The fascination of paper: Interview with Dr. Markus Wildberger and Prof. Dr. Markus Biesalski about the Model Factory Paper

Since 2018, Dr Markus Wildberger, Corporate Director Technology at Koehler Innovation & Technology and Chairman of the Shareholders’ Committee, and Prof. Dr Markus Biesalski, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, have been passionately committed to this renowned project for the paper industry. In this interview with Ina Kruse of the Modellfabrik Papier, you can find out why they are doing this, what fascinates them about paper as a product and how they see the future of paper.

Kruse: How did you become interested in paper and what fascinates you about the subject? Where does your passion for paper come from?

Wildberger: I came to the subject through my studies. I am Austrian and studied process engineering in Graz. Graz University of Technology is the only institute in Austria where you can study paper and pulp technology in the second stage of your degree programme. What fascinated me was the variety of papers, the raw materials used and the production of paper. To put it bluntly, papermaking is both a science and a philosophy in itself: two identical paper machines will never produce exactly the same paper due to the many influencing factors. This means that a great deal of interdisciplinary experience and systematic thinking is required to produce a functional paper based on sustainable organic and inorganic raw materials in line with its application.

Kruse: So the production of paper has become a philosophy for you?

Wildberger: Yes, because many disciplines and sciences come together to produce a sheet of paper. In paper production, for example, chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, materials science and process engineering come together to create a fascinating product.

You can find the complete interview here.