SBIO Department participates at the 2016 Expo Richmond

Blacksburg, VA. 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.

Dr. Brian Bond, professor at the SBIO Department presents on the latest development in vacuum drying technology
Dr. Brian Bond, professor at the SBIO Department presents on the latest development in vacuum drying technology

This year the trade show 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.

Drs. Brian Bond and Henry Quesada enjoy Smokey Bear's visit to the SBIO Department booth.
Drs. Brian Bond and Henry Quesada enjoy Smokey Bear’s visit to the SBIO Department booth.


Expo Richmond 2016 Educational Session

Taking Advantage of Current Trends, Market Opportunities and Improvements 

May 12, 2016. Hyatt Place. 4401 S. Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA 23231


8:00-9:00am . The Housing Market, its impact on the Wood Products Industry, and opportunities- Urs Buehlmann

This session will focus on the current state of the housing market and discuss its future. The U.S. private construction market generates, with roughly $750 billion per year, approximately 5% of U.S. GDP and if housing services are included it accounts for about 18 percent of U.S. GDP. An estimated $360 billion is spent on residential construction, four-fifths (on a Dollar basis) on single-family homes (700,000 units/year) and one-fifth on multi-family homes (350,000 units/year). The residential building market is of outmost importance to the U.S. wood industry, with an estimated 70 percent of softwood and more than 50 percent of the appearance hardwood harvest going to this market.

9:00am–10:00 am. Building Bigger : New Market Opportunities in Massive Timber– Dan Hindman

Massive timber is a new class of wooden building materials including cross laminated timber and nail laminated timber.  Current production in the United States is limited, but growth and interest in the engineering and architecture community continues to grow.  This presentation will discuss what massive timber is and what market opportunities for softwood and hardwood lumber are available

10:00 am:10-15 am. Break

10:15 am-11:15 am. Hardwood Exports: Current State and Opportunities – Mike Snow

11:15 am-12:00 pm. The Pallet Story – Hardwood and Softwood Use, Recovery/Repair/Recycling, and Greenness Opportunities Phil Araman

 This session will cover information on wood material use and pallet production and will focus on ways to minimize production waste from pallet cants and parts while producing better pallets. Pallet recovery, repair, and recycling techniques and numbers will be discussed. Ways to to be certified by an international environmental group for recycled pallets will be covered.

12:00 pm-1:00 pm. Lunch break. On your own.

1:00 pm- 3:00 pm – Identifying and measuring waste in your supply chain- Henry Quesada

 Measuring waste in your manufacturing process is a critical activity to increase production efficiencies and customer satisfaction levels. However, little has been developed to adopt lean management tools to the entire supply chain. In this presentation we will explain how to use value-stream mapping, a key tool in lean management, to quantify and analyze waste in your supply chain in wood products industries.

3:30 pm- 3:45 pm. Break

3:45 pm- 5:00 pm.  Meeting Your Customer’s Needs: Improving Your Lumber Drying Quality – Brian Bond

Regardless of your position in the value chain, logger, sawmill, drying facility or secondary producer, many aspects of wood quality and customer satisfaction are related to the drying process. This session will focus on achieving the best final moisture content, proper moisture content spread, prevention of warp, stain, and other drying quality issues.

  • Registration: The investment is $70 for the morning or the afternoon sessions. If you register for both sessions the investment is $100. Coffee breaks are available. For registration please follow this link:
  • Venue: Hyatt Place. 4401 Laburnum Avenue. Richmond, VA, 23231. Phone number is (804) 549-44865
  • Contact information: If you have any questions regarding this event, please email Mrs. Angela Riegel at or call at (540) 231-7107
  • Non-discrimination Statement

Virginia Cooperative Extension 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.

  • ADA Statement 

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Henry Quesada at 540-2310978/TDD* during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is 800-828-1120

  • Sponsor by:

Virginia Forest Products Association (VFPA)

SBIO logo

VCE-logo 1


SBIO Newsletter. Volume 3, Number 1.


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.

Click here to download the most recent SBIO newsletter.


2013-2014 Annual Center Report

Center Members and Friends:

Bob Smith and Henry Quesada, Director and Associate Director of the Center for Forest Products Business

This year marks the 35th anniversary as an independent department in the College of Natural Resources and Environment that focuses on the efficient management and utilization of our natural resources. Established in 1979 as the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products with 4 faculty, our department has grown to 16 faculty and over 130 undergraduate and graduate students. In 2012 we changed our name to the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials to better reflect our faculty’s expertise and to broaden our appeal to a changing student population. In the past 35 years, the Commonwealth has moved from primarily a rural population to an ever expanding urban population. It is estimated that over 75% of our citizens and students now live in urban areas. Historically, a large portion of our departments’ students came from rural areas where they were regularly exposed to our natural resources and the importance of the forest products industry to Virginia. This is not necessarily true with today’s incoming students. We know that the forest products industry is the leader in the sustainable management of our natural resources. Our new name is meant to reflect that to our incoming students, and attract them to the great careers that this industry holds for them.

2014 also marks the establishment of two separate degree programs in the department. The Sustainable Biomaterials degree (which reflects our past Wood Science option) remains to focus on teaching the fundamentals of the processing, manufacturing, drying and marketing of wood and other biomaterials. These includes lumber manufacturing, secondary processing, wood based composites and other natural resource based chemical industries, wood engineering, domestic and international marketing of forest products and business management as it applies to our forest products industry. The second degree is in Packaging Systems and Design. Packaging and pallets remain the largest use of wood fiber in the country and this program is one of only six offered in the U.S. This program emphasizes the importance the sustainable use of packaging materials, how packaging can enhance product performance and markets, and how new uses of wood fiber can be used to replace petroleum based plastics. Our undergraduate program currently has over 90 students, with 15-20 graduating each spring. Nearly all students find jobs in manufacturing, quality control, research, marketing or sales.

Your center has had a good year. Our faculty accomplishments are listed later in this report. The Center is in its 22nd year thanks to your continued support. We awarded over $20,000 of scholarships in the fall of 2013 and will award nearly that amount again in fall of 2014. We remain one of the largest forest products program in the United States. We have updated our website to provide more information, so please visit us at I thank you for your continued support of our center. If there is anything I can do, please feel free to contact me at 540-231-7679 or

To access the full report please follow this link.