Training the Next Generation in Digital Manufacturing and Mass Timber Buildings

Summer of 2018 will begin a new investment into the future of digital manufacturing and mass timber buildings for the Wood Science & Engineering (WSE) Department! WSE’s own Dr. Arijit Sinha, Associate Professor of Renewable Materials, will lead a new Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) Program funded by the USDA. Ten undergraduate students will have the opportunity to spend 12 weeks during summer learning about digital manufacturing and mass timber. This program will help students gain a better understanding of work in this sector, experience in research environment, and develop skills for a future in related fields. Critically thinking about and problem solving for the subject of their individual projects will be developed to help undergraduate researchers prepare for graduate school and/or the workforce.

The program’s duration is each summer for three years on the Oregon State University (OSU) campus, beginning in Summer 2018 and concluding in Summer 2020. During this time 30 students will be given the opportunity to learn about the future of tall wooden buildings and gain important experience with technology that will aid in manufacturing. The WSE Department plans to recruit students from different institutions that offer diverse and scholarly candidates such as Virginia State University, the Intertribal Council, Tuskegee University, and Umpqua Community College. The WSE Department aims to welcome more diverse populations in their programs and promote diversity within the workforce in this sector. Students of color, lower income students, and Native American students are highly encouraged to apply.

“This is what the #2 college of forestry in the world should be doing,” says Eric Hansen, WSE Department Head. All participants will perform work on research or extension projects involving some aspect of digital manufacturing and the mass timber building sector. During the last week of the program a poster presentation will be held for the participants to discuss the results of the projects they’ve been working on throughout the summer. A few selected participants will be encouraged to pursue a peer-reviewed manuscript in top journals of the field. The Department hopes that this research experience will provide participants with the needed skills and knowledge to create more diverse applicant pools for graduate school and offer the professional field the expertise needed in digital manufacturing and mass timber buildings.