Position at Oregon State University: Director, Oregon Wood Innovation Center

Tell us a little bit about where you are from…
I was born in Cincinnati, grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, and have been in Oregon for about 30 years.

What brought you to OSU? What is your role in the College of Forestry?
I came to OSU as a graduate student and once I graduated, I was hired as a Forest Products Extension Agent for OSU in Klamath County. My role then and now is to provide technical assistance to wood products manufacturers. I also teach a course in WSE called Advanced Manufacturing 1.

What’s your favorite part about working for the College of Forestry?
I really like the atmosphere of the college. People are quite friendly, love what they do (and that’s contagious) and really go out of their way for our students. Specifically, in the work I do, I love the variety – every day is different.

What’s a cool work-related project you are working on right now?
A lot of the work I’ve been doing lately is related to helping companies develop new products. For example, I’m working now with a company that has developed a new siding product. They need to know how it will perform in temperature and humidity extremes, with UV exposure and in wet conditions. So I’m torturing this material in an environmental chamber in the Oak Creek Building.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hobbies, family, volunteer work, etc.
My wife and I are homebodies and we really just enjoy being together and going for walks in town. As far as hobbies go, I started learning to play guitar and banjo a couple years ago – and I envy anyone who did that in their teens or earlier as opposed to doing so once you’ve passed the half-century mark! I’ve also volunteered a bit with my church to provide assistance to widows in the community with chores around the house.

What’s your favorite food?
That’s a tough one. Having just visited Chicago again recently, I really miss the gyros and Italian beef sandwiches.

What’s your favorite time of the year? Why?
I really love the western Oregon winters! Yeah, that’s odd I realize – gray skies, drizzle, etc. But I love it. And I realize that more than ever now following the unbearably hot summer we just endured.

Do you have any children or pets?
Yes – we have two daughters (ages 22 and 24) and both live in Eugene. And we are the neighborhood halfway house for ‘surplus’ cats (we currently have 2).

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
I’m not sure what this would be called, but I’d like to be able to slow down time – as a superhero, you could stop the bad guys by having more time to react. And as I think about it, that would be nice in just interacting with family and friends too!

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