About Sustainable Bioproducts

The Department of Sustainable Bioproducts began in 1964 as the Forest Products Utilization Laboratory as authorized by the Mississippi Legislature. The laboratory was established to provide research and technical assistance for the secondary wood manufacturing industry in the state. In 1967, the Department of Wood Science and Technology was established and approved to offer master's degrees. The approval to offer bachelor's degrees in wood science and technology was approved in 1975. The Furniture Research Unit was created in 1987 to support the burgeoning furniture industry in Mississippi, the number one producer of motion furniture. In 1989, the Department of Wood Science and Technology was changed to the Department of Forest Products. Most recently, in 2013, the department name changed to the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts to reflect the renewable, natural and sustainable resources used in the industry. Throughout the history of sustainable bioproducts, the department's mission has remained to discover new knowledge on the properties and uses of wood and the conversion methods used to convert timber to wood-based materials that are useful to society.

The department has been first in a number of research, education and outreach endeavors. See our points of pride below.


  • Furniture research and technical assistance has saved Mississippi furniture manufacturers over $1 million dollars each year. The Franklin Furniture Institute has tested furniture for every furniture manufacturer in the nation.
  • Scientists in the department were the first to develop bioremediation techniques to clean-up contaminated industrial sites.
  • Scientists in the department hold a record number of patents for termite control, wood preservation, non-destructive testing, and the development of new products.
  • State-of-the-art facilities to meet industry needs includes over 90,000 square feet housed with analytical and testing equipment and pilot plants. The Department of Sustainable Bioproducts is an IAS certified testing laboratory.


  • Want a job? Consider sustainable bioproducts. The Department of Sustainable Bioproducts boasts 100% placement of graduates.


  • The department developed, planned and hosted the Wood Magic Science Fair in 1995. For 20 years, the fair has educated third- and fourth-graders on the importance of natural resources, including forestry, forest products, and wildlife and fisheries. The Wood Magic Science Fair has received numerous awards and has been replicated in Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, among other states.
  • For over 50 years, the department has provided technical assistance to the forest products industry in Mississippi.

Forest Products in Mississippi

Solid Wood Products

  • $2.73 billion total output
  • 17,321 jobs

Pulp and Paper

  • $2.90 billion total output
  • 10,875 jobs

Wood Furniture

  • $3.85 billion total output
  • 28,867 jobs

Contact Information

The Department of Sustainable Bioproducts
Box 9820
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9601

201 Locksley Way
Starkville, MS 39759

Phone: 662-325-2116
Fax: 662-325-8986