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

FPL Researcher Honored with Multiple Awards

Laura Hasburgh, a fire protection engineer in FPL’s Building and Fire Sciences unit has recently been awarded two accolades for her work.

Laura Hasburgh, FPL fire protection engineer

The University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) presented Laura with the 2019 Turnbull Service Award. This award is meant to honor an exemplary MS&E graduate student who has made notable contributions to public service. Committee members deemed Laura an ideal recipient of this award based on her significant contributions to the public in the area of fire safety and outstanding service.

Laura has also been named the recipient of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers‘ (SFPE) Margaret Law Award for pioneering advancements associated with engineering fire safety of the built environment. This award will be presented at the SFPE Annual Conference and Expo in October.

‘ (SFPE) Margaret Law Award for pioneering advancements associated with engineering fire safety of the built environment. This award will be presented at the SFPE Annual Conference and Expo in October.

Congratulations, Laura, on these well-deserved honors!

FPL Welcomes USDA Undersecretary, FS Chief

FPL researcher Zhiyong Cai shows Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen food packaging made with nanocellulose materials. (Background L to R: FS Deputy Chief Alex Friend, FPL Director Tony Ferguson, FPL program manager Brian Brashaw, USDA Undersecretary Jim Hubbard, FS Acting Deputy Chief Patti Hirami.)

This week the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) hosted a meeting bringing together leaders from USDA, the Forest Service (FS) and industry partners to discuss opportunities to exploit FPL’s expertise as a world leader in developing and enhancing forest products.

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