Robert L. Youngs

Professor Emeritus
Headshot of Robert Youngs
Robert Youngs

Bob Youngs has extensive experience in both government and academia and on the international scene. His first career was in the U.S. Forest Service, where he served for 34 years as a researcher and research administrator. His research was primarily in wood drying, wood physics, and wood mechanics. His research administration was at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI., where he served as Director; in the Washington, DC, office of the Forest Service, where he served as Associate Deputy Chief for Research; and as Director of the Southern Forest Experiment Station, headquarters in New Orleans, LA, where he directed research in forestry throughout the Mid-South.

After retirement from the Forest Service, he moved to Virginia Tech, where he served for 10 years as a professor and organized courses in world forestry, agroforestry, and principles of wood utilization. He worked on several international projects, involving the restructuring of forestry research in India, reforestation in Senegal, and others. He has also led in establishing and implementing exchange and collaboration agreements with universities in Taiwan and France. He continues much of that activity as professor emeritus.

Upon retirement from his active faculty role at Virginia Tech, he became editor of Wood and Fiber Science, the journal of the Society of Wood Science and Technology. This led to further development of his interest in scientific writing and to development of a course in scientific writing in English for Chinese scientists.

He has been active on the international scene, especially through the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO). He served in leadership roles on several working parties, as Coordinator of the Forest Products Division, and on the IUFRO Executive Board.

Areas of Expertise

  • International Programs in Forestry and Wood Products
  • Scientific Writing
  • Scientific Writing in English for Chinese Authors


The first to be awarded "Fellow" status by the Society of Wood Science and Technology, June 2004


Member of Editorial Board of Encyclopedia of Forest Science, Elsevier Press, Oxford

Award for Continued Distinguished Service to IUFRO, International Conference of IUFRO Division 5 (Forest Products), Rotorua, New Zealand


Member of Editorial Board, Encyclopedia of Forest Science, July 2002


  • Youngs, Robert L. 2003. Scientific Writing in English for Chinese Authors. National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan November 5, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan, November 7.

  • Youngs, Robert L. 2002. Wood Science and Technology in North American: Reviewing our Contributions and our Uniqueness. Presented at the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products Seminar Series, Blacksburg, Virginia, September 9.

  • Youngs, Robert L. 2007. Meeting the Challenges of Change. Forest Products Journal 57(6):6-13.


  • Youngs, Robert L. 2003. Wood Science and Technology in North America: Reviewing Our Contributions and Our Uniqueness. Forest Products Journal 53(11/12)12-21 [Feature Article].