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Spring 2013 Newsletter


Hello from the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials:

We have a large graduating class this year with many already having jobs lined up to start the next step in their lives. Students from our program begin their careers as management trainees, quality control technicians, sales people, research assistants and production supervisors to name a few positions.

Not Your Average Internship

Through its research, Virginia Tech’s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design makes packaging systems as safe and efficient as possible. What would you say if you were offered an internship working for the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design? Think it sounds boring? Think again. “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” Zachary Shiner, a junior from Exton, Pennsylvania said of his internship. “Every package is different.” Last summer, Dr. Laszlo Horvath, director of the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design, hired one freshman, one sophomore, and one junior as interns at the center. Dr. Horvath’s strategy was to hire young students who could gain as much experience as possible. The summer internship transformed the students from packaging novices to packaging know-it-alls.

Students and faculty from Virginia Tech and Purdue University travel to Costa Rica

Assistant professor Henry Quesada from Virginia Tech and associate professor Eva Haviarova from Purdue University joined efforts to organize a student field trip to Costa Rica and to collaborate with the Costa Rican Forestry Office in delivering educational activities during the Spring break.

Virginia Tech’s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design has an Active Spring

Virginia Tech’s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD) has had an active spring so far. In March, the CPULD director Dr. Laszlo Horvath presented at multiple industry meetings.

Goodell in Tanzania

Dr. Barry Goodell was an invited keynote speaker to World Wood Day - 2013 in Tanzania, Africa during the week of March 21st 2013. He represented North America and presented the talk, The Future of Wood and Biofiber: How Wood as a Biomaterial Contributes to a Sustainable World.

Japanese Scientists Visit the Sustainable Biomaterials Department to Talk About the Bioconversion of Waste Lignin to Useful Products.

Dr. Masaya Nakamura and Dr. Yuichiro Otsuka from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) in Tsukuba (Science City), Japan visited the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials April 19 – 23, and met with several faculty and students in the Department and across campus.