Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Extension highlights

Nov. 10, 2014 – 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 extension specialist offered course in Strategic Marketing for Forest Products Industries

During August 7-8, 2014 Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Dr. Henry Quesada delivered a two-day workshop in Strategic Marketing for Forest Products Industries in Costa Rica. The workshop is part of an-going collaborative effort between Costa Rica Tech and Virginia Tech to provide training opportunities for industries in Costa Rica and neighboring countries.


Strategic Marketing for Forest Products Industries Workshop participants posed at the end of the event.

The goal of the workshop was to introduce basic marketing aspects to forest products industries through a combination of presentations and individual and group activities. The following topics were covered during the workshop:

Overview of the global forest products industry

  • Strategy in the forest products industries 
  • Basis of Marketing
  • Product definition
  • Promotion strategies 
  • Pricing your product 
  • Product distribution 
  • Tools for implementation of marketing strategies 
  • International marketing for forest products industries

In total, 21 people attended the workshop, including two attendees from Mexico who came just for this event. The workshop was rated by 95% of the participants as excellent.

If you are interested in having a similar workshop for your company, please contact Dr. Henry Quesada at for more details.

SBIO Extension Team participates at the Turman Golf Fall Classic


SBIO Extension Team participates at the Turman Golf Fall Classic Left: Brian Bond, Henry Quesada, and Bob Smith posed along with Mr. Mike Turman, Mr. Phil Araman, and Mr. Ryan Turman.

In September 12, 2014 Professors Brian Bond, Bob Smith, and Henry Quesada participated in the annual golf tournament organized by Turman Lumber Co. in Floyd, VA. Mr. Phil Araman from the US Forest Service also joined the group.

The golf tournament takes place once a year at the Great Oaks Country Club with the participation of dozens of eager golf players coming from industry and government organizations. The tournament is one of the main public relation events organized by Turman Lumber Co. to appreciate customers, suppliers, competitors, and other industry stakeholders in working together to improve the forest products industry in the state and the country.

Upcoming Events

Energy Savings Through Lean Thinking


  • Value stream mapping (VSM) 
  • Incorporation of energy consumption into VSM 
  • Using energy management systems (EMS) for decision making 
  • Data mining for decision making 
  • Energy audits. Integration with lean tools 
  • Case of study 1: best energy saving recommendations 
  • Case of study 2: Kaizen groups and impact on energy consumption 
  • Group activity: Data mining and trend analysis of energy consumption. 


- Dr. Henry Quesada

Dates and location

- Marion, VA. November 20, 2014 

Registration and more details

Vacuum Drying of Hardwood Lumber

While vacuum drying has been available for many years and has been shown to reduce drying times and batch sizes, it has still not ben widely adopted by the industry. The goal of this workshop is to provide current information about vacuum drying technology for hardwoods, including how the technology can support the concept of lean manufacturing in secondary manufacturing. 

The workshop is scheduled for Friday, December 5, 2014 at the Wood Education & Resource Center, located in Princeton, WV from 1:00 pm to 5:00pm. The workshop will also be conducted in a webinar format for those who wish to participate from a distance. Presentations will be conducted by vacuum kiln suppliers and those currently using the technology in addition to researchers who have recently completed a study looking at feasibility of vacuum drying 4/4 red oak for flooring production. 

For more information, please contact, Oxana Brenes, Research Associate, Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, Virginia Tech. e-mail:, phone number: (540) 239-4407.

International Marketing for Forest Products


  • NHLA and the International Hardwood Trade NHLA, Mark Barford 
  • Status of the Wood Products Industry USDA Forest Service, Matt Bumgardner 
  • Fundamentals of International Marketing Virginia Tech, Dr. Robert “Bob” Smith 
  • Marketing Intelligence for Exports Virginia Tech, Dr. Henry Quesada 
  • Doing business abroad: Culture and Customer Relationships AHEC, Mike Snow 
  • Logistics and Transportation Issues V. Alexander & Co., Inc, Ben Jabbour 
  • Financial Support for going global TBD 
  • Round Table Discussion All Speakers 

Dates and location 

- December 12, 2014. Memphis, TN. 

Registration and more details

 For registration or more details  or contact Dr. Edgar Arias at


SBIO Newsletter Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Upcoming Events

Extension faculty specialists



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