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Sustainable Bioproducts

Prepare for a career where you’ll create new products while protecting our natural resources. Bioproducts are products made from wood and other renewable materials. You’ll find them in building and construction materials, furniture and architectural design, household and industrial chemicals, and bioenergy.

Using 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

If you’re looking for a career in business, manufacturing, or construction, you should choose this concentration.


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Wood & Environmental Science

If you are interested in the science of sustainable bioproducts and/or the environment, you should choose this concentration.


Explore Research Interests

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Artificial Intelligence and Forensic Wood Identification

Today, artificial intelligence, or AI, is being used to assure accurate and reliable global trade in wood and wood products and to help combat illegal logging. AI uses data science to recognize patterns among existing situations and make inferences based on these patterns. Forensic wood identification applies this type of AI technology to images from wood to support species identification.

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Biofuels, Chemicals, and Energy

Plants can provide the energy needed to run the world. Photosynthesis is one of nature’s most efficient ways of storing energy. . 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, plants can modify and/or release the energy from carbohydrates 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 that can either help or cause harm. Their potential for carbon sequestration provides opportunities for enhanced sustainability. Their production can cause or create emission streams that must be mitigated. Their interactions with heat, moisture, and time require technological strategies toward maximizing their service lives. Each of these issues calls for research programming to maximize the sustainability of bioproducts as environmentally friendly and favorable building materials.

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Wood Products Protection

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 and prevent antagonists such as decay, termites, weathering, mold and mildew, and others. With ongoing successes in this discipline, our timberlands can continue to support the greater demands of an ever-growing societal population.

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Bioproducts Testing and Evaluation

An old adage suggests that wood houses are overbuilt, thereby increasing homeowner equity, comfort, safety, and security. To a large degree, there is truth in this adage. A rigorous research program of testing and evaluation is necessary for builders and engineers 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-based construction. As timber resources, homebuilding practices, and homeowner preferences change and evolve, building materials and technologies must also change and evolve. Novel products, mass timber, cross laminated timber, new construction techniques, hybrid materials, and plant-fiber based panels are all examples of 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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