UW-Stevens Point: Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology set for launch at UWSP

Chancellor Patterson, Congressman Obey among speakers at Wednesday’s kickoff

Business and industry in the state have a new source of expertise in sustainability solutions thanks to the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST), a service of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, slated for its official launch Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The WIST opening event, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center, will showcase some of the institute’s initial projects and grant awardees along with remarks from leaders who have helped make WIST possible. Rep. Dave Obey, who has helped secure major federal support for WIST, along with UWSP Chancellor Bernie Patterson and Deans Christine Thomas and Christopher Cirmo are all scheduled to offer remarks on the institute’s potential impact.

“It’s our vision that one day it will be impossible to travel through Wisconsin and not see evidence of WIST in our communities and their businesses and public services,” said UWSP Chancellor Bernie Patterson.

“WIST is the type of federal investment that focuses the strength of the university and its applied research on helping people, businesses and other organizations to reach their sustainability goals and to ensure a green Wisconsin,” said Rep. Dave Obey.

The launch event will also introduce WIST’s executive director, Paul Fowler, who comes to Wisconsin from Wales, UK, where he was director of the Welsh Institute for Natural Resources, based at Bangor University. He led that institute’s efforts to develop commercial applications of sustainable technologies based on renewable materials.

“WIST’s work is already well under way,” Fowler noted. “Major research includes a biofuels project to develop fuels from forest and agricultural products to replace jet fuel, diesel and gasoline. The technology would help Wisconsin’s paper and pulp mills diversify their revenue sources.”

According to Fowler, several other projects have been initiated with WIST funding and UWSP expertise.

Fowler will also announce two coming public events to present WIST’s services to Central Wisconsin, the first at noon on Oct. 4, at UWSP’s Wausau Center, and the second on Wednesday, October 20, at 4 p.m. at UWSP’s Treehaven, in Tomahawk. Anyone interested in attending either of these events may call 715-346-3991 for more information, or visit http://www.uwsp.edu/wist.

The WIST launch event is open to media coverage. Parking in Lots R and Z. Dreyfus University Center is located at 1015 Reserve Street on the UWSP campus.