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December 2011 Newsletter


It has been a great year in the Department with many exciting activities. We have seen new research funding come in for fields ranging from Construction Safety to Cellulosic Drug Delivery. Our Packaging Systems and Design program is growing in leaps and bounds. This year meetings and conferences were sponsored by our department faculty in areas ranging from Hardwood Processing and Innovation-based manufacturing, to Cellulose chemistry, biopolymers and biomass processing.

Students Spotlight 

A few images of of students through the year. From hands-on craftsmanship in Innovation and Design, to Packaging Systems development, to the great work our student Ambassadors do in promoting the Department, our students are pushing the boundaries to become the next generation of leaders in the field. We feel very fortunate every day to have these great students in our classes, and to get to work with them on projects.

Eastman Graduate Student Symposium at Virginia Tech

On November 16, the fourth annual Eastman Graduate Student Symposium was held in the ICTAS 1 auditorium at Virginia Tech, showcasing the work of graduate students who work with polysaccharides as sustainable biomaterials in Wood Science and Forest Products, the interdisciplinary Macromolecular Science and Engineering program, and in Chemistry.

VT-Packaging hosted a Planning meeting for 2012 Packaging Summit

The Virginia Tech Packaging program hosted a preparative and planning meeting for the 2012 Packaging Summit on Thursday, November 10th at the Brooks Forest Products Center.

Where is the Fastest Career Growth Projected?

The table and the graph below highlight the importance of the Department’s educational efforts in “renewables and the environment”. Both WIRED Magazine (7 million surveyed), and IBIS World Industry Reports [PDF], indicate that Sustainable Building Materials and Renewable Materials are where career growth will be occurring. Despite the economic downturn, we anticipate strong growth in this area, and even stronger demand for our graduates from the department.