Keynote Speaker Biographies

June 3 - 7, 2019 | Makuhari Messe International Convention Hall | Chiba, Japan

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 Our Speakers' Stories

 Learn more about TAPPI Nano speakers and their background.

Dr. Emily D. Cranston is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Wood Science and Chemical and Biological Engineering at University of British Columbia (UBC) and holds the President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bioproducts. She was previously an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University (2011-2019) and held the Canada Research Chair in Bio-Based Nanomaterials. Her research focuses on sustainable nanocomposites and hybrid materials from cellulose and other biopolymers. Dr. Cranston received her Honours BSc and PhD in Chemistry at McGill University and completed post-doctoral studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. She was named the Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecturer from the American Chemical Society (2018) and is the recipient of the KINGFA Young Investigator’s Award from the American Chemical Society CELL Division (2017).




Mr. Kazufumi Yamasaki is Representative Director and Executive Vice President of Nippon Paper Industries (NPI) in addition to being the Representative Director and the President of Nippon Paper Crecia. During his tenure as Administrative Director of the Japan Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry, Mr. Yamasaki was engaged in the fields of chemical and paper production. Due to his success in the role at NPI, he was promoted and concurrently served as an Executive Officer and the Executive Director of the R&D Division and Engineering Division in June 2015. In October 2016, he reorganized the Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) Business Promotion Office into the CNF Research Laboratory to further accelerate R&D activities and commercialization activities of CNF. Mr. Yamasaki then established the New Material Sales Promotion Office in the CNF head office to promote sales of CNF in October 2016. As a result, he was promoted to a Representative Director, the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the R&D Division. In his role in 2017, he renamed the New Material Sales Promotion Office as the New Material Sales Division, which covers packaging materials, cellulose materials and developed new materials including in 2017.

Since then, Mr. Kazufumi Yamasaki has dedicated himself to the commercialization of CNF in NPI and supports it as the Executive Vice President. Mr. Yamasaki has been a board member of the Nanocellulose Forum Japan since 2015, became chair of the Forum from 2017 to 2018 and is now auditor of the Forum. Through these activities he has been contributing to the commercialization of cellulose materials in Japan.






Dr. Alan Rudie, PhD, attended Wartburg College where he was a double major in Chemistry and Mathematics. He received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Inorganic Chemistry. He’s been a national TAPPI member since 1980 and was co-editor of the fifth edition of the Bleaching of Pulp. His career began as a Research Associate with International Paper before joining the Institute of Paper Science and Technology as an associate professor. He now serves as an Assistant Director at the USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory. Throughout his career and more than three decades as a TAPPI member, Dr. Rudie has made significant contributions to the advancement of the organization and the paper industry. In recognition of his outstanding service and valuable contributions, he was awarded the 2018 Pulp Manufacture Division Technical Award and Johan C.F.C. Richter Prize from TAPPI’s Pulp Manufacture Division, and in 2016 was named a TAPPI Fellow.





Yong Huang, PhD, is a professor in the Technical Institute of Physics and Chinese Academy of Sciences in China. Previously, he twice held the role of Deputy Director of the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1997 and 2007-2017. He was also a Visiting Professor at Dortmund University in Germany. Dr. Huang received his PhD from the College of Materials in South China University of Technology. His areas of research are structures of polymeric liquid crystals, cellulose chemistry and materials, and materials from natural and renewable resources.

Akira Isogai is a professor in the Department of Biomaterials Science, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, at the University of Tokyo. In 2018 he became the President of the Nanocellulose Forum (NCF) and in 2019 he was named President of the High Performance Paper Society of Japan. Professor Isogai serves on the Board and is Chairman of the Wood Science Committee for Japan TAPPI. His main research fields are in the fundamentals of TEMPO-nanocelluloses (nanonetworks, CNCs, and CNFs) and cellulose, and paper chemistry. Professor Isogai’s successes have gained him numerous awards, including the Japan Academy Prize from The Japan Academy (2019), Fujihara Prize from Fujihara Foundation of Science (2017), Honda Prize from the Honda Foundation (2016), Anselme Payen Award from the American Chemical Society’s Cellulose and Renewable Material Division (2015), and the Marcus Wallenberg Award from Wallenberg Foundation in Sweden (2015).



Dr. Heli Kangas is Research Team Leader of High-performance fibre products team and a Project manager (certification level IPMA-C). She has background in forest products chemistry and more than 18 years of experience in the field. She has expertise in cellulose nanomaterials, especially in their characterization and properties as well as their environmental, health and safety (EHS) aspects. She acts as an expert in ISO TC229 (Nanotechnologies) JWG2 PWI - Characterisation of cellulose elementary fibril samples and is a substitute member in the “Safe application of nanotechnology” contact person network, coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland.  She is the Coordinator of H2020 SPIRE project NOVUM - Pilot line based on novel manufacturing technologies for cellulose-based electrical insulation components (2017-2021). She has 16 peer-reviewed publications and has published over 30 other papers and conference publications.