Packaging Corporation of America’s (PCA) Benjamin Frank has been awarded the TAPPI 2021 Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award.
TAPPI is the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and converting industries. This award recognizes individuals who make scientific and engineering achievements of proven commercial benefit to the industry.
“Honestly, I was stunned when I first heard,” Frank says. “I am surprised, honored and humbled. The award is more for PCA than for me, as it is only through my interactions with people across the company that I’ve been able to do the things I’ve done.”
Frank began his career at PCA in 2001 and is the Director of Materials Research and Innovation. His primary focus is on product development. He has worked in the industry for over 25 years, and he holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s and doctorate in physics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
“I think the award recognizes my willingness to collaborate, ask questions and push the boundaries of what we know. Those things do not in any way guarantee success, but without them, it is hard to be successful, to solve problems, or to learn new things.”
Frank also won TAPPI’s Harry J. Bettendorf Prize in 2015, and he credits both of his wins to his colleagues at PCA. “I work for a great company. I am proud to work for PCA and thankful for the opportunities the company has provided me to succeed internally and to share a small part of that with the industry.”
Within TAPPI, Frank has held leadership roles in FISCOTEC and Q&SMC and has also been active in CORBOTEC and ISO/TC6. He is currently chairman of the FBA’s Technical committee and is active in ISTA. These experiences have helped him to advance technical ideas for the benefit of the industry.
“I feel very fortunate to work for a company and with leaders who recognize the value of looking beyond our walls.”