Student and faculty reap honors at Society of Wood Science and Technology

BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 16, 2004 – Students and faculty of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources were honored at the recent annual Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST) meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Darren Riedlinger of Laurel, Md., a graduate student in the Department of Wood Science Forest Products, was awarded first place in the student poster competition. Riedlinger’s poster, entitled "Hybrid Thermosetting Wood Adhesives: Optimized Performance Through Tailored Emulsions," was a summary of his master’s work being jointly conducted with Virginia Tech’s Department of Macromolecular Engineering and Department of Wood Science and Forest Products.

Geza Ifju, of Blacksburg, professor emeritus of the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products, was awarded the distinguished service award from the Society of Wood Science and Technology. Ifju was a faculty member at Virginia Tech for 37 years and spent 22 years as the department head. He helped develop the department as one of the top wood science programs in North America. He is past president of the Forest Products Society and the Society of Wood Science and Technology. His special interest is in wood science education and research.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.