- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
Q: What were your goals coming in as the new director of the Forest Products Lab in 2001? What did you hope to accomplish?
A: One is we need to rebuild this place. This building dates to 1931. Our newest facilities date to 1965 and if we're going to be on the cutting edge of science, we've got to have our scientists in modern facilities with modern equipment. I've been pushing a rebuilding of the Forest Products Laboratory.
The other (goal) was to refocus and reorganize because we've been downsizing the Forest Products Laboratory over the past couple of years due to budget problems. So we've dropped from 66 scientists to 58 and we expect to drop further.
We can no longer do everything and cover the waterfront on the research of wood.
We've got four focus areas now: advanced composites, which is essentially making wood into smaller and smaller pieces and mixing it with glue or plastic or cement or ceramics in some cases.
To go to the ultimate extreme of that, we're starting on nanotechnology. Wood has nano-sized fibers in it that are extremely strong. And we've never liberated them and figured out how to use them before. So nanotechnology is second.
Advanced structures is the third area. It's how you put the pieces of wood together into an effective envelope. It's as important as the properties of the individual pieces (of wood) themselves.
And then chemicals and energy from wood is the fourth area. We grow 700 million tons of wood a year in this country. We harvest 300 million tons, and we're accumulating biomass at the rate of 400 million tons a year in the forests of the United States. A lot of that biomass is in small trees, too small to do anything with, and species that aren't very good for products. So part of our focus is to figure out what to do with that material so it can pay its way out of the woods.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers
Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016
Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016
The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors May 26th, 2016
Novel functionalized nanomaterials for CO2 capture May 10th, 2016
First single-enzyme method to produce quantum dots revealed: Biological manufacturing process, pioneered by three Lehigh University engineers, produces equivalent quantum dots to those made chemically--but in a much greener, cheaper way May 9th, 2016
Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016