Paper students have a European adventure

Students at a paper mill

Eighteen Miami paper students explored Central    
European paper mills 

Four countries. Ten mills. Six credit hours. Twenty-nine days.

These are some facts about the Miami University Paper Engineering in Austria and Central Europe study abroad program, but they do not even begin to describe the once-in-a-lifetime experience 18 paper science students had this j-term.

For these students, central Europe is an incredible place to study papermaking because it has a huge diversity of paper manufacturing in a small area.

The junior and senior chemical engineers, along with Steven Keller, professor in the chemical, paper, and biomedical engineering department, started in Vienna and traveled to other cities such as Graz, Venice, Fabriano (the birthplace of paper in Italy), Florence, Munich, and Salzburg.

No two of the ten mills the students toured were the same—they were big and small, fast and slow; they made everything from boxes to magazine paper to office paper to paper towel.

The students also visited a mine that produced the calcium carbonate that was used at some of the mills they visited, so students got to see how paper became paper from start to finish.

And, of course, the students were studying abroad to have a cultural experience, and they did. They visited cathedrals, museums, a concentration camp, and more, exploring the long and complex history of the region.

By Paige Smith