00:05:16 - 00:08:40 Wood Science And Technology
Wood science and technology, reasons for studying, importance of
What year was that?
It was 1976---'74 excuse me. Yeah fall of '74.
To go back just a little bit. You said when you went to Penn State you were originally in forestry and then were sort of told to switch over to wood products?
Yeah wood science and technology.
Wood science and technology. Well, one, what made you interested in forestry in the first place and two, why do you think they told you to switch?
Well, first of all, being somebody raised in the farm area on thing I decided when I got out of high school---because I didn't want a desk job---I wanted to be out in the outdoors. When I got into the school of forestry my better grades were in the things like the physics and the chemistry and math and not so much---there were other classes you take in forestry like dendrology, which is a lot of memorization of Latin names and not that I didn't---I mean I passed all the classes, but they felt that since my grades were a lot better in the area of the math and the physics, that---and I think they were also trying to get more students into the wood science and technology department. So they said they thought that I would do better if I went in that area rather than go into the forestry area. So that sort of changed my direction the first time, then I started taking some of those engineering classes and that sort of started changing my direction again because some of the engineering professors thought that I'd---well they thought---a lot of the people in engineering think you are wasting your time if you are dealing with wood as an engineered product because most engineering schools you will find teach engineering from the viewpoint of steel and concrete as these are manmade products, which are more control-processed, you know more about what material you have when you are working with steel and concrete. When you are dealing with wood you are dealing with nature's product and you pretty much have to deal with what nature hands you. So it's a lot more variable material, it doesn't have the same properties in all directions, it's what they call orthotropic so it's a lot more complex material and not one that a lot of structural engineers really like to use because there is a lot of unknown attached to wood.
So I kind of got switched around there a little bit and there's not that many schools that teach timber engineering so I figured well that's not really such a bad thing of learning how material that nobody else knows. And I think the material of wood being more complex really makes you look at material properties a lot more than somebody that comes up in steel and concrete. In steel and concrete you can pretty much treat these as an isotropic materials and the whole, the statics and dynamics is more or less just a straight physics, you don't have to worry so much about the material and designing with those.