Laszlo Horvath profileLaszlo Horvath, Ph.D.
Professional Member

Blacksburg, VA


You might say the love of all things wood comes naturally to TAPPI member Laszlo Horvath, Ph.D.

He grew up in his father’s small furniture manufacturing company in Kiskoros, Hungary, helping to create high-end custom pieces. But it wasn’t until he began his wood engineering studies that he discovered his true passion – the mechanics of structure and design.

Laszlo, now an Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech (VT), earned both an M.S. in Engineering Management and an M.S. in Wood Engineering from the University of West Hungary in 2007. Before graduation he learned of a position at North Carolina State University that would provide him the chance to study underlying micro mechanical relationships in the cellular structure of wood, while researching genetically modified species with reduced lignin content. According to Laszlo, these trees are specifically engineered for paper production and his work investigated whether the genetic modification compromised their mechanical properties.

He graduated NC State in 2010 with a Ph.D. in Forest Biomaterials and was soon on his way to VT where he teaches undergraduate level classes related to computer-aided design, packaging distribution, product protection, and pallet and unit load design. In addition to developing the curriculum for Packaging and Systems and Design, he also researches the physical integration between the components of unit loads with the goal to develop more sustainable designs.

Interestingly, Laszlo says he didn’t know a lot about the pallet industry before joining VT. “I always looked at pallets as small building structures, therefore I was excited to apply my knowledge in this new area,” he said. As Director of the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA)-certified Center, he is responsible for managing multiple applied research projects on design methodologies to create more sustainable packaging solutions. He is also tasked with using Lean Management principles to create an innovative environment where researchers and students can work together to help the packaging industry.(You might want to refer to another TAPPI article on this topic. See article attached)

And speaking of students, Laszlo is also actively involved in building VT’s first TAPPI student chapter which he is co-advising with a fellow professor (Dr. Young Teck Kim). With 32 actively participating students, Laszlo says they are now merging with VT’s Institute of Packaging Professionals chapter and are looking to build a stronger relationship with NC State’s TAPPI chapter. “We already have a strong connection with local corrugated and paperboard companies,” he said, “and we are hoping that by building an even stronger club that this will help students gain additional connections in the industry.”

Which is not surprising. Having started his own career path into the pulp and paper industry as a builder of fine furniture, it seems only natural that he would help build a solid career foundation for the next generation.  What better way than TAPPI?



Q. Why did you decide to join TAPPI?
A.  I wanted to be involved with TAPPI to gain knowledge related to the paper-based packaging area and also to share the research information that we generate on how corrugated boxes are interacting with other components of the supply chain. We are building a TAPPI student chapter within Virginia Tech and I want them to be more involved with the entire society.

Q. Please describe your involvement with TAPPI.
A. I have been a member since 2014, and I am currently serving as a VP of the Virginia – North Carolina Chapter.

Q. How has TAPPI helped you in your career pursuits?
A. My TAPPI membership helps me to be more engage with corrugated packaging companies across Virginia.

Q. Tell us about some of your interests outside of TAPPI and your professional life.
A. Traveling and exploring new cities or countries is my main hobby. I still have a lot of places in my bucket list, thus I still have a long way to go.

Laszlo Horvath with wifeQ. Can you share a unique or fun fact about yourself?
A. I consistently have a pile of books on my nightstand ready for reading, yet I continue to buy new ones to add to the pile and never get to read them.

Additionally, my wife and I spent our honeymoon traveling to Bali and then around Australia. We loved  everything about Bali; it is really paradise on earth. It was just a perfect honeymoon destination (see photo of Laszlo and his wife in Bali at right). After five days in Bali we traveled to Melbourne, Australia which was a huge transition because we went from a tropical paradise to the Australian winter. Melbourne is a really friendly city and we loved to visit coffee shops and just explore the culture of the city. We only spent six days there then we visited the Red Center in the middle of Australia. It was one of the most exciting portions of our trip. We saw kangaroos in their natural habitat and met with local Aboriginal people. I never saw that many stars in the sky (they have no light pollution).

Q. TAPPI’s 100-year anniversary is in 2015. Would you provide a few thoughts on what you believe have been the most significant contributions/breakthroughs in areas of our industry? Also, what is your favorite paper or packaging product?
A. My favorite packaging product is a pallet. I know that it is not a usual choice, but pallets are important parts of the supply chain and it is fascinating how a simple structure like a pallet can make a big difference.

Q. Closing sentiments?
A. My TAPPI membership has showed me how diverse the paper industry is and my participation in meetings and conferences helped me gain life-long connections and also to identify new research areas. I would highly encourage all packaging professionals who work with paper-based products to look at TAPPI membership because, being immersed in this environment, I definitely have more appreciation toward paper-based packaging materials. 


Showing 1–20 of 1656 results
News
Sappi N.A. Receives Award from Maine Development Foundation (9/29/2016)

Sappi North America, Boston, Mass., USA, a producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, has received a Champion of Economic Development Award from the Maine Development Foundation. The award is given to individuals or organizations that are key to driving Maine's economy forward.

News
Sonoco Alcore Revamps Dryer Section with Advanced TT SteelDryers at Ciriè Mill (9/14/2016)

A Toscotec (Lucca, Italy) dryer section rebuild has been successfully started up at Sonoco Alcore’s paper mill in Ciriè–Torino, Italy. PM 1 in Ciriè, with a reel trim of 2,500 mm and a design speed of 350 m/min., is specialized for the production of high quality core board grades.

News
Largest European Steel Yankee for Tissue Starts up at WEPA Cassino Mill (9/21/2016)

The biggest European steel yankee dryer for tissue production, a Toscotec TT SYD-18FT (5,600 mm wide), has been successfully started up at WEPA Cassino mill in Italy. The PM 3 rebuilding project was commissioned to Toscotec (Lucca, Italy), WEPA’s long-term partner, continuing the process of investments to upgrade the plant and to achieve the best available technology in tissue making.

News
Tembec Orders Valmet QCS for Tartas SAS in France (9/21/2016)

Tembec's (Canada) specialty dissolving pulp mill in Tartas, France, has ordered a Valmet IQ quality control system (QCS) and an expansion of its existing Valmet DNA distributed control system (DCS) for its pulp dryer. By complementing its current control system with this investment, the mill is targeting to improve process stability and reduce lost time during transition phases such as startups, breaks, and speed changes. Startup of the new QCS is scheduled for October 2016. Typically the order value of this kind of automation system deliveries is below EUR 1 million, according to Valmet.

News
Sappi N.A. Announces Neoterix ST Paper with Bacteria-Inhibition Technology (9/15/2016)

Sappi North America, Boston, Mass., USA, a producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Sharklet Technologies Inc., Aurora, Colo., to manufacture and distribute casting and release paper featuring the ground-breaking Sharklet™ microtexture.

News
Twin Rivers Paper Achieves PEFC Chain of Custody Certification (9/29/2016)

Company adds PEFC chain of custody certification, a third-party standard focused on sustainable fiber sourcing.

News
FPAC Launches Aboriginal Business Award (9/12/2016)

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Ottawa, Ont., and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) this past week announced that nominations are open for the 2016 Aboriginal Business Leadership Award.

News
Coldwater Acquires EZ Eco Smart Cleaner Technology for Wires, Felts (9/20/2016)

David Withers, president, announced that Coldwater has acquired the EZ eco smart cleaner technology for wires and press felts. The EZ eco smart cleaner is a quantum improvement in wire and press felt cleaning compared with oscillating showers.

News
Port Townsend Paper First Industry in Washington State Running CNG (9/14/2016)

According to a report today (Sept. 14, 2016) by the Port Townsend Leader (Port Townsend, Wash., USA), Port Townsend Paper, owned by Crown Group (Atlanta, Ga.) has become the first large manufacturer in the state to switch from oil to compressed natural gas (CNG). Mill officials say this conversion should reduce its current greenhouse gas emission levels by 25%.

News
Heinzel Group Has Andritz Rebuild SC PM to Produce Containerboard (9/13/2016)

Andritz (Graz, Austria) has received an order from Heinzel Group (Vienna, Austria) to rebuild PM 10 at its Laakirchen paper mill in Austria. Starting in Q3 of 2017, PM 10, which is currently producing SC paper, will be producing wastepaper-based lightweight containerboard. After full conversion, PM 10 will be among the most efficient paper machines in the lightweight containerboard sector with a working width of 7,500 mm and a design speed of 1,600 m/min.

News
Agenda 2020 All-Members’ Meeting Held at NC State (9/12/2016)

Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance held its All-Members Meeting in conjunction with the NC State Pulp & Paper Foundation meeting in Raleigh, N.C., USA, on Sept. 8, 2016.  Executive Director David Turpin presented an overview of the Alliance and its progress in implementing its five technology roadmaps. The leaders of the five teams then presented their ongoing and planned research projects and ways that faculty, students, and companies could engage in the process.

News
Domtar Optimizing Fluff Pulp Production, Streamlining Plymouth Mill (9/30/2016)

Domtar Corp., Fort Mill, S.C., USA, this week announced a plan to optimize fluff pulp manufacturing at its Plymouth, N.C., mill. The streamlining measures will strengthen the mill’s position in the global fluff pulp markets.

News
PT OKI Selects BTG Lignin Management, Inline Sensors for New Fiberline (9/19/2016)

PT OKI is installing BTG (U.K.) inline sensors and analyzers at its world-class new fiberline in Indonesia.

News
Stora Enso Plans Consolidation of Corrugated Packaging in Finland (9/20/16)

Stora Enso, Finland, plans to consolidate manufacturing of corrugated packaging in Finland to its Lahti plant. The objective is to improve profitability and competitiveness by creating a center of excellence for corrugated packaging in Lahti.

News
Volga to Install Andritz ATMP System at Pulp Mill in Russia (9/21/2016)

Andritz, Graz, Austria, has received an order from JSC Volga in Balakhna, Nizhegorodskaya oblast, Russia, to deliver a complete state-of-the-art ATMP (Advanced Thermo-mechanical Pulp) line, which will process 100% spruce for the production of softwood pulp. Startup of the new line, which will be combined with existing equipment, is scheduled for 2019.

News
Resolute to Acquire Tembec Sawmill in Senneterre, Que. (9/28/2016)

Resolute Forest Products Inc., Montreal, Que., Canada, has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire the assets of Tembec's sawmill located in Senneterre, Que.

News
ST Tissue Announces Major Expansion of Virginia Mill (9/28/2016)

Tak Investments Inc., owner of tissue mills in Oconto Falls, Wis., USA, and Franklin, Va., today (Sept. 28, 2016) announced an expansion of its Franklin facility to further support customers’ needs in the Away from Home (AfH) market.

News
U.S. Paper Bag/Coated and Treated Paper Market: Analysis, Forecast to 2020 (9/21/2016)

Research and Markets, Dublin, Ireland, has announced the addition of the U.S. Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Market - Analysis and Forecast to 2020 report to its offering. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the U.S. paper bag and coated and treated paper market. It presents the latest data of the market size and volume, domestic production, exports and imports, price dynamics, and turnover in the industry.

News
Parenco Starts up Voith Converted PM 2 from Newsprint to Packaging Grades (9/26/2016)

Parenco’s rebuilt PM 2 at its Renkum, Netherlands, mill was successfully started up just 14 months after contract signing with Voith (Germany).. After a short optimization phase, the customer signed the official take-over document. The rebuild/conversion from newsprint to packaging paper increases the mill's capacity by approximately 385,000 metric tpy.

News
Canada Celebrates National Forest Week (9/19/2016)

This week September 18-24, 2016, Canada is celebrating National Forest Week. The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says the industry will mark the occasion by celebrating the industry's huge impact on the economy and jobs, contributions to tackling climate change, and sustainable forest practices.