Visiting Scholars: Open Doors, Open Minds

Barbara Rovere

From Slovenia to Pennsylvania to Belgium to Oregon, this visiting scholar is traversing the world learning and making changes in a growing industry.

Barbara Rovere has donned many hats in her lifetime. As she reached a new pinnacle in her climb, she found herself in an environment she never thought would be part of her future—on the grounds of Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. In the spring of 2018, the Wood Science & Engineering (WSE) Department welcomed Barbara to the College of Forestry as a Visiting Scholar working with Dr. Eric Hansen, who specializes in forest products marketing. She first encountered Dr. Hansen at the World Conference in Timber Engineering. Barbara is working towards becoming an invaluable resource and influencer in the global sphere of forest products marketing and innovation strategies, with a focus on the wood products value chain.

Barbara’s varied and extensive work and academic history shows just how valuable and influential diverse perspectives can be in the fields of forestry, forest products, and natural resources management. While completing her Bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania and continuing her education with a Master’s Degree in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Belgium, Barbara worked as a high level policy advisor on European Union affairs for the Republic of Slovenia.
She later transitioned to the private sector (approximately 15 years ago) to serve as Managing Director of a start-up business, later moving on to become Project Manager and Assistant Researcher for InnoRenew Centre of Excellence (CoE), a European-based leader in the application and implementation of renewable materials and sustainable building research.

Not only is she now a project manager of InnoRenew CoE, she is concurrently enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Primorska. Barbara’s doctoral research topic concerns “Revitalization of traditional industry: An open innovation framework for Slovenia’s furniture sector”.

Her experience as a Visiting Scholar at Oregon State proved to be a highly positive and fulfilling venture. She especially valued the opportunity offered to her to present current research at the Western Forestry Graduate Research Symposium (WFGRS) in April 2018 shortly after her stateside arrival. Barbara further noted that faculty and students in the College of Forestry have “an open door policy” that, when coupled with the additional development and support services provided through the College and University, create a remarkable atmosphere to work, study, and gain life-changing experiences. In her short three months with the WSE department, Barbara worked on completing one journal manuscript, one conference paper destined for a summer conference in South Korea, a new journal article, and her doctoral dissertation. After her visit concluded, she returned to Slovenia to continue her pursuit of a Doctorate in Philosophy.

With her studies and innovative industry efforts, Barbara hopes to provide for the “transfer of knowledge to local business communities and contribute to the development of applied R&D”. She sees her research as a necessary tautological step in feeding the practical application and progression of her work for industry, a position that places her in prime territory to consider other areas in need of research for further industry improvement and development.  

Interested in visiting OSU as a Research Scholar?

Leave a Reply