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Fall 2012 Newsletter

Download: SBIO Newsletter fall 2012

Season’s Greetings from the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials

The department had some changes this semester. I have been asked by Dean Winistorfer to be interim department head after Dr. Barry Goodell stepped down early last fall. I have served the college for six years as the associate dean for engagement and prior to that was in the department of Wood Science and Forest Products (now SBIO) for 13 years as extension specialist in forest products business/marketing.

Students Benefit from a Visit from the Can Manufacturers Institute

A recent visitor from the Can Manufacturers Institute in Washington, D.C. helped students in Dr. Bush’s Principles of Packaging course broaden their understand of metal packaging. CMI is a trade association the represents aluminum and steel can makers as well as metal and coating suppliers. 

Sustainable Blacksburg Week – September 18 – 20 

Once again, the Department was pleased to highlight many of its’ activities to the public during Sustainable Blacksburg Week. “Sustainable Blacksburg” is a non-profit community organization that facilitates effective environmental stewardship in the Blacksburg area. Together with Virginia Tech, the have sponsored a Sustainability Week in the Fall of the year since 2006.

Inner Mongolia Agricultural University Visiting Scholar

Ms. Qin He, has been part of our department as a visiting scholar during the fall semester, 2012. She has been working with Professor Audrey Zink-Sharp while at Virginia Tech.

Principles of Packaging Students Tackle a Messy Problem

Students in Dr. Bush’s Principles of Packaging course (SBIO 2104) accepted a potentially messy challenge this semester – use some rather unconventional materials to protect an egg from a 15 foot drop. Students “won” materials by completing “minute to win it” challenges such as solving a puzzle, moving a cookie from forehead to mouth without hands, or knocking over cans with rubber bands.

Multi-State Extension Training Program In Lumber Drying 

On October 30 and 31st, Dr. Brian Bond participated in a multi-state effort to provide industrial lumber drying training to lumber drying personnel and managers. The course was sponsored by the Ohio Valley Lumber Drying Association and was held at the Chaney Lumber Company located in London, Kentucky. The course represented the first time in over ten years that that wood products extension specialists from Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee worked together to conduct a drying course. 

What Is A CLT?

 Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is one of the most exciting new structural systems using wood materials. CLT panels can be described as a ‘wood sandwich’ composed of layers of 1x or 2x material at 90 degree orientations. Panel thickness can vary from 5 to 20 inches thick with panel sizes of up to 10 feet wide by 50 feet long. 

CIT Grant for Commercialization of Southern Yellow Pine CLT Panels in Virginia 

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) in cooperation with Dr. Daniel Hindman and Dr. Earl Kline from the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech have been awarded a grant from the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) through the Center for Innovation and Technology (CIT) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

USDA Grant for Study of Hardwood CLT Panels in Appalachia

 Recently, a team of researchers at Virginia Tech with colleagues from the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, the University of Tennessee, and West Virginia University received a grant from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to study the use of low-grade hardwood lumber for production of CLT panels. 

Buying into Sustainability and Innovation

Associate professor Eva Haviarova from Purdue University and assistant professor Henry Quesada from Virginia Tech recently delivered a workshop titled “Buying into Sustainability” in Jasper, IN. 

Great-Grand (Doctor) Fatherhood

Major advisors in doctoral programs are considered (pseudo- or substitute-) parents (“doctor fathers” or “doctor mothers”) in some cultures, like the (very traditional) German academic system. Wolfgang G. Glasser, Prof. emeritus of Wood Science at Virginia Tech, who currently holds a Mercator Guest Professorship at the Albert-Ludwig-University Freiburg in Freiburg, Germany, is working with a Ph.D.-student on a project on tannin utilization. 

Biomass Power Plant Supports Efforts in Sustainability at CNRE

The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) at the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) recently acquired a biomass power plant to support the SBIO Department’s academic and outreach goals. The unit is capable of generating 10 KW (Kilo-Watts) by using biomass feedstocks such as wood chips, nut shells, coconut shells, corn cobs, and manure.


 

   

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Course Recommendations:

To help you explore your interest in any of the degrees, we recommend trying some of our introductory courses:

Packaging Science

Sustainable Biomaterials

 


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