Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

SBIO Extension

Oct. 4, 2016 –  

Extension highlights

The wood products industry in Virginia is a critical contributor to the economy of the state, an industry represented by more than 1,000 primary and secondary industries and over $25 billion in economic impact.

The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) at Virginia Tech is one of the leading U.S. academic programs in the field of renewable materials with a focus on cellulosic materials such as wood products. Besides research and teaching efforts, SBIO has an important role in dissemination of new knowledge in the area of renewable materials through SBIO’s three extension specialists.

SBIO Professors offered educational session to Indian lumber buyers


Dr. Urs Buehlmann talks about the housing market. Dr. Urs Buehlmann talks about the housing market.

On August 22, 2016 a group of lumber buyers from India attended an educational session on the hardwood industry in North America. Professor Urs Buehlmann provided a review of the primary and secondary industry and also critical insights on the housing market and how it impacts the lumber industry. Professor Brian Bond presented on wood drying basics and the impact of the drying process on cost and lumber quality.  In addition, Dr. Henry Quesada reviewed the main markets for hardwood products in the USA.

The session was jointly organized with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)

SBIO Department participates at the 2016 Expo Richmond


Professor Brian Bond presents on the latest developments in vacuum drying technology.


The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) had an active participation during the 2016 Expo Richmond. The machinery exposition is organized by the Virginia Forest Products Association (VFPA) and it is co-sponsored by the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) at Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Forestry. The show attracts thousands of industry members, industry organizations, and wood hobbies who come to get a glimpse of new developments related to software and hardware in the forestry and forest products industries.

This year the trade shows kicked off with the SBIO Department presenting an innovative educational session that included speakers from Virginia Tech, the US Forest Service, and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC).
For the following two days the SBIO Department along with other members of the CNRE at VT, showcased new research and short-course opportunities, and delivered short courses to visitors coming to the Expo Richmond. As usual many fellow Hokies stopped by our booth to greet and catch-up on latest developments. The Expo Richmond is also a great venue to network and reconnected with industry and industry organizations that hire a good portion of the graduates from the SBIO Department.

Upcoming events

Forest Products Exports 2016


Logo for Forest Products Export Conference

Dr. Henry Quesada will participate as a panelist in the upcoming Forest Products Export conference to be held during October 17-18, 2016 in Charleston, SC.

The conference is organized by the South Carolina Forestry Commission. The event is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and experts in international trade of forest products, learn about emerging markets, and explore different resources to enter or increase your market share in international markets.

For more information and registration please, follow this link:

The Future of the Hardwood Lumber Industry

Conference to be held November 2 - 3, 2016 at the Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) in Princeton, WV.

Remaining competitive is no small feat for domestic producers of hardwood lumber.  We are still in the midst of a slow recovery from the recession 7 years ago with residential housing markets are making a slow comeback and offshore producers fighting to maintain and increase their share of the US markets. While many aspects of the current business climate cannot be controlled, leading companies always wonder what the future might bring.  They try to understand the underlying principles, how they may work out, and where the opportunities to be taken advantage are.

With a focus on the U.S. Hardwood Industry, participants at "the Future of the Hardwood Industry" conference will hear leading industry experts explain their view of things to come, learn of business opportunities, compare their efforts with others in the industry, and discuss with industry experts.  Sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service’s Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC), the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA), Virginia Tech, and Virginia Cooperative Extension and organized by Virginia Tech’s Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, the two-day conference on "the Future of the Hardwood Industry" will be of interest to anyone interested in manufacturing and marketing hardwood lumber, supplying logs or buying lumber.  Participants will also have an opportunity to visit Allegheny Lumber's Princeton, WV lumber manufacturing facility and to network at the sponsored dinner.

The conference, to be held at the Forest Service’s Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) in Princeton, WV on November 2 - 3, 2016, will shed light on the now and the future of our industry and will show potential opportunities for keeping your business successful.

For more information on "the Future of the Hardwood Industry" conference, please visit or contact Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Tech at (540) 231-9759, or

The Department of Sustainable Biomaterials in the College of Natural Resources and Environment is the leading program in North America engaged in wood and renewable materials utilization.  The faculty focuses on the science and business of wood and renewable materials utilization through learning, discovery, and engagement. The department is home to the Center for Forest Products Business, the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design, and the Wood-Based Composites Center.  The department is an active participant in the renewable materials research initiative in the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS).  Students learn from the leading wood and renewable materials scientists in the world, who bring the latest science and application of principles to the classroom.

For more details and registration, please visit the web site



Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital, family, or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.

Fall Newsletter 2016

    Cover of newsletter


Fall 2016


Upcoming Events

  • Forest Products Exports 2016

October 17-18, 2016 in Charleston, SC.

  • The Future of the Hardwood Lumber Industry

Conference to be held November 2 - 3, 2016 at the Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) in Princeton, WV.
For more details and registration, please visit the web site



newsletter logo


Job Opportunities


Course Recommendations:

To help you explore your interest in any of the degrees, we recommend trying some of our introductory courses:

Packaging Science

Sustainable Biomaterials


Workshops and Short Courses

    SBIO Student Organizations

SBIO Student Organizations

Find more information

Students life

Career and Services


Apply to Virginia Tech