Skip to main content

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Hands-On Short Courses


Course Descriptions

These two-day courses offer a unique learning experience on paper machine operations. Under the supervision of paper machine staff, attendees operate the pilot paper machine in the UWSP Paper Science and Chemical Engineering laboratory on the Stevens Point, WI Campus. Through carefully planned exercises that allow the participants to observe, manipulate and understand the operations of papermaking, each exercise introduces attendees to more complicated and sophisticated aspects of paper machine operations. 

Participants spend the two mornings learning in​ a classroom environment, and the two afternoons working with the pilot-scale paper machine. This combination has proven to be a highly effective and enjoyable way to gain fundamental knowledge of the commercial papermaking process. 

With class size always limited to 16 or fewer participants, there is ample opportunity for questions and discussion during classroom sessions and hands-on opportunities on the paper machine. The courses normally meet from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily with lunch and break refreshments included. Continuing Education Units (CEU's) are available for all of these courses.

A link to more information about upcoming courses and registration is included at the beginning of each description below.
Registration is OPEN FOR ALL 2024 courses. Click on the titles or dates below for a link  to more information or the TAPPI registration page.

​​Hands-On ​​Papermaking Course​​​

 March 7-8, 2024 - Completed

 ​& August 8-9, 2024​​

This introductory class features morning classroom sessions followed by afternoon sessions of guided exercises operating the UW-Stevens Point Fourdrinier pilot paper machine. It is designed for anyone who needs the basics, transferred from another industry, is new to operations, does maintenance, or supervises employees. Topics covered in this course included pulp and papermaking operations, with more information about papermaking processes and equipment.  Learning outcomes for this course include:

  • Safely participate in the operation of a pilot-scale paper machine
  • Perform basic tests to monitor paper machine performance
  • Expand your knowledge of paper machine operations
  • Use what you learn to resolve upsets on the paper machine
  • Broaden your awareness of how one part of the process impacts other operations
  • Build your knowledge of paper industry vocabulary​​​

Advanced Papermaking: Add​itives​

 April 11-12, 2024​​​.

This two-day course provides an overview of common paper making additives used in the industry today. Clear descriptions of how and why these additives work are presented in classroom discussions. Attendees will participate in discussions focused on where additives are introduced into the paper making process, potential interactions with both equipment and other additives, and the relationship between additives and enhanced performance of paper. This course features hands-on exercises on the UW-Stevens Point pilot paper machine where attendees will produce paper with different additives. The group will also evaluate the properties of this paper using typical laboratory tests. Class size is limited to 16 for this course to provide ample opportunities for questions and discussion during classroom sessions and hands-on experiences on the paper machine. Learning outcomes for this course include:

  • ​Safely participate in the operation of a pilot-scale paper machine
  • Recognize the difference between acid and alkaline papermaking
  • Explain the difference between process additives and product improving additives
  • Product and evaluate paper with rentention aid
  • Produce and evaluate paper with filler
  • Produce and evaluate paper with dyes
  • Describe the difference between wet and dry strength additives
  • Explain the purpose and use of foam control, pitch control and biocides​

Advanced Papermaking: Formation

​​May 9-10, 2024. -FULL CLASS

This two-day class features morning classroom sessions followed by afternoon sessions of guided hands-on exercises using the UW-Stevens Point Fourdrinier pilot paper machine and testing the resulting paper. This combination has proven to be a highly effective and enjoyable way to gain fundamental knowledge of the industrial papermaking process. Class size is limited to 16 for this course to provide ample opportunities for questions and discussion during classroom sessions and hands-on experiences on the paper machine. Learning outcomes for this course include:

  • Safely participate in the operation of a pilot-scale paper machine
  • Identify the relation​​ships among sheet structure, formation, and paper properties
  • Explain why paper making fibers floc
  • Apply manufacturing techniques that minimize fiber floccing
  • Perform both visual and instrumental measurement of formation
  • Describe the difficulties associated with the correlation of visual formation assessment and instrument measurement

Coating & Lamination in Packaging Applications

June 6-7, 2024.

It is designed for those working in paper converting, coatings, printing, plastic films, and packaging, especially in flexible packaging. The content will be particularly beneficial to engineers, technicians, chemists, scientists, sales representatives, and customer service representatives. Representatives of companies that supply papers, paperboards, adhesives, inks, polymers, plastic films, and aluminum foils will also find this curriculum very useful. Participants will spend the morning in lecture and the afternoon in a hands-on lab experience on state-of-the-art equipment.  Lunch and morning refreshments will be included on both days. Learning outcomes for this course include:

  • Understand coating and lamination fundamentals and their applications
  • Recognize the various types of coaters and laminators and their applications
  • Understand workflow and unit operations
  • Recognize the raw materials and their properties, and learn their influences on the final products
  • Understand test basics
  • Apply the knowledge in operation and quality control


Who Should Attend 

You should attend if you are seeking a better understanding of the paper industry in order to improve your on-the-job performance. Particularly appropriate for newcomers, machine operators, operating managers, financial managers, sales representatives, maintenance workers, training, and development staff.

What to Expect

The attendees divide into teams to perform tasks on the machine. The teams will rotate between the machine and the control room. This will provide the team with opportunities to discuss their observations and experiences with the facilitator and plan for the next task to be performed.

Course Provider/Instructors

UWSP's Paper Science and Chemical Engineering department organizes these courses. PS&ChE faculty and staff serve as instructors.​



©1993- University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point