Fall 2013 Newsletter I
Our student population has grown to over eighty students, with almost forty in our new Packaging Science program. We also have ten new graduate students entering for the fall, which brings our graduate population to over forty students including those that are in the Macromolecular program. We placed just about all of our graduating students last spring, which continues to demonstrate a strong demand for our programs.
Virginia Tech sponsors a very successful program each year to teach undergraduates more about research in a program known as “Scieneering”. This summer, two high ranking Virginia Tech students, Beck Geisy and Veronica Kimmerly, worked with Professors Barry Goodell, Scott Renneckar (Sustainable Biomaterials Department) in collaboration with Dr. Alan Drushitz (Materials Science and Engineering Department and Director of the VT Kroehling Foundry on campus).
Visit by Verso Paper Corp. Manager, Dr.Sean Ireland
Dr. Sean Ireland, Manager, New Technologies and Market Ventures. Verso Paper Corp. visited with SBIO faculty and student members at Virginia Tech on August 14 and 15, 2013.
Ireland spoke about the development of new products, and in particular, products containing nanocellulose and new applications of these materials. Faculty members presented their research which ranged from topics on the production of nanocellulose for use in medical scaffolds to the use of lignin residues as a feedstock for green biopolymer production. Ireland also toured the Cheatham Hall and Brooks Laboratory, Packaging Systems and Design facilities, as well as the ICTAS facilities on campus for nano characterization and fabrication.
Catherine Jucha, a sophomore entering the Sustainable Biomaterials program this fall, participated in the SURF (Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship) activity this summer through the Fralin Life Science Institute.
Recent Wood Science/Sustainable Biomaterials graduate Cole Burch took home second place honors in the national Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS) 2013 Fresh Wood Student Competition in Las Vegas. Cole’s entry, a hand-crafted Shaker blanket chest, was the final result of an independent study project.
The University of Freiburg, Germany, recently filed a (European) patent on hydroxypropylated condensed tannin derivatives that is based on work done by PhDcandidate Danny Garcia-Marrero under the supervision of Wolfgang Glasser, Prof. emerit.(2001) of Virginia Tech and Prof. Marie-Pierre Laborie (VT-Wood Science ’02 under the supervision of Prof. C. E. Frazier)
On July 16, fifty five (55) 9th – 12th grade high school students from the Youth Conservation Camp (YCC) visited the Brooks Forest Products Center to better understand how the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials use science, engineering, and technology to responsibly conserve our natural resources.
Barry Goodell welcomed several new people to his lab recently.
From June 30 to July 7, 2013 Dr. Henry Quesada, assistant professor at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech, traveled to China to attend the 2013 International Furniture Fair in Chengdu.