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Reimagining
Renewable
Resources

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Overview
Sustainable Bioproducts

Bioproducts are products made from wood and other renewable materials. These products are used in building and construction materials, furniture and architectural design, household and industrial chemicals, and bioenergy.

Use of bioproducts ensures the future health of the environment, captures greenhouse gases, promotes carbon neutrality, and provides a long term source of wood materials and employment opportunities for future generations.

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Forest Products Manufacturing & Engineering Technology

Students interested in business, manufacturing, or construction should choose this concentration.

Business

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Wood & Environmental Science

Students interested in science and or the environment should choose this concentration.

Science

Explore Research Interests

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Artificial Intelligence and Forensic Wood Identification

With each passing day, computers and data science increasingly help society optimize productivity. Artificial intelligence uses data science to recognize patterns among existing situations and make inferences based on these patterns. Forensic wood identification applies this type of artificial intelligence to images from wood in support of species identification. This technology helps assure accurate and reliable global trade in wood and wood products and helps combat illegal logging.

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Biofuels, Chemicals, and Energy

Photosynthesis is one of nature’s most efficient ways of storing energy, that is, in living plants such as trees the energy of sunlight becomes transformed into carbohydrates. Just as people can eat carbohydrates when they are hungry in an effort to re-energize themselves, the energy from carbohydrates can be modified and/or released in many other ways. This research program investigates many of the ways that carbohydrate and lignin from wood can be turned into liquid fuels, pellets, biochemicals, chemical feedstocks, in an effort to increase energy sustainability and decrease dependence on petroleum.

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Bioproducts and the Environment

Bioproducts interact with the environment in a variety of ways. Their potential for carbon sequestration provides opportunities for enhanced sustainability. Their interactions with heat, moisture, and time require technological strategies toward maximizing their service lives. Their production can cause or create emission streams that must be mitigated. Each of these issues calls for research programming in order to maximize the sustainability of bioproducts as environmentally friendly and favorable building materials.

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Bioproducts Deterioration and Preservation

While timberland area is relatively fixed nationally, domestic population continues to grow. As such, each acre of timberland must support greater numbers of people over time. Bioproducts protection seeks to enhance the service life of products via chemical, biological, physical, and other forms of modification. Service life antagonists of particular interest include decay, termites, weathering, mold and mildew, and others. With ongoing successes in this discipline a relatively fixed base of timberland area can support the greater demands of an ever growing societal population.

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Bioproducts Testing and Evaluation

An old adage suggest that wood houses are overbuilt thereby increasing homeowner equity, comfort, safety, and security. To a large degree there is truth in this adage and a rigorous program of testing and evaluation allows builders and engineers to continue to make wise material-related decisions that balance resource use efficiency against the strength and stiffness demands of contemporary homes and other wood structures.

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Building Materials and Composites

Our nation’s housing is primarily based on wood and wood-based construction. As timber resources, homebuilding practices, and homeowner preferences change and evolve, building materials and technologies must also change and often these varying aspects evolve together. Novel products, mass timber, cross laminated timber, new construction techniques, hybrid materials, plant-fiber based panels are all examples relating to new building materials and composites. This rapidly evolving research discipline blends classic well-proven fundamentals with state of the art building and construction technologies and techniques.

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