Technology & Innovation Strategist, A2K Consultants
Technology and Innovation Strategist, Alexander A. Koukoulas enjoys a successful career as an industry executive, scientist and entrepreneur with expertise managing day-to-day business operations, contract manufacturing operations and positioning companies for future growth.
Most recently he was the President and CEO of Georgia Southern University's Herty Advanced Materials Development Center and is a research and technology professional with a proven track record in technology development, new product development and research and technology management. He has over 25 years' experience in R&D and technology management, business development and new product development. His expertise is in chemical sciences and engineering, pulp and paper and bioenergy. His accomplishments include: frequent authorship of peer-reviewed journals and holder of 14 US patents on a diverse range of technologies, including a paper-based insulated coffee cup and a process for the in situ precipitation of calcium carbonate on pulp fibers. Among his many technology company start-ups he includes his own consulting firm, ANL Consultants LLC, which focuses on delivering alternative energy and energy efficiency solutions to industrial clients.
He received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from McGill University and holds executive certificates from the MIT Sloan School of Business. He has worked at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, where he started an advanced coating product development group and led efforts to create a Canadian-based coating demonstration facility. He then joined the world's largest forest products company, International Paper Company, where he held several senior management positions including Capital Projects Manager for Eastern Europe, Chief Scientist and Director of Research. He was also Executive Vice President and Director of Technology at Albany International, the world's largest industrial fabrics manufacturer. He is an expert consultant to the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, the European Commission's Energy Directorate, and the National Engineering & Science Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. He is a board member of NSERC's Innovative Green Wood Fibre Products Network.
He is a member of the American Chemical Association, the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC) and the Scientific Research Society, Sigma Xi. He is a long-time member of TAPPI and is former Chairman of its International Research Management Committee. He has taught at McGill University and holds adjunct professorships at North Carolina State University and Georgia Southern University.
Although wet-laid production comprises a small component of the overall nonwovens market, the technology continues to evolve and present opportunities for innovation and the development of novel products. Recent advances in materials development and process technology have expanded the use of wet-laid forming technologies. In particular, the demand for sustainable and renewable fiber sources presents an opportunity to reconsider wet-laid forming as part of their overall technology strategy. We will summarize the status of wet-laid forming and highlight the opportunities and challenges facing its future growth.