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About Us

We promote bio-based products to improve public health, reduce pollution and waste, decrease fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance forest ecosystem services.

The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, one of four departments in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, is home to one of the leading programs in renewable natural resources science in North America. Our program focuses on the development of future leaders in the sustainable utilization of forest-based and other renewable natural materials.

Sbio logo leaves

About Us

Our department’s goals and priorities are centered on innovative education and research on natural, regenerative materials to prepare and inspire people to address the complex natural resource issues facing our planet. To do so, our program explores creative collaborative research endeavors, pursues new international research and engagement partnerships, continually and strategically evaluates and updates our curricular offerings, and provides excellent experientially learning environments. Knowledge of the many different aspects of using and regenerating sustainable biomaterials in products and systems is critical to both the natural environment and business economics in Virginia and beyond.

  • Mission:  Serving, preparing, and inspiring our students, stakeholders, and decision-makers through innovative research and education.
  • Vision:  A world without waste, through the advancement of regenerative materials, products, and systems.
  • Core values:
    • Experiential learning
    • Innovative biomaterials science
    • Excellence in academic programs
    • Global research impact
    • Diversity and inclusion


Careers in Sustainable Biomaterials

Students in our program study how our natural resources can be sustainably utilized to meet society’s growing needs for products that can reduce our country’s dependence on fossil fuels. We provide students with the training to work with the next generation of biomaterials from renewable forests and other renewable plant materials.  We embrace the need for field study, study abroad, research experience, and industry trainee opportunities. We believe that multidisciplinary biobased education requires opportunities for students to gain experience outside the traditional teacher-centric delivery approach. Many internships, study abroad, and research experiences are available. A degree in Sustainable Biomaterials or Packaging Systems and Design from Virginia Tech will prepare students to enter the exciting and growing fields of innovative biobased materials and economy.

A graduate of the Sustainable Biomaterials program would be well suited to job titles such as:

  • Business Technology Analyst
  • Sustainability Coordinator/Forester/Researcher
  • Chemist
  • Commercial Construction Estimator
  • Energy Efficiency Researcher
  • Production Design Engineer
  • Production Manager/Supervisor/Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Economic and community development specialist
  • Quality assurance technician
  • Sales Management Associate


A graduate of the Packaging Systems and Design program would be well suited to job titles such as:

  • Industrial Engineer
  • Packaging Engineer
  • Software Designer
  • Software Implementation Consultant
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Testing Engineer
  • Structural Designer
  • External Logistics Analyst
  • Product Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Corrugated Business Associate
Please contact us with any questions about our department.

Department of Sustainable Biomaterials

  • 230 Cheatham Hall (0323)
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA
    Phone: (540) 231-8853
    E-mail Trish Colley at

  • Brooks Forest Products Center
    1650 Research Center Drive (0503)
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA 24060 USA
    Phone: (540) 231-7107 
    E-mail Angie Riegel at

  • CNRE Dean's Office
    324 Cheatham Hall
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
    Phone: (540) 231-7051

  • Academic Programs Office
    138 Cheatham Hall
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
    Phone: (540) 231-5482