Using Python to characterize the structure of wood with Nicholas McIntosh

Presentation on Saturday at 2:50 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 1160.

The energy-intensive nature of the mechanical pulping production process (disassembling wood chips into their constituent fibres to make pulp) has resulted in a great deal of work in the area of energy reduction strategies for the process. Prior-to-pulping wood chip compression processes fit this bill exactly and have been shown to reduce the energy consumed by the process as a whole by up to 15%, but are less than fully understood in their mechanism of action. This talk will cover the development of the computational and experimental tools that have been developed to characterize wood chips, and, ultimately, better understand the mechanics of the chip-compression process as a whole. Specifically: the development of an image analysis (via OpenCV)/model fitting (via scikit-learn) data analysis pipeline has allowed for a quantitative assessment of the micro-structure of wood.

Nicholas McIntosh Bio

Nicholas McIntosh is a MASc student in Chemical and Biological Engineering at The University of British Columbia's Pulp and Paper Centre in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. Nick's current work is centered around improving the efficiency of the mechanical pulping process. He spends most of his time thinking about capillary driven flows and modelling the structure of wood.