CFR News Forest Products Stories


Brazilian scientists thrive professionally through partnership between FPL and MSU

Brazilian scientists thrive professionally through partnership between FPL and MSU

The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), in cooperation with Mississippi State University (MSU), has developed a strong graduate education and research program over the past several years that has attracted outstanding scholars from South America. Many have completed graduate degrees and are now providing leadership in academic, research and industry programs, both here in the United States and abroad.

"I'm very proud of the strong partner...

7/22/2022

Pelletizing Pine

Pelletizing Pine

The U.S. exported nearly 7.26 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2020, up five percent from 2019, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Due to the rising interest in this energy source across the globe, researchers in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center seek to develop a cost-effective reliable material that is sturdier in transport and burns cleaner when consumed.

U.K.-based renewable energy company Drax has partne...

6/30/2022

MSU encourages community stakeholders to attend workshop on resiliency improvements

MSU encourages community stakeholders to attend workshop on resiliency improvements

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State will host the Disaster Resilient Food Energy Water Systems workshop this Wednesday [June 29] at The Mill at MSU.

A first-of-its-kind event, DIRE-FEWS is hosted by a team of researchers from the university's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts in the College of Forest Resources and funded by a National Science Foundation Sustainable Regional Systems planning grant. It will include a panel of speak...

6/24/2022

Washed in Wood

Washed in Wood

Safe drinking water is something often taken for granted. Few are aware of the chemical processes that make water safe to use and consume at the turn of the tap.

Historically, water treatment plants have relied on petrochemicals to filter out contaminants, such as toxic metals and dyes, that are present in local water sources. But an unwanted result of this capability is that these treatments create their own waste, since they are made f...

6/13/2022

MSU researchers use AI to better evaluate lumber

MSU researchers use AI to better evaluate lumber

A $500,000 federal grant will help Mississippi State researchers use artificial intelligence to increase the accuracy of lumber evaluation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture award funds an innovative research project in MSU's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts that aims to improve lumber grading systems with a machine-learning model. The research will identify characteristics that human graders and current auto-grading technologi...

3/14/2022

MSU assistant professor represents women in wood science

MSU assistant professor represents women in wood science

Tâmara França, assistant professor in Mississippi State's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts in the College of Forest Resources, has been selected as a woman ambassador of wood science.

In 2021, the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST) sought calls for nominations for "Women Ambassadors Creating the Future of Wood Science." França was nominated and then selected by the SWST committee as one of 16 wome...

2/10/2022

MSU department head elected International Academy of Wood Science Fellow

MSU department head elected International Academy of Wood Science Fellow

The International Academy of Wood Science is honoring Mississippi State's Rubin Shmulsky with the designation of fellow, recognizing his significant scientific achievements and research contributions to the field.

Newly elected for 2022, the Warren S. Thompson Professor of Wood Science and Technology and head of the MSU's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts joins 145 IAWS Fellows throughout the U.S., in addition to international ho...

1/14/2022

Love of the Forest Comes Full Circle

Love of the Forest Comes Full Circle

It's easier to understand trees when you're surrounded by forests. At least, that's the case for Dr. Brian Brashaw, 2014 sustainable bioproducts alumnus.

The Laona, Wisconsin native said the link between forests and the forest products industry became evident early on.

"I grew up in the Nicolet National Forest. My dad worked for Connor Forest Products and many family friends worked for the U.S. Forest Service," he recalled. <...

11/8/2021

MSU researchers think 'outside the block,' win big at MDA V-Quad competition

MSU researchers think 'outside the block,' win big at MDA V-Quad competition

For a team of Mississippi State researchers, concrete design isn't set in stone.

Jilei Zhang, Warren S. Thompson Professor of Wood Science and Technology, and a team of MSU Department of Sustainable Bioproducts researchers have rethought the material's design and cemented their product's status by participating in the Mississippi Development Authority's inaugural V-Quad competition, a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored initiative to...

9/14/2021

Knots Untangled

Knots Untangled

Picking a two-by-four from a lumber stack at your local home improvement store only takes a minute. How that piece arrived there, however, is part of a much larger story. Lumber is one of Mississippi's most important commodities and part of a $13.12 billion-dollar industry that employs over 61,000 people in Mississippi alone. Researchers in MSU's Forest and Wildlife Research Center hope to untangle how knots—remnants of where branches gr...

8/18/2021

Built to Last

Built to Last

Alan Sherrington grew up on the north bank of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, just outside of Portland, Oregon. He was raised in a forest products family but didn't necessarily see himself in the industry when he left the Pacific Northwest to attend Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

"My dad has worked in the forest products industry for the last 30 years, many of which have been at Weyerhaeuser, so I grew up familiar ...

7/15/2021

Life of a Wooden Crosstie

Life of a Wooden Crosstie

The life of a railroad crosstie sees nearly 20 years of service. Through harsh conditions such as rain, heat, and snow, the backbone of the rails is built to last. But just how long should they carry the load?

Researchers from the Forest and Wildlife Research Center and the Railway Tie Association have set out to determine how durable railroad ties are by exposing them to different conditions and preservatives.

Dr. Beth Stokes, a...

6/9/2021

Our People: Adam Wade

Our People: Adam Wade

By day, Adam Wade is finding better ways to identify wood species using artificial intelligence as a sustainable bioproducts doctoral student. At night, he's crafting a custom guitar out of poplar and maple.

"The guitar design I'm working on replicates a Fender Stratocaster. I'm making everything from scratch using rough-sawn lumber. The guitar's body is made of poplar with a soft maple top. The neck and fretboard are hard maple. I'm usi...

3/14/2021

Plant-based Chemicals of the Future

Plant-based Chemicals of the Future

Fossil fuels are decayed plants and animals that have been converted to oil, coal, and natural gas through years of exposure to heat and pressure in the earth's crust. Petroleum, a common fossil fuel, is used to create over 6,000 different products.

There are issues related to the extended use of petroleum including environmental pollution and global warming. Add to this the diminishing reserves of fossil fuels. So, how do we replace t...

2/24/2021

A better, stronger wood pellet

A better, stronger wood pellet

Wood pellets are big business as an export item. Europe consumes much of the U.S. wood pellet market to generate energy according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. In fact, in 2018, the combined value of sales from the U.S. exports of wood pellets totaled $812 million or 6.04 million metric tons with transfers to the U.K. topping $646 million or 4.71 million metric tons. Since much of the pellet production in the U.S. comes from southe...

1/13/2021

Protecting a New Building Material

Protecting a New Building Material

A new building material is making its way into the U.S. market. Cross-laminated timber, or CLT, which has been used to construct large buildings in Europe for the last two decades is experiencing growth as a building material in the U.S. and Canada.

"As of March 2019, there are currently 545 buildings in North America either built or in the design phase using mass timber products such as CLT," said Dr. Beth Stokes, scientist in the Fores...

11/4/2020

Nation's fourth largest wood collection acquisition makes MSU home to South's premier teaching, research tool

Nation's fourth largest wood collection acquisition makes MSU home to South's premier teaching, research tool

Mississippi State is now home to one of the nation's largest wood collections, making the university a prime training ground for research on rare and exotic species.

MSU's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts in the College of Forest Resources has acquired the 32,000-specimen David A. Kribs wood collection, the fourth largest in the U.S. according to the International Association of Wood Anatomists. This acquisition also makes MSU home ...

9/29/2020

Take the Stairs

Take the Stairs

Oftentimes, we'll take the stairs to get in those few extra steps. As we climb toward better health, do we consider how much strength lies in the wood beneath our feet? While we may not think twice about the actual steps we take, there are others who do. The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association has partnered with scientists in the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center to assess the wood commonly used in constructing stairs.

Dr...

9/14/2020

Finding a better model

Finding a better model

It is estimated that the average single-family home in the U.S. includes 16,000 board feet of lumber for framing. Architects and engineers select grades and sizes of lumber for various components in construction of housing and buildings based on design values.

In 2013, afer several years of testing and reassessment, the design values for southern pine dimension lumber were adjusted. This change impacted the utility value of several lumbe...

8/13/2020

MSU research aiding essential wood products industry

MSU research aiding essential wood products industry

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified the wood products industry as an essential critical infrastructure workforce.

Mississippi State has the only research program in the state dedicated to expanding the service and use of wood products, delivering research to the state's forest industry. While the way the research is being conducted may have shifted temporarily, researchers are leaning i...

4/3/2020

Bend, Break, Evaluate

Bend, Break, Evaluate

Timber is a multibillion dollar industry. Forestry is the number two leading commodity in the state of Mississippi generating nearly $1.2 billion in timber harvesting last year alone. Scientists in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center have completed a five year study to help increase the value of southern forests.

"Wood is the most important source of housing in the U.S. and the U.S. South is the most viable and sustainable, and la...

2/5/2020

Building Bridges Between Generations

Building Bridges Between Generations

How often, as you wander across your hardwood floor to set your mug down on the oak coffee table, do you stop to think about the wood products you use every day? Wood products exist all around us. We work at wooden desks, write notes on paper, and have homes made and furnished with wood.

Kassandra Stout, a sustainable bioproducts graduate student, explores these questions with her research project on "Attitudes and Perceptions of the M...

9/24/2019

Mississippi State develops smartphone app to test lumber

Mississippi State develops smartphone app to test lumber

Determining the stiffest piece of lumber is now easier with a new smartphone app created by scientists in Mississippi State University's Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

Called "Smart Thumper," the app uses soundwaves or vibrations to determine stiffness, a quality that relates to strength, for individual pieces of lumber.

Developer Dan Seale, professor in MSU's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, said it will hel...

2/12/2019

Seale named James R. Moreton Fellow in Sustainable Bioproducts at MSU

Seale named James R. Moreton Fellow in Sustainable Bioproducts at MSU

Longtime faculty member Dan Seale is the inaugural James R. Moreton Endowed Fellow in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University.

The James R. Moreton Fellow in Sustainable Bioproducts was established through a gift from James Reginald Moreton, a 1956 mechanical engineering alumnus. After a career in banking as founder and CEO of First Federal Savings and Loan, Moreton moved into the industrial access mat busines...

2/2/2018

MSU Wood Magic to participate in Mississippi Science Fest

MSU Wood Magic to participate in Mississippi Science Fest

Mississippi State University's Wood Magic Science Fair will be in Jackson to participate in the second annual Mississippi Science Fest later this month.

MSU Wood Magic will be an attraction at the Sept. 23 STEM-themed festival, focused on delivering a hands-on experience for children and families that sparks curiosity in various STEM-related fields.

The Mississippi Science Fest is a partnership between the Mississippi Agric...

9/7/2017

MSU's reorganized Franklin Furniture Institute continues to support industry, contribute research and drive innovation

MSU's reorganized Franklin Furniture Institute continues to support industry, contribute research and drive innovation

Mississippi State University's Franklin Furniture Institute is reaffirming its strong commitment to the state's furniture manufacturing industry by continuing to provide testing and research while broadening its focus to enhance innovation and technology.

MSU vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine Gregory A. Bohach said "The university and MSU's Franklin Furniture Institute remain dedicated to t...

7/14/2017

Governor touts importance of state's forest products

Governor touts importance of state's forest products

Forest products are part of the DNA of Mississippi.

That is how Gov. Phil Bryant welcomed participants Monday [June 26] to the 71st International Convention of the Forest Products Society, hosted by Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources and Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

Bryant, whose grandfather once harvested timber by mule in south Mississippi, made the connection that all Mississippians have been ...

6/26/2017

MSU to train furniture industry supervisors through grant

MSU to train furniture industry supervisors through grant

A new $44,900 grant from the Furniture Foundation will facilitate training of front-line furniture supervisors by Mississippi State University personnel.

Four supervisory management training programs will be offered by the university's Franklin Furniture Institute at manufacturing locations throughout the state between August and July 2018. The Furniture Foundation, a research and education fund administered by the American Home Furn...

5/4/2017

MSU summit looks to the future of manufacturing

MSU summit looks to the future of manufacturing

Mississippi State University's 7th Annual Manufacturing Summit showcased ways teamwork can help keep Mississippi and the U.S. competitive in the manufacturing industry in the 21st century.

The event was hosted by MSU's Frankl...

3/22/2017

MSU, partners announce Furniture Academy

MSU, partners announce Furniture Academy

Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum (standing) discusses the university's role in the Furniture Academy during a press conference in Tupelo Thursday morning [Jan. 12].

The new manufacturing skills certification program is a partnership between MSU's Franklin Furniture Institute, Itawamba Community College, Northeast Mississippi Community College, the Community Development Foundation, Three Rivers Planning and Development Distr...

1/12/2017

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