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Spring 2016 Newsletter


2016 Spring Newsletter cover

Download SBIO Newsletter Spring 2016
Cover: As part of this year’s project for the Wood enterprise Institute, Anthony Hollimon, left, and Cody Wykle test epoxy as a method to highlight the aesthetic appeal of wood from a historic Virginia Tech white oak tree. Photo by Earl Kline.

VT SBIO/Packaging students met with “Future scientist” during VT Science Fair

By Jacob Stevens, Junior, Packaging Systems Design
By In the Fall of 2015 the Virginia science Festival hosted an event in Blacksburg at the moss performing Arts Center. At this event there were many booths set up to display various facets of science done in the Blacksburg area. This event was heavily attended by all ages, but was mainly geared towards K-12 students. Our Sustainable Biomaterials Department was fortunate enough to be included as part of this event, which served as a great way to spread the word about our department and to discuss important issues of sustainability in modern society.

SBIO/Packaging teams made a big impact at the 2015 VT Majors fair

By Loc Pham and Marlon Levy-Faigen, Packaging Systems Design
On Wednesday, September 30, Virginia Tech held its annual Majors Fair in the Squires Commonwealth Ballroom. There was a large attendance of primarily first year students exploring different majors.

SBIO Students Excel in Eastman Symposium

By Kevin Edgar
On October 29, Eastman Chemical Company once again sponsored the annual Eastman Graduate Symposium in lignocellulosic chemistry at Virginia Tech. VT graduate students presented their research in posters and oral presentations for much of the day to fellow students, interested VT faculty, and Eastman visitors in the Kelly Hall lecture room

Federal regulations expose biogenic formaldehyde

By Chip Frazier
For decades the federal government has set limits for allowable formaldehyde emissions from nonstructural composite products like particleboard. The industry has repeatedly met those regulations with innovations in resin technology, the intended target for emissions regulation.

Green Building System Class Projects

By Dan Hindman
SBIO 3324, Green Building Systems, was held in Fall 2015. The class discussed the definition of green building, concepts in green building structures (water, site, materials, energy, indoor environmental quality) and discussed some of the various green building certification systems.

USDA Vietnam Cochran Fellows Visit Department

By Bob Smith
The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials hosted four Vietnamese Cochran Fellows and their USDA-FAS advisor for two weeks the beginning of November to better understand forest practices and forest product manufacturing and markets in the United States.

Virginia Tech Students Visit to Finca Rio Perla, Caribbean Highlands, Costa Rica

By Paul B. Siegep, PH.D., Virginia Tech, ‘91
As a 1991 PhD graduate in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech, I was very happy to host a group of Hokie students and professors at my farm Finca Rio Perla in the Caribbean Highlands of Costa Rica on January 9, 2016.

The Wood Enterprise Institute 2015-2016

By Earl Kline
During the current 2015-2016 academic year, the Wood Enterprise Institute has taken on an ambitious challenge to lead a project that is quite different from past years. This year’s 17 member WEI team (see Figure 1) includes a diverse mix of students who bring many perspectives to the project and work together very well to meet their project challenges.

Extension highlights

The wood products industry in Virginia is a critical contributor to the economy of the state, an industry represented by more than 1,000 primary and secondary industries and over $25 billion in economic impact. The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) at Virginia Tech is one of the leading U.S. academic programs in the field of renewable materials with a focus on cellulosic materials such as wood products. Besides research and teaching efforts, SBIO has an important role in dissemination of new knowledge in the area of renewable materials through SBIO’s three extension specialists.



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