FPL Researcher Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

Chris Hunt, a research chemist at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), has been awarded a Fulbright fellowship to work in Tallinn, Estonia from February to August, 2021.

Chris Hunt, FPL research chemist

The Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Hunt proposed to work on improved techniques for characterizing wood veneer surfaces with respect to bonding performance. His application also included the goal of promoting FPL to European institutions as a destination for scholars wanting to conduct wood science.

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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
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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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