Category Archives: News

Drying Wood with High Frequency Electric Current by Helmuth Resch

This monograph aims at providing understanding of the many ways to employ special drying methods using high frequency electric currents for wood and wood products. It offers a broad coverage of research and development over many decades from the original concept to industrial applications. The physical process of dielectric heating has advantages of rapid and relatively uniform heat transfer, resulting in high drying rates and avoidance of various drying defects, including any significant casehardening and oxidative discoloration of wood. Heat transfer to and evaporation of moisture from wood is shown in dependence on the dielectric properties of materials. Because wood is heterogeneous, these properties vary not only with the frequency of the current and the field orientation, but also with the moisture content, temperature, and density of wood. Considering these parameters and the specific heat of the material, the selection of a frequency can be made for heating specific products and the power absorption and feasibility of a system can be estimated. The text traces the historical roots of using high frequency current for heating and drying of wood. Principles of and formulas describing dielectric heating and the dielectric properties of wood give a background useful for understanding parameters of specific applications, energy transfer, and power consumption. Early equipment development for continuous and batch dryers using radio frequencies and microwaves is reported from work in Russia, USA, Canada, Japan, and Europe. The greatest emphasis is placed on the method of combining radio frequency heating with vacuum drying. Research during the last decades lead to industrial installations designed mainly for drying of lumber and timbers in vacuum kilns. This development provided a positive picture for higher value products. On the other hand, the continuation of research with microwaves promises to make use of their unique properties. Some ideas are advanced on achieving rapid and economic drying by combining other heat transfer methods with high frequency heating along production lines. Finally, the present understanding of the drying mechanism, the technical feasibility, and economics are considered. A broad listing of relevant literature provides the reader with a multitude of references. Data are presented in international and American units.

University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria Society of Wood Science and Technology, Madison, Wisconsin, USA ISBN 978-0-9817876-1-9

Limited copies available:

SALE PRICE – $10 (Original Cost: $30) + postage (international postage is $12.95 per book) (Check payable to SWST; Visa, Mastercard)

Order from: Order online at or from SWST, P.O. Box 6155, Monona, WI 53716; email: Phone: +1-608-577-1342; Fax: 608-254-2769

International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS) Celebrates 50th Anniversary in Paris, France

IAWS celebrated its 50th anniversary in the city where the Academy was founded in 1966; Paris, France from June 1 to 6, 2016.  Over 70 attendees from 20 countries were treated to an excellent conference with the theme: ‘Wood Science for the Future,’ held in the historic rooms of the French Academy of Agriculture in central Paris near the Seine River.  Thirty technical talks were presented related to the theme of the conference.  SWST has had several of its members elected to the Academy since its inception and three of us participated in the celebration.


SWST was represented by Salim Hiziroglu, myself, and Barry Goodell with wife, Jody Jellison.  

Gerd Wegener from the Technical University of Munich was honored with the Academy Lecture for his outstanding achievements in wood science and his long-year support of the Academy, e.g. as the editor-in-chief of our journal ‘Wood Science and Technology ’ from 1996-2013.’ His Leture‘ 1966-2016: Science and Use of Wood in a Changing World’ focused on the increasing global role of forests and wood utilization for a future post-fossil society.  Another highlight of the conference was the presentation by Michaela Zauner who won the 2015 IAWS PhD Award for an outstanding thesis/dissertation research at the PhD level from ETH in Zürich, Switzerland.  Her topic was ‘In-situ Synchrotron-Based Tomographic Microscopy of Uniaxial Loaded Wood: In-situ Testing Device, Procedures and Experimental Investigations.
Group photo of conference participants in the lecture hall of the building of the French Academy of Agriculture


Following the technical program, 18 of us went on a 3-day tour, which included the historic city of Reims, champagne tasting near Epernay, teaching and research activities in wood engineering at ENSTIB (Advanced National School of Technology and Wood Industries).  On the final day INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) in Nancy-Champenoux presented to the group its various research activities in the field of forestry and wood.


Howard Rosen

IAWS Treasurer

ASTM International Wood Committee Presents Top Annual Award to David Kretschmann

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., June 13, 2016ASTM International’s Committee on Wood (D07) has presented its top annual award – the Award of Merit – to David Kretschmann of the USDA FS Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis., U.S.A. The prestigious award, which includes the accompanying title of fellow, is ASTM’s highest recognition for individual contributions to developing standards.

 The committee honored Kretschmann for his outstanding contributions to D07. He has been a member of ASTM since 1987 and has received the L.J. Markwardt Award in 2005 and the Award of Appreciation in 2015.

 In addition to ASTM, Kretschmann is a member of the, the Society of Wood Science and Technology, and the Forest Products Society.

 Helping our world work better

Over 12,000 ASTM standards operate globally. Defined and set by us, they improve the lives of millions every day. Combined with our innovative business services, they enhance performance and help everyone have confidence in the things they buy and use – from the toy in a child’s hand to the aircraft overhead.

 Working across borders, disciplines, and industries we harness the expertise of over 30,000 members to create consensus and improve performance in manufacturing and materials, products and processes, systems and services. Understanding commercial needs and consumer priorities, we touch every part of everyday life: helping our world work better.

 Media Inquiries:Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602;

Passing of Dr. Terry Sellers, Jr.

My wonderful Dad, Terry Sellers, Jr., died suddenly and peacefully last night. We are mourning our loss, but he is having a blast dancing a jig in his Scottish kilt. We imagine him engaged in theological discussions with the Almighty, joking around with Mary Magdalene, editing his genealogy books, and asking lots of questions. :)

To celebrate his life, we will have services (we don’t know when, as we have to give family time to arrive in town) both at Lester Memorial UnitedMethodist Church in Oneonta, AL, and at Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Cordova, AL. We’ll keep you posted on when.

In the meantime, he would prefer and we request that, instead of flowers, you make a donation in his memory to the college scholarship fund at his and Mom’s high school :

Wilburn Hudson Memorial Scholarship Fund

c/o Cordova High School

183 School Road

Cordova, AL 35550

“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

 Lee Anna [Sellers] Makhloufi

World Wood Day 2016 held in Kathmandu, Nepal, March 19-26, 2016

World Wood Day 2016 held in Kathmandu, Nepal, March 19-26, 2016

“K-k-k-k-k-k, Kathmandu, think it’s really where I’m going to.” Lyrics from a popular song by Bob Seger in 1975! Little did I know that is where I was “going to” in 2016? Howard Rosen and Mon-Lin Kuo represented SWST at the 4th World Wood Day (WWD) celebrations in Kathmandu, Nepal with the theme Nature and Culture. (See picture). Although World Wood Day is celebrated on March 21st each year, the three pre-events projects began as early as February 27th. About 500 people from 100 countries attended this event and over 40,000 local people participated. The city of Kathmandu is named after the Kasthamandap Temple that means “wood covered shelter” in Sanskrit. The temple was built entirely of wood with no iron nails or metal supports in the 16th century. According to legend, all the timber used to build the pagoda was obtained from a single tree. This temple collapsed during the devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015. We hope that this celebration will spur a more rapid rebirth of the significant wood culture history that Nepal has.

x19-Kuo Rosen SWST s


The opening ceremony was highlighted by remarks and a tree planting by the President of Nepal, Bidhya Devi Bhandari. The main event was held at the Nepal Academy in the center of Kathmandu, that consisted of the Hall; which enclosed displays, concerts, symposium presentations, exhibitions, and ceremonies; and the large Outdoor Squares; where wood carving, wood turning, furniture making, folk art, a children’s event, special projects, and individual musical performances were held. Shown here is Andy Chen, a wood turner from the USA, with his wooden lathe. The power is supplied by a young Nepalese child in a bicycle-type mechanism and shows how local people became integrated into the program. This program included over 100 wood carvers from all over the world and people were able to interact with the carvers as these carvers worked.

3-Andy chen's wooden lathe

Four unique projects of the 2016 celebration included an international, collaborative project with 19 artisans from 14 countries that designed and constructed a “Brick by Brick” wooden statue, two architectural projects (the Two-Tiered Temple from Nepal and the US Pavilion, which is shown on the right in the background including the Mexican Atlachinolli Aztec musical group), and the “Elephant in the Room” US wood design project, which was made from recycled Nepalese refuse. All these creative events were concluded with a tree planting ceremony, a visits to two children’s special schools and a senior center, and tours to Kathmandu and its environs. From these tours, it was obvious that Nepal has suffered considerable damage from the 2015 earthquake and has a long recovery and restoration period ahead.

72-Mexican band at pagoda

More details and pictures from these meetings and tours can be found at the World Wood Day 2016 websites  and


Howard Rosen

WWD Foundation, Chair

IUFRO 5.10.01 Wood Culture Working Party Chair

Renewable Natural Resource Foundation (RNRF) Annual Meeting held October 28, 2015

I represented SWST as the Executive Board Member at the RNRF Annual Meeting at Rockwood Manor in Potomac, MD near the Washington, DC border. This was the first Annual Meeting under the new RNRF structure. Until recently, RNRF was mainly financially supported by rentals of real estate property holdings located at the headquarter location of RNRF. The conclusion of the sale of those holding was completed in early 2015 and RNRF, after moving to a commercial office building, has funding from that sale to better support technical programs. The mission “to advance the application of science in decision-making, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, and educate policymakers and the public on managing and conserving renewable natural resources” will remain the same. Activity level will increase, as evidenced by the recent hire of a Research Associate to advance more communication with member groups and the general public.


Of relevance to SWST, the U.S. Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) was the recipient of RNRF’s 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award as part of the Annual Meeting. This award recognizes a project, publication, piece of legislation, or similar concrete accomplishment in the natural resources field. The CFLRP is an innovative approach to managing and conserving our natural resources through accelerating restoration of high-priority landscapes through a science-based, collaborative approach. Such restoration enhances forest and watershed resiliency and promotes social, ecological and economic sustainability; including the use of timber, where relevant. The significance of timber use in landscape restoration is important to the goals of SWST.


Pictured left to right: John Crockett, Assistant Director, Forest Management, U.S. Forest Service, Lindsay Buchanan, CFLR Program Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service, Richard Engberg, RNRF Chairman, Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service


Howard N. Rosen

SWST RNRF Representative

Report on Lech Muszynski’s SWST Visiting Scientist Visit to the University of Maine

Dr. Lech Muszynski, Professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering at Oregon State University visited the University of Maine on September 28 and 29, 2015 as part of the SWST Visiting Scientist Program.  Over the two day visit, Lech met with the forest resources, wood science and civil engineering faculty (Steve Shaler, Doug Gardner, Bob Rice, Mehdi Tajvidi, Roberto Lopez-Anido) Advanced Composites Center staff (Russell Edgar, Jon Hill) as well as graduate students working on CLT related projects (Nick Willey and Jaya Tripathi), discussing common research interests and potential for future collaborations.  

He made a presentation to faculty and students titled Making CLT: The Whos, the Wheres and the Hows describing his interest and experience in the cross laminated timber (CLT) industry. The CLT industry is well established in Europe but is only beginning in North America. The detailed overview of the cross laminated timber industry by Dr. Muszynski was well received by both faculty and students.

Presentation Abstract:

Making CLT: The Whos, the Wheres and the Hows

The presentation was an overview of the profiles of the global CLT industry, with a focus on 21 CLT manufacturing plants toured between 2011 and 2015. Cross-laminated timber, or CLT, is a massive structural composite panel product usually consisting of 3 to 9 layers of dimensional timber (lamellas) arranged perpendicular to each other, much like layers of veneer in plywood, and can be used as prefabricated wall, floor and roofing elements in residential, public and commercial structures. This is not merely a new engineered composite panel product but an entirely new building technology revolutionizing the use of timber in construction. The CLT manufacturing process and the technology of erecting prefabricated houses based on this product has been developed in Europe over the last 20 years despite lack of the product standard. The output capacity of the industry worldwide has been growing exponentially. The organic development of the industry resulted in a surprising diversity in the manufacturing processes, products and market strategies. The discussion included the directions of future research in support of the development of the domestic CLT industry.

XIV World Forestry Congress (WFC) held in Durban, South Africa, September 6-11, 2015


I was one of approximately 3,900 people from 138 countries to attend this major forestry meeting held once every 6 years and sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This was the first time ever that the WFC was held in the African region. My attendance was supported by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS). The major challenges and opportunities emphasized at the Congress were climate change, urbanization, and increasing demands for commodities and environmental services. The meeting had many technical sessions and an exhibition area with over 60 exhibitors, including IWCS. The major resolutions of interest to SWST members were the importance of forests for providing food, wood energy, and fiber; generating income and employment to allow communities and societies to prosper; and supporting human wellbeing by helping to stabilize our climate. For more information about the WFC follow URL


IWCS had an exhibition booth which featured three South African wood carvers and three wooden instrument musicians. Mike Maurer from Switzerland played and demonstrated the Alphorn, while Nasser Makhoul, stringed wooden instrument player and maker, and Antoine Dawlatly, player of wooden drums, from Lebanon provided musical accompaniment, as shown in the accompanying figure. Mr. Makhoul has constructed all of the 18 ancient and contemporary wooden instruments on the back wall of the booth. For more information and photos go to:


Howard N. Rosen

US Forest Service volunteer

World Wood Day Foundation Chair

RNRF Roundtable with the World Resources Institute (WRI) on International Climate Negotiations in Paris

October 2, 2015

WRI hosted the Renewable Natural Resource Foundation’s (RNRF) Washington Roundtable on Public Policy on October 2, 2015, at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Jennifer Morgan, Global Director of WRI’s Climate Program, presented “The Road To and Through Paris,” a discussion of the context in which the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Paris, December 2015 are taking place. She also described key elements and challenges of a global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The three key elements of a global agreement, in Paris and beyond, are provisions for mitigation, adaptation, and support. Negotiations are expected to produce a core legal instrument agreed upon by all 195 Parties to the Convention. The world’s forests can play a key role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. NGO’s such as SWST are expected to provide data, pressure public leaders, and promote solutions to the media to reduce human impact on climate change. World leaders will look for more compliance for reduced emission gases than in prior conventions.

Nov howard

Pictured seated (L-R)Jennifer Morgan (WRI), Jennee Kuang (RNRF), Melissa Goodwin (RNRF), Sarene Marshall (Urban Land Institute); standing (L-R)Elizabeth Goldbaum (Geological Society of America), Ian McTiernan (American Institute of Architects), Howard Rosen (SWST), Nancy Somerville (American Society of Landscape Architects), Whitford Remer (American Society of Civil Engineers), Natasha DeJarnett (American Public Health Association).


Howard N. Rosen

SWST RNRF Representative