Engineering Excellence in the Pulp and Paper Industry: An Interview with Kurian Jose

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At Paper Excellence, we believe in fostering the talents of the next generation to shape the future of our industry.

Kurian Jose’s journey as one of our Engineers-In-Training with the Catalyst Port Alberni Mill is a testament to the innovative impact of applying mechanical engineering expertise to the pulp and paper industry.  

Kurian completed his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in India. Seeking to expand his horizons and deepen his understanding of mechanical engineering, Kurian embarked on a new chapter by enrolling in the master’s program in engineering with a specialization in mechanical engineering at the University of Ottawa.  

The allure of the pulp and paper industry for Kurian lies in its unique blend of mechanical engineering and process optimization. For Kurian, the machinery, precision engineering, and continuous improvement opportunities within the industry were appealing. The complex and challenging nature of the pulp and paper sector, coupled with the chance to apply mechanical engineering skills to optimize processes and contribute to sustainability, became the driving force behind Kurian’s career choice. 

The coexistence of traditional and modern practices in the pulp and paper industry was an unexpected revelation for Kurian. While the industry boasts a rich history and time-honoured techniques, it’s equally committed to embracing cutting-edge technologies. “There’s a strong push towards adopting advanced automation, data analytics, and process optimization tools to enhance efficiency and reduce environmental impact,” said Kurian.

Kurian’s current focus revolves around two pivotal projects at the mill. The first project centres on integrating a high-density cleaner within the re-pulper process, ensuring optimal deflaker functionality. “My role entails a comprehensive overhaul of these cleaner specifications to align precisely with the requirements of our application. This also involves equipment improvement and relocation, layout planning, piping design, integration of instrumentation and electrical components,” said Kurian.

Simultaneously, Kurian leads a project addressing a critical safety concern—an innovative stair system to enable secure access for maintenance crews within the paper machine area. His unconventional approach, a removable stair design, optimizes space and enhances both safety protocols and operational efficiency. 

Port Alberni provides the perfect setting for Kurian to pursue his passions of fishing, rafting, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Many of Kurian’s fellow colleagues share these passions, fostering strong bonds between Kurian and his teammates.  

As an Engineer in Training (EIT), Kurian finds profound satisfaction in his role. Guided by mentors who generously share their expertise, Kurian is exposed to diverse challenges and projects, offering daily opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. “The collaborative environment within the workplace fosters an atmosphere of continuous learning and innovation, allowing me to gain practical insights beyond what I could have imagined,” said Kurian.

Kurian Jose’s journey epitomizes the fusion of engineering with the complexities of the pulp and paper industry. As he continues to leave his mark on this dynamic field, his story inspires future engineers to explore the endless possibilities that await at the crossroads of mechanics, innovation, and sustainability. 

Stay tuned for more stories of excellence as we continue to spotlight the individuals who drive our industry forward. At Paper Excellence, we’re not just crafting paper; we’re cultivating talent and shaping a sustainable future.

Source: Paper Excellence