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Professor John A. Nairn, Wood Science & Engineering

Open Positions

The Department of Wood Science and Engineering is seeking multiple MS or PhD students with an interest in applications to wood and wood-based composite materials. The projects listed here will involve mechanics of wood and composites (with an emphasis on failure properties and interface issues). The research approaches are computer modeling, experimental material science, or a combination of modeling and experiments. Interested students should apply to Wood Science & Engineering at OSU, apply to one of several dual degree options in cooperation with the College of Engineering, or already be a current or accepted OSU graduate student. For details on specific projects, interested students can contact John A. Nairn by email for more information.

Some potential research projects are:

  • Crack Growth in Wood Composites: This project will use advanced experimental imaging to get new fracture results for wood composites such as MDF, HDF, Particle Board, and LVL. These materials have not been well characaterized in the past for toughness.
  • Computer modeling of wood compression and of the processing and properties of oriented strand boards
  • Design, manufacturing, and performance of oriented strand board with modified wood strands.
  • Development of wood and natural fiber plastic composites. This project will involve characterization of the fiber/matrix interface and methods of incorporating natural fibers into a polymer matrix without damaging the fibers.

In addition to the requirements for admission to the Graduate School at Oregon State University, qualified applicants should also meet most of the following (when applicable):

  1. Bachelors or masters degree in wood science, materials science, mechanical engineering, computer science, or related field.
  2. Interest in modeling and/or experiments on wood-based composite's manufacturing and performance.
  3. Skills in computer programming, Linux/Unix systems, and computer graphics.
  4. Willingness to work with power equipment, hydraulics, and other equipment in a laboratory environment.
  5. Demonstrated proficiency in written and spoken English.

The Department of Wood Science and Engineering is a multidisciplinary university program focused on science, technology, engineering, and business practices that help society meet our needs for wood products, and help ensure the global competitiveness of our domestic industry. More information about the department may be found at http://woodscience.oregonstate.edu/.

Current Members

The research group started in January, 2006. New members will be added soon.