Throwback Thursday: FPL’s 1920 Bowling Team

For a blog on wood research, Lab Notes features a surprising amount of posts about sports.

Our researchers’ work has touched the world of basketball because of the floors, baseball because of the bats, and bowling because of the pins (and maybe also because we’re located in Wisconsin, home to more bowling alleys than any other state in the nation).

It’s bowling that gets a mention again today, after librarian Julie Blankenburg found a few gems in the historic records of the FPL library, photos of a team from 1920 and a bowling banquet.

FPL bowling team, 1920

Lab Notes previously featured FPL’s bowling teams when a Forest Products Club Bowling Champions trophy was unearthed. But until now we hadn’t included any pictures of the teams. It may seem surprising the team members are all women, but in the 1920’s, women’s bowling was much more popular than men’s bowling. And it looks like the women of FPL really knew how to celebrate the strikes!

FPL bowling banquet

Researchers Honored with Department, Agency Accolades

Several Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) employees were recently honored by Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and USDA Under Secretary Jim Hubbard at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The 2019 Chief’s Awards were presented to three current employees and one retiree.

Junyong Zhu, FPL research general engineer, was presented with a Chief’s Award for his work supporting the Forest Service goal of applying knowledge globally. Junyong’s work contributed to the USDA goal of facilitating rural prosperity and economic development, and he was also selected to receive the Natural Resources and Environment 2019 Under Secretary’s Award for his work in wood and woody biomass utilization.

Junyong Zhu (center) received awards from both Forest Service Chief Christiansen (right) and USDA Under Secretary Hubbard (left).
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Experts Offer “Three Perspectives on Wood” at Madison College Event

The Cabinetmaking and Millwork Program at Madison College recently hosted a speaking event offering their students, as well as builders, designers, and woodworkers, “Three Perspectives on Wood” to understand how to source and use wood properly for best performance.

Chris Hunt, a research chemist at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), was one of the invited speakers. For more than 25 years, Hunt has studied ways to make better use of wood. His presentation, titled “Why Does Wood Do That?” focused on how understanding the structure of wood can improve one’s carpentry and woodworking skills.

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Better Adhesives Mean Stronger, Cheaper Wood Products

(This article was originally posted on Inside the Forest Service.)

As great as engineered wood—such as plywood or particle board—is for a range of building and manufacturing uses, it has its limitations, especially in outdoor applications. One of the biggest limitations is not the wood, but the adhesive used to glue the wood veneers or particles together. In the United States, the most commonly used adhesive in outdoor engineered wood products is phenol-formaldehyde resin.

To accelerate development of new and improved wood adhesives for engineered wood products, Forest Service researchers Joseph Jakes, Chris Hunt, Nayomi Plaza, Dan Yelle, Chuck Frihart and Linda Lorenz, along with collaborators at Oregon State University, Argonne National Laboratory and Scion, a New Zealand research lab, are working to understand the optimal adhesive penetration into wood for specific products and applications. They want to know what controls performance at the bond line—where the adhesive meets the wood.

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International Recognition Awarded to FPL Scientist

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) recently presented their Scientific Achievement Award to Junyong (JY) Zhu, a research general engineer at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL).

IUFRO President Mike Wingfield congratulates Junyong Zhu.

The IUFRO Scientific Achievement Award is given in recognition of outstanding individual scientific achievements within the fields of research covered by the Union. Ten scientists from around the world were presented with this prestigious award during the 2019 IUOFRO World Congress in Curitiba, Brazil.

JY is part of the Fiber and Chemical Sciences research work unit at FPL, and his research focuses on bringing value to underutilized materials through the generation of products such as biofuels and nanocellulose.  

Congratulations, JY, on this well-deserved honor!

L to R: IUFRO Executive Director Alexander Buck, IUFRO President Mike Wingfield, Junyong Zhu, Forest Service Deputy Chief Alex Friend