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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #981: Simpson, William T. (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (August 22, 2008)

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00:00:00 - 00:02:48 Introduction

Introduction, background, education, New York College of Forestry in Syracuse; FPL divisions

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Okay, good morning, today is Tuesday August 22, 2008. My name is Allison Page, I'm with the UW-Madison Oral History Program and this morning I will be interviewing Mr. Bill Simpson with the U.S. Forest Products Lab. Uh Mr. Simpson if, if you maybe want to start off by telling us um when and where you were born, a little bit about your education, and what interested you in forest products?


Okay. I was ah born in central New York in a small town named Phoenix, it's near Syracuse, New York. As I grew up I was very close to the state university of New York College of Forestry in Syracuse so I had interest in forestry so it was kind of a natural that I went there for my bachelor of science degree, which I received in 1960. Then I went into the Navy for three years and when I was discharged in 1963 I decided to go back to the College of Forestry in Syracuse for my master's degree. So I did that and then in the summer of 1965 I had a chance to come here to Madison to work for the summer at the Forest Products Laboratory and so I did that. Then I went back to Syracuse to finish up one more year of---or to finish up my master of science degree and the coursework for my PhD---and then in the summer of 1966 I came to the Lab as a full-time employee and I was able to, as part of my regular job at the Forest Products Lab, I was able to work on the research for my PhD, which I then received in 1969. The first three years here at the Laboratory I worked in the adhesives research group, but my main interests were with wood drying and just the overall interaction of wood and water so then I transferred to a group that included that subject matter on wood drying and other issues in wood moisture relationships. So I pretty much stayed in that general area through my career here at the Laboratory and then I retired in March of 2005.

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