Wood Science (PhD)
Students with interest in Engineered Wood Products and Structures should have a strong background in integral calculus, statics, mechanics, and mechanical and physical properties of wood. The behavior of wood and wood-based components under loads and the effects of duration of the loads are critical elements when developing engineering codes. Wooden components as small as dowels or as large as bridge beams are considered, using elements of materials science, engineering mechanics and structural engineering. Basic property knowledge, employing theories of elasticity, visco-elasticity and fracture mechanics, is coupled with computer-aided design data to analyze the performance of wood and to solve application problems, such as those encountered in wood-frame construction and timber utility structures. How such factors as chemical fire retardant treatments, adhesive performance and mechanical fastener design interact with use requirements is considered. National and international design codes and their development play an important role in specifying research areas of current interest and need. Fabrication and testing of actual components such as trusses, composite beams, and furniture connections are completed in the department’s Wood Engineering Laboratory.