The Western Wood Preservers Institute (WWPI) donated $100,000 to support the construction of a pressure treating facility in Richardson Hall on the Oregon State University campus. The lab will be utilized by the Utility Pole Research Cooperative and the Environmental Performance of Treated Wood Research Cooperative, two preservative-treated wood cooperatives housed in the College of Forestry. Stella-Jones Inc. will be donating an experimental treating cylinder once the facility is ready, saving the cooperatives about $300,000 in equipment costs.
The repurposed facility will enable more versatile treated wood research, particularly into how to improve the treatment and durability of large wood commodities such as utility poles, railroad ties, and marine pilings. In addition, the facility will function as an educational resource, allowing students in wood science to gain hands-on experience with the process of wood treating.
Representatives of WWPI and Stella-Jones visited the Oregon Forest Science Center to deliver the donation, met with Tom DeLuca, Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean of the College of Forestry, and toured the new Peavy Forest Science Center, A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Lab, and the Peavy Arboretum. They also visited the lab spaces used by Gerald Presley, assistant professor in wood science and engineering, and his team.
“This donation enables us to advance science related to pressure treated wood and wood products,” said Gerald Presley, director of the two research cooperatives. “Pressure treatment enables wood to perform well in applications that would otherwise only be occupied by steel, concrete and plastics and OSU is now well-equipped to improve preserved wood products for better performance. This donation also helps us equip the next generation of leaders in wood science and engineering.”