction with your manager or supervisor can be a productive process to go over some of the challenges that your organization would like to tackle.

A Past Participant Said...

"I liked Dr. Kocurek's presentation of the material in a light and humorous manner, giving real-world examples along the way."

Read what another previous attendee wrote in a blog for about what he learned in this course!

Course Dates: January 8-11, 2024

TAPPI Introduction to Pulp and Paper Technology Course

The course will start at 8:00 am on Monday and conclude at 4:00 pm on Thursday.

TAPPI has negotiated special hotel rates, often with special amenities and/or discounts (visit TAPPI's website for details).  You don't want to miss out on these; rooms outside our block may be much more expensive and will not include special offers.  If you utilize a travel agent or company travel department, please let them know about the procedures.

Hotel Rates + Taxes and Fees: $179-$199

Book your room at the course venue

Course Venue:
The Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel
333 First Street South
St Petersburg, FL 33701
Toll Free: 1-800- 944-5500
1-800-HILTONS (800-445-8667) - Brand Reservations

Note: The TAPPI group rate at the Hilton St. Petersburg expired Sunday, December 17, 2023

After the Special Rate hotel deadline, you may need to consider alternative hotels in the area, which include:

  • Ponce de Leon Hotel
  • Hollander
  • The Mansion House
  • Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg
  • Courtyard by Marriott St. Petersburg Downtown
  • Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Downtown

Avis offers special discounts off regular rates for participants. To reserve your car, call 1-800-831-8000 and refer to the code AWD: #U226600.

A Past Participant Said...

"I liked Dr. Kocurek's presentation of the material in a light and humorous manner, giving real-world examples along the way."

Read what another previous attendee wrote in a blog for about what he learned in this course!

Many titles of interest to you have been discounted for participants of this course!

This course includes a copy of the SMOOK book as part of registration

Handbook for Pulp & Paper Technologists, 4th Edition

Value: Member: $103 List: $133
Item Code: 0202SMOOK4

These special publications from TAPPI are available to 2024 Intro to Pulp and Paper Course attendees, most at a "course only" discount. Purchase with your registration and pick up on-site at the Course and SAVE on shipping!

NEW!  Process Chemicals for Papermaking
Product Code: 0101R364                         
Member Price: $ 110
Non-Member Price:  $ 143


Make Paper Products Stand Out
Product Code: 0101R361                         
Member Price: $ 81
Non-Member Price:  $ 105


Advances in Papermaking Wet End Chemistry Application Technologies
Product Code: 0101R349                         
Member Price: $ 110
Non-Member Price:  $ 142


Troubleshooting the Papermaking Process
Product Code: 0101R298
Member Price: $ 99
Non-Member Price:  $ 127


Kraft Recovery Boilers, Third Edition
Product Code: 0101R358
Member Price: $ 160
Non-Member Price:  $ 207


Handbook for Pulp & Paper Technologists (SMOOK in SPANISH) 4th Edition
Product Code: 0202SMOOK4S
Member Price: $ 88
Non-Member Price:  $ 113


Handbook of Pulp & Paper Terminology: A Guide to Industrial and Technological Usage, Second Edition
Product Code: 0202Term
Member Price: $ 64
Non-Member Price:  $ 72


Properties of Paper
Product Code: 0102B052
Member Price: $ 37
Non-Member Price:  $ 57

World of Market Pulp
Product Code: 08WOMPB
Member Price: $ 95
Non-Member Price:  $ 95


Making Pulp and Paper CDs

Overview Paper and Wood
Member Price: $ 50
Non-Member Price:  $ 76

Paper Mill Overview
Product Code: MPP-09
Member Price: $ 50
Non-Member Price:  $ 76

Pulp Mill Overview & Protecting the Environment
Product Code: MPP-02
Member Price: $ 50
Non-Member Price:  $ 76


Papermaking Science and Technology Series

Papermaking:  Part 1 – Stock Prep and Wet End, 2nd Edition
Product Code: 0202FIN08-2
Price: $ 170    


Papermaking:  Part 2 – Drying, 2nd Edition
Product Code: 0202FIN09-2
Price: $ 170     


Papermaking:  Part 3 – Finishing, 2nd Edition
Product Code: 0202FIN010-2
Price: $ 137 

A Past Participant Said...

"I liked Dr. Kocurek's presentation of the material in a light and humorous manner, giving real-world examples along the way."

Read what another previous attendee wrote in a blog for about what he learned in this course!

Introduction to Kraft Pulping and Bleaching Course

Tuesday, August 06, 2024

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WMU Paper and Paperboard Coating Course

Tuesday, August 13, 2024

Partnered with Western Michigan University
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