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Fall 2013 Newsletter II


Message from our Department Head

Our students have been helping us with departmental recruiting efforts this fall. Our most effective method of attracting
students to our program is to have current students visit with potential students. We have a student ambassador
program in the college where students volunteer to work with faculty in these types of efforts. We recently had
advisors from the Virginia Community College system visit the college and each department presented their programs
to help these individuals better understand the great opportunities in CNRE.
On September 6, Virginia Tech’s Packaging student club joined the 2013 Gobblerfest to promote student activities and the VT-packaging program. With strong financial support from the SBIO department, Catherine Jucha, who was hired as a student worker under the guidance of Dr. Young Kim and Dr. Laszlo Horvath and is currently considering a transfer to the packaging program from another college, primarily organized this event along with 10 other active VT-Packaging student club members.
Jeremy Withers, a BS/MS student at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, and assistant professor Henry Quesada traveled in October 15 to the Reynolds Homestead in Critz, VA to demonstrate the Deparment’s biomass power plant at the 37th Annual Fall Forestry and Wildlife Field Tours.
Turman Lumber Company again supported the teaching efforts in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials by allowing student to tour and by supplying lumber for a class project. The tour and lumber were used in SBIO 3436 Wood Products Manufacturing. Truman Bolt, manager of the Turman facility in Radford, graciously allowed students to tour the Radford sawmill for one laboratory period. The students took measurements of lumber thickness and machine operating effectiveness which were then used to evaluate the mill’s performance. Truman also supplied the lumber used in the class drying lab, where the students were responsible for drying 800 board feet of 5/4 yellow poplar in a steam heated dry kiln. Thanks to Truman Bolt and all the folks at Turman Lumber for their support of our undergraduate teaching efforts. These efforts help students to engage in taking concepts taught in class and applying them to real production situations.

Students Benefit from Industry and Trade Association Support

Students in Dr. Bush’s Principles of Packaging course (SBIO 2104) during fall semester 2013 are benefiting from support provided by companies and trade associations. Carded Graphics of Stanton, Virginia donated a generous amount of paperboard to use for the course project. The American Forest and Paper Association provided copies of the  Paperboard Packaging Council book, Ideas and Innovation: A handbook for designers, converters, and buyers of paperboard packaging. The Glass Packaging Institute, the Can Manufacturers Institute, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation arranged speakers for the course. Mr. Larry Wolfe, Sr. Project Director with the Stephen Gould Corporation spoke with the class about the packaging design process. Mr. Wolfe used as examples the packaging systems his team developed for McCormick and Company,Inc. (Recipe Inspirations) and Sears, Roebuck & Company (Craftsman tool packaging). The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials thanks each of
these organizations and individuals for supporting student learning.


Recently, assistant professor Henry Quesada and department Head Robert Smith, both at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, traveled to Vietnam to interview importers of American hardwoods during the 2013 Vietnam Wood trade show. The trip is part of an international marketing project that has as a goal to identify factors that impact the import of American hardwoods in Western Europe, China, and Vietnam markets.
by Laszlo Horvath
The annual meeting of the Alliance of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) is  one of the most important events for professionals working in the corrugated packaging industry. This year the event focused on communication and leadership in the packaging industry. Presenters from companies such as ZAPPOS presented about the importance of communication in the 21st century and highlighted the differences between the sales strategies employed for the different generations of customers. Despite the great distance, eleven students from Virginia Tech’s packaging program with the supervision of Laszlo Horvath and Young Teck Kim participated in the meeting. The highlight of the event was the scholarship award recognition ceremony where Jonghun Park (Ph.D) received first place of the 2013 J. Richard Troll Memorial Scholarship.
by Laszlo Horvath & Young Teck Kim Pack Expo is one of the biggest events in the packaging industry bringing broad range of suppliers, manufacturers, and customers of various packaging solutions together. Two faculty, Dr. Young Teck Kim and Dr. Laszlo Horvath are represented the packaging program at Virginia Tech during the expo.
by Laszlo Horvath

In the last 20 years, the advisory board meetings of Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD) has been a great place for industry professionals to talk about recent issues faced by the pallet and packaging industry. With the expanded focus on total packaging and sustainable packaging materials, the Advisory Board has been extended to incorporate companies from the primary packaging and packaging design sector.

Goodell Delivers Talk at Royal Academy in London

Professor Barry Goodell delivered an invited talk at the Royal Academy in London, England at a Conference on: Lignocellulose Degradation Mechanisms from Across the Tree of Life. The meetings were held at the Linnaean Society of London Headquarters within the Royal Academy. Goodell’s talk was on: “New anatomical findings on the structure of wood, and the non-enzymatic deconstruction system of brown rot fungi” with co-authors: Daniel Maschek, Valdeir Arantes, Jody Jellison, Mark Lessard, Holger Militz and Yuhui Qian.

In June, Professor Barry Goodell attended the 44th Annual Convention of the International Research Group on Wood Protection (IRG-WP) in Stockholm, Sweden. Goodell presented a talk with Dr. Fangli Sun and others from Zhejiang Agric. and Forestry University in China on the “Influence of Selected Additives and Organic Fungicides for Control of Bamboo Mold Fungi”.

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.