This expert is internationally recognized for his research on the effects of chemicals and chemical processing on the structural performance of wood and wood-composites. This research has resulted in over two dozen peer-reviewed publications on the effects of preservatives and preservative treatment on the physical and mechanical properties of wood. This research has been resulted in several new design adjustments or process limitations in National Codes and Standards in the US and Canada.
He is also internationally recognized for his research and technological development of the concepts of using engineered biocomposites as a value-added tool to promote and to fund sustainable forest management. He formerly led this emerging approach through his long-work with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Division 5 Forest Products. From 2003-2012, he was the vice-chair of the Division 5.05 Composites Research Group of IUFRO in which he focused on enhancing the performance and durability of engineered biocomposites and the long-term sustainability of bio-based composites.
He started his own consulting firm specializing in forensic wood science, wood durability and bioresource sustainability in 2008. He served as Project Leader from 2001 to 2008, of the Engineered Composites Science Research Work Unit. He had primary responsibility for the processing and serviceability of wood-based and wood-plastic composite products. This research group is recognized by the building codes, the wood industry, and standard organizations as having a leadership role in providing unbiased technical information on manufacturing of and serviceability requirements of wood-based and wood-plastic composite products.
The multidisciplinary FRT-Serviceability Team received national recognition by the building codes, the wood industry, and standard organizations for having taken a leadership role in providing unbiased technical information on serviceability assessment of fire-retardant treated plywood roof sheathing. The team also pioneered mechanical- and chemical-based techniques for residual serviceability assessment and predictive models to estimate residual serviceability of wood products in-service. This research resulted in over another two dozen peer-reviewed publications. It has also resulted in four National Standards (ASTM D5516-94, D-5664-95, D-6305-98, and D-6841-02) and major revisions to FR-Treating Standards (AWPA C20 & C27, now AWPA U-1 & T-1).
His work on the very early stages of biological decay showed that changes in the chemical composition of the wood cause significant reductions in wood strength before measurable weight loss occurs. From an engineering perspective, estimating strength loss and residual strength is the critical element in assessing wood serviceability/durability for structures in-service as affected by wood decay. Collaborative studies have shown close a relationship between the degradation of hemicellulose and wood strength losses. Residual strength of degraded wood can be predicted using models developed by this collaborative team. The changes in chemical composition appear to be similar in both the biological and chemical systems. Understanding the relationship between chemical composition and strength loss is critical in developing models to estimate strength loss caused by biological, chemical or thermal agents.
• Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, Wood Utilization, Dept. of Forestry, BSF, 1976.
• Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, Wood Science, Dept. of Forestry, MS, 1978.
• Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, Wood Science & Engineering, Dept. of Wood Science & Engineering, Ph.D., 1993.
• RTI Group, LLC, Annapolis, MD, Wood Science Engineer, 2018 – present.
• Private Consulting Firm, Principal Partner, 2008 - present.
• Forest Products Society, Madison WI, Interim Executive Vice-president, 2008-2009.
• College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University, Adjunct Professor, 2005-present.
• Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI, Project Leader & Principal Wood Scientist, Performance Engineered Composites-- RWU 4706, USDA, 2001-2008.
• University of Minnesota, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, Adjunct Professor, 1998-present.
• Forest Products Laboratory, Engineering Properties of Wood--RWU 4714, USDA, Principal Wood Scientist, 1994-2001.
• Forest Products Laboratory, Engineering Properties of Wood--RWU 4714, USDA, Research Wood Scientist, 1989-1994.
• Forest Products Research Laboratory, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, Visiting Scientist, 1988-1989.
• Forest Products Laboratory, Research Forest Products Technologist, Engineering
Properties of Wood--RWU 4714, USDA, 1979-1988.
• National Furniture Engineering Center, General Services Administration, Washington, DC, Forest Products Technologist, 1978-1979.
• Distinguished Service Award, Society of Wood Science and Technology, June 2015
• Elected as a Fellow, Society of Wood Science and Technology, June 2014
• President of the Society of Wood Science and Technology (2008-2009)
• Interim Executive Vice President of the Forest Products Society (2008-2009)
• Elected as a Fellow, International Academy of Wood Science, July 2004
• Forest Products Society (FPS). 2002 L. J. Markwardt Engineering Research Award for distinguished contribution to knowledge of wood as an engineering material and to the enhancement of the efficient utilization of this renewable resource.
Modeling strength loss in wood by chemical composition. Part I. An individual component model for Southern pine. Wood and Fiber Science 33(2):239-254.
• Forest Products Society (FPS). 2000 L. J. Markwardt Engineering Research Award for distinguished contribution to knowledge of wood as an engineering material and to the enhancement of the efficient utilization of this renewable resource.
Verification of a kinetic model for the effects of FR on bending strength at elevated temperatures. Wood and Fiber Science 31(1):49-61.
• American Wood Preservers’ Association “Award of Merit” for lifetime service to Association and for strategic and technological advancements in National Standards for durable engineered wood materials, April 2006.
• Named Adjunct Professor of Wood Science (February 1998-present), Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.
• Named Adjunct Professor of Wood Science (2004-2013), College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.
• USDA Superior Service Award (June 92) for fundamental research defining the interaction between mechanical properties and fire-retardant treated wood exposed at elevated temperatures.
• Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST). 1994 George C. Marra Award (2nd Place). For excellence in research and writing as exhibited in: Relationship between incipient decay, chemical composition, and properties of Douglas-fir. Wood and Fiber Science 25(3):278-288.
Professional Associations and Activities
Membership in professional societies
• American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM
• American Wood Protection Association, AWPA
• Forest Products Society, FPS
• International Academy of Wood Science, IAWS (Fellow, elected 2004)
• International Research Group for Wood Preservation, IRG/WP
• International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
• Society of Wood Science and Technology, SWST
• ASTM D7.06--Chairman, Subcommittee on preservative treatment of wood (1999-2003).
• ASTM D7.07--Vice-Chairman, Subcommittee on fire-performance of wood (1996-1999).
• ASTM D7.06.04--Chairman, Section on fire-retardant treatments of wood (1992-1996).
• ASTM D7.06.04.02 Task group (Chairman) developing Standard Test Methods (D-5516
and D-5664) to assess effects of elevated temperatures on FR-treated plywood and lumber (1990-1995) and develop Standard Practice (D6305) to estimate adjustments to allowable design properties of FR-treated plywood (1995-1998).
• ASTM D7.02--Committee on lumber.
• ASTM D7.03--Committee on engineered wood composites.
• AWPA General Treatments--Chairman, oversee activities of nine AWPA T-subcommittees
for writing and maintaining standards on preservative and fire retardant treatments for lumber, poles, pilings, posts, ties, structural composites, and plywood, (1999-present).
• AWPA T1--Chairman, Committee on committees for establishing standards on
preservative treatment of lumber, timbers, poles, and piling (1999-2003).
AWPA T9--Chairman, Subcommittee on fire-retardant treatments for wood products
• AWPA T2--Committee for identifying requirements and establishing standards on preservative treatment of lumber and timbers (1986-1999).
• AWPA T8--Committee for identifying requirements and establishing standards on preservative treatment of composite materials (1988-1999, 2008).
• AWPA P6--Chairman, Committee on evaluation and test methods (2006-2011).
• FPS Wood Engineering Division--Division Coordinator (1992-1995).
• FPS Treated Wood Products Section--Vice-chairman (1989-1992).
• FPS Treated Wood Products Section--Secretary (1986-1989).
• FPS Treated Wood Products Tech. Newsletter--Contrib. Editor (1986-1996).
• IUFRO, Member of Organizing Committee for October/November
IUFRO Division 5 Forest Products conference in Taipai, Taiwan
• IUFRO, Vice-chair of the Division 5.05 Composites Research Group for enhancing performance, durability & long-term sustainability of bio-based composites.
• SWST President (2008-2009).
• SWST Member of Executive Board (2004-2006).