Virginia Tech®home

SBIO

VT sustainability research

Jennifer Russell (at left) and undergraduate students Nicholas Zimmerman, Hannah Gruspier, and Ugochi Chukwueke sort through and weigh waste at a retirement facility. Photo by Felicia Spencer for Virginia Tech.

Jennifer Russell, Nicholas Zimmerman, Hannah Gruspier, and Ugochi Chukwueke
Jennifer Russell (at left) and undergraduate students Nicholas Zimmerman, Hannah Gruspier, and Ugochi Chukwueke sort through and weigh waste at a retirement facility. Photo by Felicia Spencer for Virginia Tech.

What is the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) all about?

For society to solve issues around climate change, species extinction, plastic pollution, and other related issues, graduates must be able to evaluate problems, and solutions, quantitatively and accurately. A Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) degree equips students to construct hypotheses, carry out investigations, and interpret data. SBIO students, however, are trained to understand the materials that comprise plants and other sources of biopolymers, and they are trained to understand the nature of renewable, sustainable materials, as well as a circular economy and life cycle assessment. Students in the SBIO degree have some advantages as they explore careers.  Our SBIO degrees can prepare a student to directly enter careers in companies that produce materials that wish to do so more sustainably; these days that would include almost every company that is a materials producer or user. Such careers might entail work in a laboratory or manufacturing area, but they might also entail combining sustainability/materials technical knowledge with the people skills acquired at VT including in experiential learning to be able to interact effectively with customers. At the same time, the skill set developed in SBIO at VT is also good preparation for a STEM graduate degree. Having earned such a graduate degree, students can look forward to a career in industry, academia, government, or beyond, with enhanced independence and responsibility.

 

Sustainable Biomaterials B.S. Degree

A field with great career opportunities where you can make a difference. There is a growing need to make products more “green” and renewable resources such as wood and other biomaterials provide a natural way to design and build innovative and sustainable products for our future.  

Packaging Systems and Design Degree

If you are looking for a creative, interesting, and always changing field, then you are needed in Packaging Systems and Design. Packaging design includes many different aspects of the use of sustainable materials and biomaterials in packaging for transportation, storage, and delivery of products.

Alumni Showcase

Tyler Engel

Tyler Engel
Tyler Engel

This program will give you hands-on experience that remains relevant once you enter the real world. The small class sizes will enable you to develop relationships with your classmates and professors that will last well beyond the graduation stage. The best times I’ve had at Virginia Tech have been because I chose the Packaging program. Learn more about Tyler here.

Student Showcase

Alonda Johnson
Alonda Johnson

I am a first-generation student, so I am unable to ask my family for advice on applying to graduate school or how I’m even supposed to navigate the world once as a college graduate. In turn, the professors here have become a large resource for me in trying to understand the steps I needed to go through in order to achieve my goals as well as helping me with developing expectations I should have for myself in order to be successful.” 

Read more about Alonda here.


Learn more about SBIO


Laszlo Horvath, Asst Professor of Practice, and students, Sustainable Biomaterials, Brooks Forest Products Center. Pallets and packaging.

Dorina Bugledits

Planning a visit

SBIO Main office

310 West Campus Drive
230 Cheatham Hall (0323)
Blacksburg, VA  24061
Phone: (540) 231-8853
Fax: (540) 231-8176

Brooks Forest Products Center

1650 Research Center Drive (0503)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: (540) 231-7107
Fax: (540) 231-8868
sbio@vt.edu