Machines in the Making

When Kevin Burkett first laid eyes on a papermaking machine, he was hooked.

“Some of this equipment is so massive and so cool and so unique in operation, it really drew me in,” recalls Burkett, about that fateful stop on the college engineering tour.

Twenty years later, he’s still awestruck by the enormity of the machines and their high rates of speed. He notes some produce paper rolls at 9,000 feet per minute, winding them at speeds close to 90 mph.

Today, those same machines from yesteryear run vastly different products thanks to engineers like Burkett. Drawing on his knowledge of statistics, fluid mechanics, chemistry, geometry, matter and energy balances, unit operations, and laboratory procedures, he and his team develop new products based on continually evolving market demands.

“There’s something exciting about trying to make something you never have before,” says Burkett. “We get to answer the question, can we make it?”

Name: Kevin Burkett

Job Title: Manager, Quality

and Process Engineering

Mill Location: Chillicothe, Ohio

Paper is…changing.