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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Nayomi Plaza
Nayomi Plaza

Nayomi Plaza

Forest Biopolymer Science and Engineering
Unit: FPL-4707
Research Materials Engineer
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI
United States

Phone: 608-231-9561

Current Research

My current research focuses on the use of x-ray and neutron scattering techniques to better understand structure-property relationships.  I'm particularly interested in the role of nanostructure as well as molecular architecture responsible for increased durability against the elements and dimensional stability.

Research Interest

Wood cell wall nanostructureNanoscale and molecular level wood-water interactionsScattering and spectroscopy techniques (using x-ray and neutrons)

Research Importance

The role of wood nanostructure has often been elusive  via conventional characterization techniques typically because of poor contrast.  Yet, better understanding of the architectures needed for improved durability can lead to the accelerated development of new bioinspired materials as well improved forest products.


  • University of Wisconsin - Madison, Ph.D. Materials Science , 2017
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.S. Materials Science , 2015
  • University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez, B.S. Mechanical Engineering , 2011

Professional Organizations

  • Neutron Scattering Society of America,
  • Forest Products Society (FPS),


  • CSURM Fellow, 2019
  • Forest Products Society Wood Award 1st Place, 2018
  • DOE SCGSR Fellow, 2015
  • Composite Panel Association Robert E. Dougherty Scholarship , 2015
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, 2012
  • UW Madison Graduate Engineering Scholar, 2012

Below are the 7 US Forest Service publications sorted by year. You may re-sort the list by: Title, Date Posted, Category, Publication or Year.

Publication Year: 2019
Title: Using x-ray scattering to elucidate the mechanisms behind the moisture and fungal decay resistance of epoxybutene modified wood
Source: In: Proceedings, 2019 IRG annual meeting. Stockholm, Sweden: The International Research Group on Wood Protection. 15 p.
Author(s) Ibach, Rebecca E.; Plaza, Nayomi
Year: 2019   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2017
Title: Improved understanding of moisture effects on outdoor wood–adhesive bondlines
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL–GTR–246. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 9 p
Author(s) Jakes, Joseph E.; Plaza-Rodriguez, Nayomi; Arzola Villegas, Xavier; Frihart, Charles R.
Year: 2017   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Integrating multi-scale studies of adhesive penetration into wood
Source: In: Hunt, C.G.; Smith, G.D.; Yan, N. eds. Proceedings, 2017 international conference on wood adhesives. Peachtree Corners, GA: Forest Products Society. 13 p.
Author(s) Jakes, Joseph E.; Frihart, Charles R.; Hunt, Christopher G.;  Yelle, Daniel J.; Plaza, Nayomi ; Lorenz, Linda ; Ching, Daniel J.
Year: 2017   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Neutron scattering studies of nano-scale wood-water interactions
Author(s) Plaza Rodriguez, Nayomi Z.
Year: 2017   view abstract, download publication »
Title: Small angle neutron scattering as a tool to evaluate moisture-induced swelling in the nanostructure of chemically modified wood cell walls
Source: In: Hunt, C.G., Smith, G.D., Yan, N., eds. Proceedings, 2017 international conference on wood adhesives. Peachtree Corners, GA: Forest Products Society: 6 p.
Author(s) Plaza, Nayomi Z.; Jakes, Joseph E.; Frihart, Charles R.; Hunt, Christopher G.; Yelle, Daniel J.; Lorenz, Linda F.
Year: 2017   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2016
Title: Informing the improvement of forest products durability using small angle neutron scattering
Source: Cellulose, Vol. 23(3). pp. 1593-1607
Author(s) Plaza Rodriguez, Nayomi; Pingali, Sai Venkatesh; Qian, Shuo; Heller, William T.; Jakes, Joseph E.
Year: 2016   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2014
Title: Wood as inspiration for new stimuli-responsive structures and materials
Source: Proceedings of SPIE Volume 9055, 90550K 2014 SPIE. 13 p.
Author(s) Jakes, Joseph E.; Plaza-Rodriguez, Nayomi; Zelinka, Samuel L.; Stone, Donald S.; Gleber, Sophie-Charlotte; Vogt, Stefan
Year: 2014   view abstract, download publication »
Publication Year: 2018
(Left) X-ray computed tomography (XCT) volume reconstructions of BrPF resins in bondlines. (right) X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) Br maps of transverse sections cut from BrPF bondlines. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1311
X-Ray Methods to Observe and Quantify Adhesive Penetration into Wood

To accelerate development of new and improved wood adhesives for engineered wood products, researchers are working to understand the optimal adhesive penetration into wood for specific products and applications. ...