You just started at Oregon State/the TallWood Design Institute. What do you?
I’m the technical manager. Right now, I’m working on getting our space in the A.A. ‘Red’ Emmerson Advanced Wood Product Laboratory set up and functional. Eventually, I’ll manage and run the projects and tests that go on here in our space.
What’s your background? How did you end up at Oregon State?
I grew up in a small village in Germany where I did an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker. During university in Berlin, I did a co-op program at the University of British Columbia and ended up moving there permanently. When the opportunity at TDI came up I didn’t hesitate.
How is it going? Are you getting settled in?
I’m used to big moves. The move from Germany to Canada was a big adjustment that took a long time. From Canada to the U.S., there are definitely still some cultural differences that I’m getting used to.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I’m excited for challenges. I’ve already faced some in terms of getting our lab set up and running. Having that finished is something I’m looking forward to as well as the combination of hands-on work, programming and seeing final products. That’s a huge reward. I could never do a full-time desk job. That would drive me crazy.
What excites you about the work you do with mass timber?
I’m excited for the mass timber revolution that is happening right now. It’s amazing to see more architects embrace it in North America and watch how people build with it. I’m also really interested in lifecycle assessment of mass timber buildings.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I used to travel a lot for work, so when I’m not working, I like to stay closer to home. I like alpine touring in the winter and mountain biking in the summer, let me know if you want to ride bikes. I rode my bicycle from Vancouver to San Francisco on the 101 once. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place to have outdoor adventures. I’d like to get involved with the trail building community here in Corvallis, I used to build a lot on the North Shore in Vancouver.
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled?
New Zealand. I did a two-month bike trip there once, all over the islands.
What are you watching or listening to right now?
Well, I just cancelled my Netflix subscription. But I did watch The Boys on Amazon, and really enjoyed that. I also saw one of my favorite bands, The National, over Labor Day weekend.
Your colleagues have noticed you carry green tea around with you. Is that your favorite drink?
I switch to green tea after my one cup of coffee in the morning. I’m obsessed with coffee gadgets and have five different styles of coffee makers. When I moved here, I brought a five-pound bag of beans with me from my old neighborhood in Vancouver, so I haven’t learned about the good, local coffee here in Oregon yet.