Martin A. Hubbe is a professor and Buckman Distinguished Scientist at North Carolina State University, teaching and conducting research related to the colloidal chemistry of cellulosic materials, with a particular focus on papermaking wet-end chemistry. He has been a member of TAPPI since 1987. He is a TAPPI Fellow and currently serves on Paper and Board Division’s Paper Additives Committee.
Marty chairs TAPPI’s “Introduction to Wet End Chemistry” short course and is the co-editor of “Advances in Papermaking Chemistry Wet End Application Technologies”, a book that helps engineers working within our industry to use papermaking additives more effectively, taking advantage of progress in implementation technologies. He conducts university courses for on-campus students and distance-education. The peer-reviewed scientific journal BioResources, which he co-founded and edits with Dr. Lucian Lucia, currently publishes articles devoted to the materials science of paper and wood.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was growing up, copies of TAPPI Journal were occasionally among the items that my dad brought home from work. So I had the idea, early on, that TAPPI was a place that people could report things of interest - at least among papermakers. Writing is part of what a faculty member at a university does; it's part of the job expectations. It is great to be able to contribute the to TAPPI organization in this way.
2. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing for a TAPPI publication?
Writing material for a TAPPI publication takes a certain amount of time, but the nice thing is that it can be done discontinuously. So, I do some of this work when I happen to be in a waiting mode. So it often ends up that I start on projects to write text for TAPPI near the end of a work day. Once things are nearing completion, I start getting more excited and then I might put in a block of time at the start of the day when I am less likely to miss a mistake that I entered into the text earlier.
3. What advice do you have for anyone considering writing for a TAPPI publication?
Sometimes it is tough to make time to put things down on paper. But the nice thing is that it is easy to break up the task into little bits. Like you can start by describing each of the experimental methods. Then you can spend some time putting a graph into a good format for presentation on a page. Then you can work on a description of what others have reported about the topic. I think you get the idea. I always try to write the abstract and the conclusions last, once it is clear what is the main "story" told by the body of the document.