National Needs Fellowship

USDA National Needs Graduate Fellowship Program Grant #2008-38420-19525

Team-Oriented Graduate Training in Forest Resources Utilization and Advanced Forest-Based Products Marketing

 PI’s:

  • Lech Muszynski
  • Chris Knowles
  • Fred Kamke
  • Eric Hansen

Fellows:

           

  • Mike Karas:
    • Began January 2009
    • Finished December 2010
    • Project title “Sustainable Bio-Composites for West Coast Highways”

     

  • Natalie Macias:
    • Began January 2009
    • Finished December 2010
    • Project title "Market Opportunities for Viscoelastic Thermal Compressed (VTC) Wood"

     

  • Ashlee Tibbets:
    • Began January 2010
    • Finished December 2011
    • Project title "Impact of Due Diligence Regulations on the US Forest Products Industry" 

Non-Technical Summary:

Surprisingly few new product development efforts and innovative ideas are successfully commercialized. Many failures are due to the lack of a strong connection to the marketplace early in the development process. We believe that a coherent integrated education program, which brings together expertise in technical and business fields, benefits graduate education and research by focusing creative energy on ideas with the most realistic chances for success in the market place and creating a favorable environment for innovation and breakthrough discovery.

Our goal is to create a cohort of future leaders in science and the industry that are capable of overcoming traditional disciplinary barriers. This approach promises to bring new creative energy to the field of forest resource utilization and provide employees that are well-equipped to face the complex challenges of the global economy.

Cross-disciplinary, collaborative approach is devised to prepare well-rounded, science-focused graduates with an enhanced understanding of product commercialization and technology transfer, as well as well-rounded, business-focused graduates with an enhanced understanding of the scientific discovery processes behind new product/technology development. The program offers a new experience for graduate students which has not been available anywhere in the country is unique worldwide. In this project traditional graduate instruction is integrated with a two-month international experience through research programs in foreign laboratories.

This project addresses the national Targeted Expertise Shortage Area (TESA) Forest Resources: Utilization Technologies, relevant discipline code C (Conservation and Renewable Natural Resources).

 

This project is unique in the following aspects:

1) an interdisciplinary approach, integrating science, engineering and economic/marketing perspectives at every stage of the creative process;

2) team-oriented training with stress on developing Fellow leadership and managerial skills; and

3) integration of an international experience for Fellows.

OUTCOMES TO DATE:

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH/TRAINING EXPERIENCE

Mike Karas

  • Destination & dates: Hamburg, Germany, August-September, 2010
  • Host Institutions: University of Hamburg (UHH), Department for Wood Science. Mike has also used facilities and interacted with faculties affiliated with Hamburg Technical University (TUHH) and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW)
  • Research activity:Conducting acoustic tests on wood-plastic composite samples and preparing specimens for tests.
  • Conference: ECOWOOD 2010 – 4th International Conference & Exhibition on Environmentally-Compatible Forest Products, Oporto, Portugal, September 8-10
  • Link to full IRTA report

Natalie Macias

  • Destinations & dates: Australia and South Korea, June-September 2010
  • Host Institution: Australia National University
  • Research activity: Identifying drivers of designers decisions on structural materials for green buildings
  • Conference: 38th International Forestry Student’s Symposium, Seoul, Korea and 23rd Internal Union of Forest Research Organizations World Congress, Seoul Korea
  • Link to full IRTA report

Ashlee Tibbets

  • Destinations & dates: Australia and South Korea, June-September 2010
  • Host Institutions: Australia National University
  • Research activity: Identifying drivers of designers decisions on structural materials for green buildings
  • Conference: 38th International Forestry Student’s Symposium, Seoul Korea and 23rd Internal Union of Forest Research Organizations World Congress, Seoul Korea
  • Link to full IRTA report

 

DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES:

Recruiting stage:

The NNF program has been advertised through the OSU minority organizations, through the oregondiversity.com website, through diversity offices at selected colleges and universities in Oregon and nationwide, and at the annual SACNAS conference in Salt Lake City. SACNAS is a diverse and inclusive society dedicated to promoting opportunities in advanced science education, careers, and leadership for Hispanic/Chicano, Native American, and other underrepresented minority students.

Since project commencement:

The project objectives and research activities were disseminated at professional meetings and conferences, in conference papers and in professional journals.

Professional meetings and conferences

 

Karas M., L. Muszyński (2011): Sustainable Bio-Composites for Highway Infrastructure: Feasibility of Material Substitution in
Existing Products. ECOWOOD 2010, 4th International Conference & Exhibition on Environmentally-Compatible Forest
Products, Oporto, Portugal, September 8-10, 173-184.

Karas M., L. Muszyński (2011): Effect of Low-Grade Woody Biomass Content on Tensile Properties and Resistance to
Environmental Exposure in Wood-HDPE Composites. 65th Joint FPS/SWST International Convention, Portland, OR, June
19-22 (abstract p.107).

Karas M., S. Lippert, J. Luedke, L. Muszyński (2011): Sound Transmission Loss in Wood-Polyproppylene Composites. 65th Joint FPS/SWST International Convention, Portland, OR, June 19-22 (abstract p.108).

Karas M., L. Muszynski (2010): Sustainable Bio-Composites for Highway Infrastructure: Feasibility of Material Substitution in Existing Products. ECOWOOD 2010 – 4th International Conference & Exhibition on Environmentally-Compatible Forest Products, Oporto, Portugal, September 8-10 (Best Student Presentation Award)

Karas, M., L. Muszynski. Sustainable Bio-Composites for Oregon’s Highways - A Material Substitution Feasibility Study. BEST FEST '10 September 13, 2010. Portland, Oregon. (Poster)

Karas M., L. Muszynski (2010): Sustainable Bio-Composites for West Coast Highways: Utilization of low grade woody-biomass in highway products. 64th International FPS Convention, Madison, WI (poster)

Karas M., L. Muszynski (2010): Sustainable Bio-Composites of West Coast Highways: Outline of a Viability Assessment Method. 64th  International FPS Convention, Madison, WI (presentation)

Karas M., L. Muszynski (2010): Sustainable Bio-Composites of West Coast Highways: Effect of low-grade woody biomass content on composite properties. 64th  International FPS Convention, Madison, WI (presentation)

Karas M., L. Muszynski, D. Thompson, E. Hansen, K. Boston (2009): Sustainable Bio-Composites for Oregon Infrastructure. Oregon BEST Fest ’09. Portland, OR, September 14, 2009 (poster)

Karas M., L. Muszynski (2010): Utilization of Low-grade Woody Biomass in Highway Related Products: Outline of a Viability Assessment Method. 11th International Conference on Biocomposites: Transition to Green Material, Toronto, ON, Canada,  May 2-4, 2010 (presentation)

Karas M., L. Muszynski, D. Thompson, E. Hansen, K. Boston (2009): Sustainable Bio-Composites for West Coast Highways. 63rd International Convention FPS/SWST, Boise, ID, June 21-23 (poster)

Karas M.*, L. Muszynski, D. Thompson, E. Hansen, K. Boston (2009): Sustainable Bio-Composites for West Coast Highways. 43rd International Wood Composites Symposium and Technical Workshop, Seattle, WA, March 30-April 1, 2009 (poster)

Knowles C, N. Macias, A. Tibbets, C Theodoropoulos, J. Allen, and C. Griffin. 2010. Designers views of green structural materials: Implications for Wood Science Research. Presented at The UNECE Timber Committee/Society of Wood Science and Technology Joint Conference. Geneva Switzerland. October 10-15, 2010.

Knowles C,  A. Tibbets, N. Macias, C Theodoropoulos, J. Allen, and C. Griffin. 2010. Designers views of green structural materials in the United States and Australia: Implications for Forest Products Marketing Research. Presented at The UNECE FAO Team of Specialists in Forest Products Marketing Meeting. Hokkaido, Japan. August 17-20, 2010.

Macias N., C. Knowles (2011): Commercialization potential of viscoelastic thermal compressed (VTC) wood. Forest Products
Journal. (in press).

Macias, N. and C. Knowles. (2009): Examining the effect of price, wood source, and environmental certification on architects purchase decisions of wood flooring. 63rd International Convention FPS/SWST, Boise, ID, June 21-23

Muszynski L., M. Karas, D. Thompson (2010): Sustainable Bio-Composites for West Coast Highways. Oregon BEST Fest ’10. Portland, OR, September 13, 2010 (invited panel presentation)

Muszynski L. (2009): Bio-Composites for West Coast Highways. Fall 2009 Transportation Seminar Series, Center for Transportation Studies, Portland State University, Portland, OR, October 9, 2009 (invited seminar presentation)

Tibbets A.*, N. Macias, M. Karas, Muszyński L.*, C. Knowles (2011): Australia-Germany-Korea-Portugal: International Research Experience of three USDA National Needs Fellows in OSU Department of Wood Science & Engineering. presentation at the Student Appreciation Luncheon, at 65th Joint FPS/SWST International Convention, Portland, OR, June 19-22. 

Tibbets, A., C. Knowles. (2011): Implications of the Lacey Act on United States Importers: Insights from the Wood Products
Industry. 65th Joint FPS/SWST International Convention, Portland, OR, June 19-22.

Tibbets, A., C. Knowles. (2011): The Lacey Act: Implications on North American Wholesalers. The Joint IUFRO/UNECE
Team of Specialists in Forest Products Marketing Meeting. Corvallis, Oregon. June 15-18, 2011.

Tibbets A., N. Macias, and C. Knowles. 2010. Designers views of green structural materials: Comparing the United States and Australia. Presented at the XXIII IUFRO World Congress. Seoul, Korea. August 23-28, 2010.

Proceedings papers:

Karas M., L. Muszyński (2010): Utilization of Low‐grade Woody Biomass in Highway Related Products: Outline of a Viability Assessment Method. In the proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Biocomposites: Transition to Green Material, Toronto, Canada, May 2-4, 2010 (in press)

Publications:

Karas M. (2011): Sustainable bio-composites for west coast highways. M.S. Thesis. Oregon State University. 175 p.

Macias N. (2010): Commercialization potential of viscoelastic thermal compressed (VTC) wood. M.S. Tesis. Oregon State
University. 156 p.

Tibbets, A. (2011). Implications of the 2008 Lacey Act Amendments: Insights from the Wood Products Industry. Thesis.
Oregon State University. 111 p.

Karas M., L. Muszyński (2011): Sustainable Bio-Composites for Highway Infrastructure: Feasibility of Material Substitution in Existing Products. BioResources 6(4), 3915-3932.

Karas M., L. Muszyński (2011): Effect of low-grade woody biomass content on high-speed puncture properties of wood-HDPE composites. Holzforschung. (submitted)

Karas M., L. Muszyński (2011): Effect of low-grade woody biomass content on tensile properties of wood-HDPE composites subjected to environmental exposure. Holzforschung. (submitted)

Karas M., L. Muszyński (2011): Effect of low-grade woody biomass content on tensile properties of wood-HDPE composites. Holzforschung. (submitted)

Macias N. and C. Knowles (2009): Examining the effect of environmental certification, wood source, and price on architects preferences for hardwood flooring. Forest Business Solutions Research Brief. 7(2), 2 p.

Macias, N. and C. Knowles (2009): Examining the effect of price, wood source, and environmental certification on architects purchase decisions of wood flooring. Silva Fennica. In Press.

Macias, N. and C. Knowles (2010): Commercialization potential of Visceolastic Thermal Compressed (VTC) wood: Insights from the U.S. forest products industry.To be submitted to Forest Products Journal.

Macias, N. and C. Knowles (2010): Opportunities for Visceolastic Thermal Compressed (VTC) in wood design: Insights from Oregon designers.To be submitted to Wood and Fiber Science.

Thompson, D.W., E.N. Hansen, C.D. Knowles, L. Muszyński (2010): Opportunities for wood plastic composite products in the U.S. highway construction sector. Bioresources, 5(3), 1336-1352

Thompson, D. E. Hansen, C. Knowles, and L. Muszynski. 2009. Opportunities for wood plastic composites in the highway construction sector. Forest Business Solutions Research Brief: 7(3). 2p.

Tibbets A., N. Macias, C. Knowles (2010): Insights into Green Building Structural Systems: A comparison study between the United States and Australia. [Journal TBD]. In preparation

Awards:

Tibbets A. and N. Macias (2010): Grand Local Committee Presentation Award.  Awarded by the 38th International Forestry Student’s Symposium for the presentation entitled: Insights into Green Building Structural Systems: A comparison study between the United States and Australia.  July, 2010.

Karas M. (2010): Award for Best Student Presentation. ECOWOOD: 4th International Conference on Environmentally Compatible Forest Products, 2010 Porto, Portugal

 

FELLOWS TESTIMONIALS

Mike Karas

  • I work for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group as what is called a Liaison Engineer on the new 747-8. I pretty much solve problems that arise as 747s are assembled in the factory. I am currently in a training rotation at the end of which I get a "Materials Review Board" certification by the FAA, and I will be authorized to independently disposition problems that arise during the assembly of airplanes.

Natalie Macias

  • I work for the Softwood Export Council (SEC) as the International Marketing Manager. My job is very diverse, and as a result I rarely do the same thing every day. I am responsible for coordinating and managing more than ten international programs, handling member information and communications, conducting market research, and developing parts of the Unified Export Strategy report for the USDA. In addition, I travel internationally anywhere from three to eight times each year to better understand international markets for U.S. softwood lumber and to participate in forest products-related trade shows.

Ashlee Tibbets

 

Relevant Links:

Orgon State University

Oregon State University College of Forestry

Department of Wood Science and Engineering at Oregon State University

Renewable Materials at Oregon State University