Category Archives: Comments / Discussion

Assistant Research Professor Mississippi State University

Assistant Research Professor

Position Announcement

Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, 

Forest and Wildlife Research Center, College of Forest Resources

Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine

Mississippi State University

The Forest and Wildlife Research Center/College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University is seeking to fill two time limited, 12-month, non-tenure track, full time appointments for individuals with research responsibilities in the area of lumber and forest products standards and evaluation. Consideration will be given to candidates with expertise and high potential in fundamental aspects of 1. Natural Resources: Lumber standards, statistical distribution analyses, evaluation, testing, and sampling (Job#495498) and 2. Material Science: Non-destructive evaluation and testing, (Job#495504).

The successful candidate must possess a Ph.D. at the time of appointment, from an accredited institution of higher learning in wood science/forest products/sustainable bioproducts or an allied field.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:

Incumbent will participate in targeted research program in the area of lumber and forest products standards and evaluation. The successful candidate is expected to conduct independent and extramurally funded research in 1. lumber standards, statistical distribution analyses, evaluation and testing, 2. non-destructive evaluation and testing, sampling, interpretation, softwood and hardwood lumber valuation and improvement, and/or solid and composite products characterization and development. The candidate may also be expected to contribute to departmental research, teaching, and service program. Incumbent will work closely with the forest products industries, associations, organizations, other universities, and federal laboratories in the region, and the nation to assist in researching and developing basic and applied technology. Incumbent will be expected to build a nationally recognized and extramurally funded research program. Active and collegial collaborations within the department, college, and university as well as with external stakeholders such as industry, other universities, government and nongovernmental organizations, etc. are expected. Leading and participating in plant visits, short courses and workshops may be required. Written reporting, web-based communication, and domestic travel will be required.

Desired qualifications: 1. trading, import/export, statistical design and analyses, testing and evaluation, and 2. Non-destructive testing and evaluation, in addition to, industrial/commercial experience in production, manufacturing, standards, grant writing, manuscript writing and publication, national or international professional experience.

Knowledge, skills & abilities:  Incumbent should be adept with current forms of computer applications such as MS Office, Bluehill testing software, various statistical software packages, and others related to research, creation, and dissemination of scholarly outputs. Incumbent must be highly self-directed and willing to arrange, travel, and meet with other professionals in the U.S. at federal laboratory facilities, other universities, trade associations, or other.

Physical requirements will be consistent with those associated with the incumbent’s research program. It is anticipated that this may include lumber handling, testing machine fixturing setup, material procurement, wood working machine oversight and operations, office work, and domestic travel. May require lifting up to approximately 40 pounds on an intermittent basis.

Continued appointment based on performance and availability of funding

Instructions for applying:  All applicants must apply on line at , attach required documents (in one pdf file):  a Cover Letter, Resume/CV, Research Plan, transcripts of all degrees, and two letters of professional recommendation (option: the letters of recommendation may be sent directly to: ).

Screening of applications will begin June 1, 2017, and continue until the positions are filled.  Skype/video conference Interviews may be requested.

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

Mississippi State University is an AA/EOE.

2017 Wood Adhesives Conference – Save the Date!

2017 Wood Adhesives Conference – Save the Date!

Held every four years,​ ​the International Conference on Wood Adhesives, is the premier technical conference on advances in adhesion of wood and biomass. The next event will be held October 25-27, 2017 in Atlanta, GA.  Since 1980, the conference has attracted an international audience including companies that make and use adhesives, their suppliers, researchers and students.

Topics include:

  • Structure and properties
  • Bio-based and novel raw materials; adhesive systems; resin chemistry
  • Fundamental understanding of wood bonding and adhesive substrate interactions
  • Bonding untraditional substrates
  • Issues with commercial implementation of new adhesives
  • Composites
  • Modeling
  • New wood-based bonding products
  • Impact of regulations and consumer preference
  • Engineering wood
  • Analytical and testing methodology
  • Energy concerns and opportunities


​Plenary speakers will include:

“Current and Future Adhesive Needs of Wood Based Furniture Industry”

Venla Hemmilä – Project Leader – Adhesives, IKEA


“Discovery to Validation: Closing the Gap from Lab to Commercial Reality”

Michael J. Birkeland, Senior Staff Scientist, Solenis


“Perspectives on the Future of Engineered Wood Markets”

Dave Fell, Research Leader for Business Intelligence, FPInnovations


“Innovation in Wood through Advanced Adhesives”

Chris Whelan, Senior Business Development Manager, Henkel


“Urea-glyoxal and Melamine-glyoxal Adhesives for Wood panels and Other Applications by Total Elimination of Formaldehyde”

Dr. Tony Pizzi – Professor, LERMAB, University of Lorraine


“Analysis of Adhesive Bonds Under Tension Using Coupled 3D X-ray Computer Tomography and Numerical Modeling”

Professor John A. Nairn, Richardson Chair, Oregon State University ·

There are also many sponsorship opportunities available.   You may download the sponsorship prospectus here.

This is the 11th in a series organized every four years by the U.S. Forest Service Products Laboratory, the Forest Products Society and the Wood Based Composites Center. For information on the International Conference on Wood Adhesives, visit the website here.


Research Associate – Green Bioproducts Michigan State University

Position description: The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University is seeking a highly motivated Research Associate / Postdoctoral Researcher for developing lignin‐based bioproducts. The researcher will be working on multiple research projects under the supervision of Dr. Mojgan Nejad. The candidate will be required to conduct biopolymer characterization, resin formulation, performance evaluation and to write project reports and refereed papers. These multidisciplinary projects are performed in close collaboration with multiple industry partners and the individual will have the opportunity to interact with major polymeric industry leaders on a regular basis. It is expected for the researcher to mentor graduate and undergraduate students in the lab and provide required lab and safety training. The position will begin as a one‐year appointment with extension available depending on satisfactory performance and continued funding availability.

Required qualifications: The successful candidate will have an earned PhD in polymer chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical engineering, or related field by the position start date. Additional preferred qualifications include knowledge of lignin chemistry and resin formulation; demonstrated

ability to work with advanced analytical techniques such as NMR, FTIR, DSC, TGA and GPC; expertise in multivariate data analysis using chemometric software (Unscrambler or SIMCA‐P); previous project management experience; and exceptional work ethic and professionalism.

Location: The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA.

To Apply: Submit your application online at to position number 4971 before midnight (U.S. Eastern time) on Friday, March 31, 2017. Upload the following required documents as a single PDF: 1) a letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) a list of three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline: March 31, 2017. Desired start date is May 2017, but earlier or later start dates may be possible if identified in the application cover letter. Questions about the position should be directed to Dr. Nejad at

MSU is an equal opportunity employer and the MSU Department of Forestry is committed to promoting diversity in research. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life, and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.

In Praise of Peter Koch (1920-1998)

I recently read “Forty Years a Forester, 1903-1943” by Elers Koch (1880-1954).  Elers was Peter Koch’s father.  Elers completed the manuscript in 1949 but the book was not published until 1998.  It contains a 19 page introduction by Peter.  As all wood scientists know, Peter was a renowned wood scientist.

I knew Peter well. We were both active in the Forest Products Society, SWST, and we both were Fellows in the Society of American Foresters, as was Peter’s father.  I saw Peter nearly every year at meetings.  But I did not know until recently that Peter’s father had been a forester.  In his very interesting Introduction Peter tells what it was like growing up with a a forester for a father.  If there are young wood scientists who do not know about Peter, here is just a little information.  Peter has perhaps published more than any other wood scientist.  Agriculture Handbook 605 “Utilization of Hardwoods Growing on Southern Pine Sites” is a three volume, 3710 page summary of virtually everything known about southern hardwoods.  Agriculture Handbook 420 “Utilization of the Southern Pines” is a two volume, 1663 page summary of virtually everything known about southern softwoods.  Peter gives credit to the many contributing authors to these massive compilations. More than just a compiler, Peter’s own research in wood machining led to the chipping headrig.  His research on adhesives helped enable the Southern Pine plywood industry.  His research improved drying of Southern Pine.  And on and on.

Peter directed the Southern Forest Experiment Station’s Timber Utilization Laboratory at Pineville, Louisiana from 1963 to1982.  He served as President of the Forest Products Society 1972-1973.  Those of you who are fans of Peter Koch should read Elers Koch’s book.  You will become a fan of Elers as well.


By Donald Nelson

Graduate Research Assistant (MS or PhD position) Mississippi State

Graduate Research Assistant (MS or PhD position)

One graduate research assistantship is available for a Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)student in the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts at Mississippi State University (MSU). The successful candidate will be involved in a multidisciplinary project in the field of timber engineering with a focus on development and performance evaluation of innovative structural wood products. In particular, the candidate will investigate the effect of manufacturing parameters on the structural behaviour of a horizontal diaphragm constructed with southern yellow pine wood products. The MS candidate is expected to be engaged in extensive experimental study, while the PhD candidate will be involved in both experimental and computer simulation work. The successful candidate will be funded during the study period (i.e. 2 years for MS degree and 3 years for PhD degree) with an assistantship, plus tuition, fees and insurance.

The candidate must:

• Possess an undergraduate degree relevant to the topic of the study, preferably in wood science or civil engineering

• Previously attained and maintained exceptional academic standing (min GPA 3.0 on 4.0 scale basis)

• Have a TOEFL score of 79 iBT or IELTS score of 6.5 or better (students with non-English credentials only)

• Be adaptive to multi-disciplinary research work requirements

• Be an excellent team-player

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information of two referees by email as a single pdf file to Dr. Hyungsuk Lim at The review of the applications will start on February 15th, 2017, and the expected enrollment in the program is August 1st, 2017.

We thank all of the applicants, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Additional information can be found at the websites of the MSU Department of Sustainable Bioproducts ( and Office of Graduate School (

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

SWST Distinguished Educator Award

The SWST Membership Committee is pleased to announce this call for nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award.  The SWST Distinguished Educator Award encompasses disciplines of teaching as well as outreach and is intended to recognize individual faculty and instructors at a university for sustainable performance of excellence in teaching or to recognize faculty, staff or industry personnel for outstanding extension, engagement and economic development activities in wood science or related disciplines. Nominees for the award must be SWST Members. 


Recipients of the Distinguished Educator Award will receive a $500 cash award and a plaque from SWST. The recipient will be honored at the annual SWST International Conference. The recipients of the Educator Award may be called upon by SWST to provide a voice in issues related to teaching or extension/outreach in forums or panels at the SWST conference and they will be advocates for excellence in imparting education in wood science and related fields.


The nomination needs to be approved and submitted by the department head, executive head, or other appropriate official.  However, the nomination itself can be initiated by anyone in the department or organization, including colleagues, clients or students.


Full details regarding the nomination process and selection criteria can be found on the SWST website.  Email nominations to with “Distinguished Educator Award Nominee” in the subject line.


Nominations will be accepted until March 1, 2017. Email: 


Presentation of this award will be at the Annual Business Meeting in Vancouver, B.C. in June.

The Hungarian refugees who helped shape Canada’s forests

Alongside 30 classmates armed with rifles and anti-tank cannons, Antal Kozak barrelled down a stretch of highway in western Hungary prepared to fight against a combat juggernaut immeasurably more powerful than his own.

The date was Nov. 4, 1956 around 4 p.m.

Kozak was in his early 20s and studying forestry at the University of Sopron, located roughly 15 kilometres from the Austrian border.

– See more at:

Research Experiences for Undergraduates at Washington State University and Iowa State University

Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2) provides undergraduate students a chance to
participate in industry-directed fundamental research opportunities in the fields of bioplastics and biocomposites. The students will gain hands-on experience with synthesis, processing, and characterization of biobased plastics and composite materials.

During the program, the students will participate in a series of bioplastics short courses, have responsibility for an independent research project performed with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and engage with leading industry experts from the Industrial Advisory Board of the CB2.


For more information click REU flyer-Summer2017

Renewable Natural Resource Foundation (RNRF) Congress on Harnessing Big Data for the Environment held December 6-7, 2016

As the RNRF Board Member for SWST, I attended the RNRF Congress on Congress on Harnessing Big Data for the Environment at the American Geophysical Union Conference Facility in Washington, DC, December 5-6, 2016. The Congress brought together 54 attendees from federal agencies, associations, institutes, academia, and private companies. The subject, “Big Data”, was defined as data sets that are too large and too complex to be processed by traditional applications.

Thirteen experts gave excellent talks on a variety of aspects about big data. They explored opportunities to use big data for decision-making in natural resource management and environmental policy, and they surveyed ways big data can help facilitate effective responses to complex issues. The volume of data generated today is unprecedented compared to years past, and this volume tests our ability to refine and analyze data. The presentations ranged from challenges and limitations of applying big data for the environment, to an examination of emerging new technologies such as satellites, improved sensors, and data analysis. Other topics included data gaps to be addressed to better understand environmental indicators, and the role and capacity of the private sector to harness big data for improving the environment.

The second day of the congress featured five case studies highlighting the use of big data as decision-making tools for on-the-ground action on a global to local scale. Speakers discussed their experiences navigating the big data landscape to restore and sustain critical natural resources. Probably of most interest to SWST Members were the predicted conditions of forests and forested lands and the challenges faced in collecting, storing, and accessing high quality big data. The Congress provided a variety of perspectives on how these big data tools can be effective in decision-making and practical application?

More information can be found on the RNRF website:

Howard N. Rosen
SWST RNRF Representative