Introducing FITNIR’s team

Tom Sands, President & CEO

Tom Sands has more than 44 years of experience in the pulp industry including eight years as an independent consultant for digester control where he was responsible for the installation, programming, site service, training and documentation for automated liquor analyzers.


Previously, Tom was with Kvaerner Chemetics, a process technology company with proprietary process systems and plants in the pulp and paper and other industries. During his tenure he was a Senior Process Control Specialist assisting with the design and start-up of the majority of their FT-NIR analyzer installations.


Tom holds a Diploma in Electronic Technology from Red River Community College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Throughout his career he has travelled extensively to work with pulp mills across North America.

Thanh Trung, Chief Operating & Technology Officer

Throughout his more than 23 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry, Thanh Trung has amassed a high-level of technical expertise in advanced vibrational spectroscopy as well as garnered extensive knowledge and experience in mill operations. Thanh’s research focus has been on the development of online spectroscopic sensors and process analyzers for industrial applications to address key energy issues of fundamental infrastructure such as recovery boilers, power boilers and lime kilns.


Prior to joining FITNIR, Thanh was a Senior Research Scientist with FPInnovations (formerly Paprican) for 20 years. His pioneering efforts with FPInnovations in developing novel applications for the pulp and paper industry led to numerous inventorships and co-inventorships of U.S. and International patents. Thanh has also authored over 50 papers relating to pulp and paper applications, has been a guest editor of Canadian and international journals, and continues to contribute to the industry in chemical pulping, chemical recovery, and the integration of process measurements to reduce costs and improve product quality.


Thanh obtained a B.Sc., Honours, in chemistry, specializing in analytical chemistry at the University of British Columbia. He is a member of Pulp and Paper Technical Association (PAPTAC), TAPPI, Applied Spectroscopy Society, American Chemical Association (ACS), Chemical Society of Canada, and the Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Society.

James Kay, Production Manager

James Kay’s area of expertise are materials science, engineering design and industrial fabrication. He has a BASc in Integrated Engineering and a PhD in Materials Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Before joining FITNIR, James was the project manager at Elmec Engineering where he spent ten years designing and fabricating industrial equipment such as control panels, material handling systems, jet engine components, and chemical analysis equipment including FITNIR’s systems. He has also taught a course in Engineering Design at Capilano University. Today, James is responsible for the fabrication of all of FITNIR’s products and contributes to the design of new products and specialized components.

Jack Porter, Application Advisor

Jack Porter has spent 34 years working with recovery boilers, power boilers and evaporators. During the first 20 years of his career, Jack progressed through all operating positions within the recovery department concluding with Superintendent of Recovery and Recaust.


Since then, Jack has worked on many utility projects, the largest being the construction of a new recovery boiler. He has been a session chair for the 1995 and 2007 and 2010 International Recovery Conferences and has authored or co-authored 14 presentations on topics involving recovery boilers and the associated liquor cycle.


Jack has been a participating member of the University of Toronto’s Research Consortium on Recovery Boilers since 1988 and has worked with FPInnovations and Lakehead University on numerous research projects. Jack retired in December 2008 then started his own consulting business in 2009.