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:

Professor and Director, Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC), University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Center for Renewable Carbon

Position Announcement:

Professor and Director, Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC)


The Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC) is an interdisciplinary research and development unit in TheUniversity of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Its mission is to advance the potential for non-food biomass to create new economic activity for the state of Tennessee and the Nation. The CRC team advances the science needed to develop new technologies that enable the expanded use of forest and agricultural biomass for sustainable materials, chemicals, fuels, and energy; trains the workforce needed by advanced technology industries; and transfers research advances to our stakeholders and partners involved in building a sustainable bioeconomy.

The Center comprises 10 faculty tenured in various departments and more than 30 staff, students, and research associates with skills in chemistry, material (wood, polymer, etc.) science, biomass analytics and statistics. This position will be housed in the appropriate academic department at UTIA for the successful candidate’s background and expertise.

Job Responsibilities:

• Provide leadership and vision to continue the success of this internationally-recognized research and development program.

• Interact with UTIA leadership team and coordinate with the dean to advance the mission and goals of AgResearch and UTIA.

• Manage and coordinate research, development, and outreach programs of the Center.

• Manage the Center’s business office and program support staff to ensure efficient and effective service, as well as policy compliance, to researchers.

• Identify and secure new sources of funding for innovative research to extend the Center’s impact in Tennessee and the Southeast, and elevate its national and international reputation.

• Improve research infrastructure and capabilities to advance competitiveness.

• Foster relationships and develop new opportunities for collaborative research initiatives in support of the CRC’s mission.

• Exercise fiscal responsibility and transparency with the Center’s budget and finances.

• Publish research results in high-impact journals, and present research and development at the Center to the broader scientific community at professional conferences.

Required Qualifications:

The successful applicant will have:

• An earned doctorate in a discipline related to sustainable use of agricultural and natural resources, or a discipline closely aligned with the CRC program.

• A proven track record in garnering extramural grant or contract funds, as well as management of sponsored projects.

• Experience developing partnerships with government agencies (state and federal), industry, and non-profit organizations.

• A strong publication record in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.

• Excellent communication skills in written and oral English.

• Commitment to UTIA’s core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement, and accountability.

Desired Qualifications:

• A proven record of participation and/or leadership in interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research teams.

• A record of professional leadership activities, including team building skills, assessment of programmatic needs and priorities, strategic planning and implementation, and adapting to change in a multidisciplinary environment.


Interested candidates should send a letter of application, a curriculum vita including research publications and grant experience, names and contact information (including email address) of 3 references, and an official transcript showing PhD degree to:

Julie Carrier, Search Chair Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science

2506 E.J. Chapman Drive

University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN 37996-4531

Inquiries about the position should be directed to: or 865-974-7305.

We will be reviewing applications on March 15, 2017, but the position will remain open until filled.

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status. Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville,

TN 37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the

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

Technical Service Representative

Franklin International, world class manufacturer of Titebond products, is looking for a full time Technical Service Representative. This position is responsible for serving as a technical expert with regard to the use and application of Franklin’s products and supporting internal and external customers.

Fundamental Job Tasks:
>Enhances customer satisfaction by partnering with customers to develop solutions to problems.
>Gathers and interprets information from technical data, experience, and co-workers to better answer questions and formulate answers.
>Expands technical knowledge by product testing, researching, training, and interaction with technical staff members.
>Uses test equipment to collect information on properties and performance of products and evaluates the test results based upon acceptance criteria.
>Fosters cross-training and product improvement by analyzing and reporting on information developed from customer contact and/or product testing.

Knowledge and Skills Required:
Technical BS degree (wood technology preferred) with 0 – 3 years of experience. Must have mechanical aptitude for designing, operating, and troubleshooting product dispensing, testing and processing equipment. Analytical skills necessary to identify and resolve problems, as well as superior communication skills are required. Travel is required 10-20% of the time.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A., Franklin International was established in 1935 and today is among the largest privately held manufacturers of adhesives, sealants and polymers for commercial and industrial applications. Franklin integrates its core competency – emulsion polymerization – into a broad product offering, including glues, adhesives, hot melts, binders, sizing compounds and more. These products are distributed across six continents for use in construction, furniture manufacturing, millwork, paper converting, pressure-sensitive products and fiberglass reinforcement.

Franklin International is proud of our family-friendly atmosphere. We are small enough that people know your name, but big enough to have the resources available to do some amazing things within our industry. Our award-winning benefits program includes a wide range of benefits from medical, dental, and vision insurance to more unique options like a free on-site fitness center, nurse health coach, 529 Plan matching, and adoption support.​​ Our average employee tenure is over twelve years; learn why at

Assistant/Associate Professor Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, Mississippi State University

The Forest and Wildlife Research Center/College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University is seeking to fill a 12-month, Tenure-track, fulltime, Assistant/Associate Professor Position with research, teaching and service responsibilities in the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts. Particular consideration will be given to candidates with expertise and high potential in fundamental aspects of adhesion technology which may include resins, coatings, polymers, engineered composites, polymer chemistry, or similar field. The successful candidate must possess a Ph.D. at the time of appointment, from an accredited institution of higher learning in either wood science/forest products/sustainable bioproducts or an allied scientific discipline such as polymer science, engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, or other as appropriate. Two years of experience is preferred in forest products/sustainable bioproducts or a related field with respect to proposing; securing extramural funding; conducting, producing, and publishing applied and basic research results. Primary responsibilities include: develop and conduct a program of research in forest products/sustainable bioproducts with an emphasis on research and development in adhesives technology, composites engineering, polymer chemistry, or related field; build a nationally recognized and extramurally funded research program; collaborate within the Department, College, and University as well as with external stakeholders such as industry, other universities, government and nongovernmental organizations; teach undergraduate and graduate courses as appropriate, advise students, assist in programmatic, curriculum development, and other departmental responsibilities as appropriate. The applicant must demonstrate strong communication skills and will be expected to develop a national reputation in sustainable bioproducts as well as maintain a focus on adding value to state- and regional-based stakeholders. Application Process: 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 January 1, 2017, and continue until the position is filled. Skype/video conference Interviews may be requested. NOTE: Official transcripts of all degrees will be required upon employment.

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.More