What are you studying?
Wood Science. I just defended my Master’s thesis. My project looked at the possibility of using salvaged lumber from Portland deconstruction for the manufacturing of structurally rated cross-laminated timber panels. I collected a bunch of salvaged lumber from Portland and made nine panels in the high bay lab and tested them.
What were your results?
All panels were stiff and strong enough to meet the standard performance ratings, but they struggled with Delamination. One of my panels made with 100% salvaged lumber passed all the criteria, which is promising, but we didn’t have a large sample size.
How did you end up at Oregon State?
I was born in South Florida and finished high school in South West Georgia. Almost six years ago, I was hit by a car while riding my moped and in the hospital for about six months. That time helped me realize a lot of things, and I had a lot of ‘me time’ to think about problems related to energy and waste. I decided recycling and wood had to be a part of the solution to waste problems. When I went back to school at the University of Georgia, I had a stronger purpose. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school, and one of my professors knew Laurie Schimleck. I emailed him and told him I was interested in recycling and we figured out a project.
Now that you’ve defended your thesis, what’s next?
I’m not sure. If anyone out there knows of any opportunities, that would be great. I have an application out for a job I really want. I like connecting with people and finding solutions to problems.
Will you stay in the Pacific Northwest?
I’ll go where opportunity takes me, where I can make the most impact. I love it up here even though it’s a little cold and rainy.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I like to cook, and I’m working on starting a chili oil business. I also love to hang out with my dog and friends, travel, explore the outdoors, make art, invent things, tinker, and play soccer and foosball.
What do you use your chili oil for?
It can be used as a cooking oil or topping. It’s good when cooking chicken and sea food, but I don’t eat that much meat. I usually put it on top of pizza and baked potatoes. You can add it to rice, ramen or pho. You can use it for dipping with bread a cheese.
Have you been watching any good shows lately?
I like The Good Place. It’s just a funny take on the afterlife.