A New Concept: Wood as an Integrated Part of Materials Science and Engineering


  • T. M. Maloney


Education, materials science, wood technology, wood science


The study of wood technology at Washington State University has been integrated into a materials science and engineering curriculum that includes metallurgy and polymer chemistry. Previously, materials science concentrated on the study of materials amenable to manipulation of their engineering properties at the molecular level, such as metal and polymers. It has been shown that the properties of wood materials can also be manipulated, but not at the molecular level. The manipulation occurs at the level of fibers, or elements composed of many fibers. The new educational program is designed to provide wood-oriented students with a basic background in materials and engineering with emphasis on wood and polymers. The interrelationships of wood and various polymeric materials in the form of resins, adhesives, and overlays makes the coordinated study of wood and polymers a logical program for both industry and research oriented students.


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