Forest Biomaterials

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Course offerings and research facilities are available in the following areas: wood chemistry, biopolymer chemistry, bio-materials, bio-energy, pulping chemistry, process analysis, polymer chemistry, paper physics, paper recycling, wood physics (especially wood liquid relations), wood anatomy, wood biology, wood mechanics and engineering, wood machining, manufacturing processes, wood-based industry economics and marketing, and forest-based life cycle analysis.

Admission Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to graduate school requirements stated elsewhere. To be admitted, a student should have earned a B.S. degree with a major in wood and paper science or another suitable science or engineering degree. Students with a 3.0 GPA and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The GRE test scores are required except for the Master of Forest Biomaterials offered through Distance Education.

Master of Science Degree Requirements

The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours.  In addition, there are WPS core course requirements, which vary depending on the field of study.  Six hours of research (FB 695) must be taken.  Two hours of Seminar (FB 601) must be passed.  A qualifying exam must be passed.

Master of Forest Biomaterials Degree Requirements

The Master of Forest Biomaterials  is a non-thesis, professional degree for students not interested in a thesis-based research program.  The Master of Forest Biomaterials degree is offered both on campus and through Distance Education.  For the on-campus program a minimum of 36 course credits is required.  The regulations regarding credits are the same as for the M.S. degree except that no credit for FB 695 is required or given and up to six credits of 400-level courses in the major field may be included. A technical report, which demonstrates the student's ability to gather, analyze and report information is required.

In addition to Graduate School requirements, the Distance Education program requires that the student be employed professionally in a wood or paper science or allied field, have one year of professional experience, and take required WPS core courses, which vary depending on the field of study.  A minimum of 30 course credits is required of students who have relevant professional experience, including one hour of Seminar (FB 601) and five hours of an independent project (FB 625). For distance students without relevant professional experience, 36 hours is required.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

In addition to Graduate School requirements, Ph.D. candidates must present two departmental seminars (FB 801) before their final oral examination. Candidates must also write and defend a research proposal on their intended research (first proposition) and a research proposal on an area outside of their dissertation/thesis research (termed a second proposition) and pass qualifying exams.

Student Financial Support

A number of research assistantships and fellowships are available.

Other Relevant Information

Graduate students should select a committee chair and other advisory committee members and submit a plan of graduate work by the end of their first semester of residence. They are also required to take the qualifying examination as part of a Research Methods course. These examinations are to ensure that the student has the basic abilities to think independently as a scientist within the context of the forest biomaterials literature. The department believes M.S. and Ph.D. students should select a research topic and begin their dissertation or thesis research as early as possible.

As the field of forest biomaterials  is a derived science, students are urged to develop a strong secondary area of excellence in one or more of the supporting disciplines such as organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, chemical engineering, mathematics, statistics, biology, engineering mechanics, mechanical engineering, physics, and economics or business administration.

Faculty

  • Dimitris S. Argyropoulos
  • Marko Hakovirta
  • Martin A. Hubbe
  • Hasan Jameel
  • Stephen S. Kelley
  • Melissa Pasquinelli
  • David C. Tilotta
  • Richard A. Venditti
  • Lucian A. Lucia
  • Philip H. Mitchell
  • Lokendra Pal
  • Sunkyu Park
  • Joel Justin Pawlak
  • Perry N. Peralta
  • Ilona Maria Peszlen
  • Leah C. Rathbun
  • Daniel Erique Saloni
  • Ronalds Wilfredo Gonzalez
  • Paul Frederik Laleicke
  • Nathalie Marie Lavoine
  • Yuan Yao
  • Medwick V. Byrd
  • Elizabeth Kierepka
  • Melissa Anne Pasquinelli
  • Rico Ruffino
  • Hou-Min Chang
  • Ellis B. Cowling
  • Earl L. Deal
  • Eric L. Ellwood
  • Edward T. Funkhouser
  • Irving S. Goldstein
  • John A. Heitmann Jr.
  • Larry G. Jahn
  • Magret Joyce
  • Adrianna G. Kirkman
  • Michael J. Kocurek
  • Ronald G. Pearson
  • Richard J. Thomas
  • Elisabeth A. Wheeler
  • Sujit Banerjee
  • Jesse Daystar
  • Richard Phillips

Courses

FB 501  Masters Research Methods in Forest Biomaterials  (2 credit hours)  

This course is an introduction to research methods for MS students in the Forest Biomaterials Department. It will cover conduct of research by the scientific method, literature searching, rules for assigning credit for the work of others, basic research ethics, common laboratory practices including safety and etiquette, mentoring, experimental design, basic statistics, and analysis of data. Students will review research papers, write research papers with proper sections, and present research at the masters level. Credit is not allowed for both WPS 501 and 701.

Typically offered in Fall only

FB 504  Physical and Mechanical Properties of wood  (3 credit hours)  

Concepts involving the interaction of wood with moisture and heat and the mechanical behavior of solid wood based materials are discussed. Students develop skills in characterization of psychrometric processes in the wood industry, formulation of solutions to moisture related wood problems, the analysis of thermal processes for wood, solving stress-strain problems in load bearing wood structures, and methods to characterize wood properties. An undergraduate degree in engineering or science is required. For related undergraduate degrees, the student must get approval from the instructor to enroll.

Typically offered in Spring only

FB 510  Strategic Business Processes for the Forest Products Industry  (3 credit hours)  

Strategic Business Processes is designed to introduce the technically trained student to organizational, management and leadership processes that drive a successful business. The course highlights the differences between principled leadership and "opinion poll" leadership, the need to balance the conflicting wants of major stakeholders in the business, the importance of a unique strategy, the linkage between strategy and day-to-day implementation of the strategy and the ingredients and requirements for a successful career. Real time illustrations are based on the Forest Products industry.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 516  Forest Products Colloids & Surfaces  (3 credit hours)  

Surface and interfacial science as related to uses of lignocellulosic materials are covered. Fundamentals of the physical chemistry of surfaces and aqueous suspensions are brought to life with examples from such fields as paper science, biomaterials science, composites, and cellulosic liquid fuels technology. Topics include colloidal stability, flocculation, surface forces, polyelectrolyte behavior, electrokinetics, capillary forces, adhesion, surfactancy, and self-assembly. Water-cellulose interactions, including wettability, swelling, and hydrogen bonding effects will be highlighted.

Typically offered in Spring only

FB 522  Chemical Principles for the Papermaking Process Engineer  (3 credit hours)  

Chemical principles for the Papermaking Process Engineer provides a foundation in aqueous chemistry and the applications of polyelectrolytes. The course is intended for professionals employed in the paper manufacturing industry and related industries, such as chemicals suppliers to paper manufacturers. Topics include the papermaking process, acids and bases, polymers, water-resistance, paper strength, colorants, retention and dewatering aids, deposit control, coatings, recycling, and wastewater treatment. Lectures are by CD or DVD. The course-pack, quizzes, and readings are on the web. For off-campus students. Permission of instructor required.

Prerequisite: One year of chemistry courses.

Typically offered in Fall only

FB 527  Wet-End and Colloidal Chemistry  (3 credit hours)  

The course objective is to prepare students to solve problems related to chemical usage on paper machines. Subjects include paper machine operations, fibers, fillers, chemistry of additives, colloids, control of paper's interactions with liquids, strength, dyes,strategies to optimize retention, dewatering strategies, strategies to achieve more uniform paper, strategies to improve production rates, and wet-end chemical process control.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall only

FB 528/CE 528  Structural Design in Wood  (3 credit hours)  

Behavior, strength and design of wood structural members subjected to moment, shear and axial forces. Design of connections and introduction to design of wood structural systems.

Prerequisite: C- or better in CE 325

Typically offered in Spring only

FB 565  Forest Biomaterials Physics  (3 credit hours)  

Physical models of forest biomaterials including (1) viscosity properties of biopolymer solutions and fibrous suspensions, (2) visco-elastic and thermal properties of biopolymers, (3) elastic properties of biomaterials, and (4) fibrous network properties are covered. Focus is on the scientific aspects of these topics with special applications to materials derived from forest resources.

Typically offered in Spring only

FB 576/PSE 576/FB 476/PSE 476  Environmental Life Cycle Analysis  (3 credit hours)  

Overview of the various aspects of conducting and interpreting an environmental life cycle analysis on a product or service. Students will learn how to construct a life cycle analysis goal and scope, inventory, assessment and interpretation. Skills in the critique and communication of a life cycle analysis will be developed. Includes an overview of the following life cycle stages: raw materials, energy, transportation, production, use, and end of life. Emphasis on systems thinking. Targeted for students in any science or engineering program. Credit not allowed for both PSE 476 and WPS 576.

GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 580/FB 480  The Sustainable Bioeconomy  (3 credit hours)  

The Sustainable Bioeconomy course examines the current and future opportunities and challenges of bioproducts and bioenergy in society. This course explores relationships between society's economic demand for inexpensive energy and products and our responsibility to produce these products in environmentally and socially responsible ways. Students explore a range of bioproduct categories including biofuels, virgin and recycled paper and wood products, and advanced biomaterials. A panel of instructors from multiple disciplines and bioeconomy stakeholders will share their diverse perspectives and experiences in the bioeconomy. Students will learn about careers available in the growing bioeconomy sector and the knowledge and skills necessary for these jobs. This course is intended for students who are declared in a STEM major at an accredited institution.

GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Typically offered in Fall only

FB 595  Special Topics Wood and Paper Science  (1-6 credit hours)  

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 601  Master's Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Weekly seminar in which students registered for course present the results of research and special projects and faculty and guest speakers present state of the art research areas of the profession. Invitation to all graduate students and faculty in department to attend and join discussion. Each student pursuing a Master degree expected to take this offering once for one hour of credit.

Prerequisite: Senior standing or Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 620  Wood and Paper Science Problems  (1-3 credit hours)  

Assigned or selected problems in the field of wood, paper and pulp science and technology.Credits Arranged

Prerequisite: Senior standing or Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FB 625  Advanced Wood and Paper Science Problems  (1-6 credit hours)  

Selected problems in the field of wood and paper science.Credits Arranged

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 685  Master's Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall only

FB 688  Non-Thesis Masters Continuous Registration - Half Time Registration  (1 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain half-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FB 689  Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration - Full Time Registration  (3 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain full-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc. Students may register for this course a maximum of one semester.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 690  Master's Examination  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students in non thesis master's programs who have completed all other requirements of the degree except preparing for and taking the final master's exam.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FB 693  Master's Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 695  Master Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FB 696  Summer Thesis Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

FB 699  Master's Thesis Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour requirements and full-time enrollment for the master's degree and are writing and defending their theses.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FB 701  PhD Research Methods in Forest Biomaterials  (2 credit hours)  

This course is an advanced research methods course for PhD students in the Forest Biomaterials Department. It will cover conduct of research by the scientific method, literature searching, rules for assigning credit for the work of others, basic research ethics, common laboratory practices including safety and etiquette, mentoring, experimental design, basic statistics, and analysis of data. Students will review research papers, write research papers with proper sections, and present research at the doctoral level. Credit is not allowed for both WPS 501 and 701.

Typically offered in Fall only

FB 723  Forest Biomaterials Chemistry  (3 credit hours)  

Chemical reactivity, structure and functional background of forest-derived polymers relative to paper science and biomaterials/bioenergy are covered. An understanding for the relationships between a material's structure and its properties will be developed with respect to applications. Course includes a basics of polymers, biomacromolecules (carbohydrates and lignin), pulping and bleaching chemistry, new technologies and environmental issues.

Typically offered in Spring only

FB 740  Wood Composites  (3 credit hours)  

Course designed to acquaint advanced undergraduate and graduate students with rapidly expanding field of wood composites. Presentation of production processes for particle board, plywood, hardboard, fiberboard, and other wood composites. Developmentof elastic theory for the stiffness, strength and buckling resistance of composites. Test procedures for determining mechanical properties and design procedures for glued laminated members, panel products, and built-up members, including I- and box-beams, stressed-skin panels and sandwich panels, outlined.

Prerequisite: WPS 441, Graduate standing or Advanced Undergraduate standing

Typically offered in Spring only

FB 760  Engineering Unit Operations for Biomass Conversion  (3 credit hours)  

Engineering fundamentals and process technology for the production of biomaterials including paper and bioenergy are covered. These will include heat transfer, chemical kinetics, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. Applications include a) process technology for the production of paper b) heat and material balances in a pulping and papermaking c) process technologies for the production of bioenergy d) design of bioreactors e) recovery and purification of products f) gasification and pyrolysis reactions and g) catalytic conversion of syngas.

Typically offered in Spring only

FB 795  Advanced Special Topics  (1-6 credit hours)  
FB 801  Doctoral Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Weekly seminar in which students registered for course present the results of research and special projects and faculty and guest speakers present state of the art research areas of the profession. Invitation to all graduate students and faculty in department to attend and join discussion. Each student pursuing a Doctoral degree expected to take this offering twice for one hour of credit each time.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 820  Special Problems  (1-6 credit hours)  

Assigned or selected problems in the field of wood, paper and pulp science and technology.

Prerequisite: Senior standing or Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 825  Advanced Wood and Paper Science Problems  (1-9 credit hours)  

Selected problems in the field of wood and paper science.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 885  Doctoral Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall only

FB 890  Doctoral Preliminary Examination  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who are preparing for and taking written and/or oral preliminary exams.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FB 893  Doctoral Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FB 895  Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Dissertation research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FB 896  Summer Dissertation Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Summer only

FB 899  Doctoral Dissertation Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour, full-time enrollment, preliminary examination, and residency requirements for the doctoral degree, and are writing and defending their dissertations.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer