Graduate options in construction management, sustainable construction and wood science allow students with technical degrees to engage specific topics of current interest. There is an overall objective of having students look at the broad environmental implications of the construction process and the use of wood as a material, to be efficient and environmentally responsible in their use of materials, and to integrate current technology to a practicum, thesis or dissertation, as appropriate to the graduate degree.
There are three graduate options for those pursuing Ph.D., M.S. or M.P.S. degrees:
The department offers three degrees:
The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum total of 60 graduate credits. These credits must include a minimum of 30 credits of coursework, and include not more than 30 credits for dissertation. As tool requirements, students must demonstrate competence in one of the three following areas: computer science, statistics or advanced mathematics, or a language other than English commonly used in science or engineering practice. A study plan that formally identifies an individual’s program requirements is developed for each student as soon as possible, but at least during the first year of graduate study. This plan includes all required and elective courses as well as a tentative schedule for completion.
The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours. A minimum of 18 credits of coursework and a minimum of 6 thesis credits are required to complete the M.S. degree. Undergraduate courses do not meet the requirements for minimum number of graduate credit hours. Students select a study option at the time of application for admission to the program. Specific options may require specific coursework requirements. If so, they are listed under that option. The student’s study plan (Form 3B) must be approved by the steering committee and graduate coordinator or department chair by the end of the first semester in residence.
The purpose of the M.P.S. degree is to update current professional skills and/or to prepare graduate students for higher levels of management in their general area of expertise. The M.P.S. degree is intended to be a terminal degree, therefore acceptance to the M.P.S. degree does not guarantee admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs and vice versa.
A minimum of 30 credit hours are required for the M.P.S. degree, including:
Specific coursework requirements are listed under each option.
This option is for students who plan to specialize in construction management or structures and materials science. Studies depend upon the student's previous education, professional objectives and interests. Recent graduates have matriculated upon completion of undergraduate degrees in architecture, mechanical engineering, construction management and civil engineering.
Applicants for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in the construction management option are required to have a bachelor’s degree in one of the following: science, construction management, business, management, architecture or engineering.
Topics for the M.S. or Ph.D. research may include the following:
Applicants for the M.P.S. degree in the construction management option are required to have a minimum of five years’ experience in the construction management industry plus a bachelor’s degree in one of the following: science, construction management, business, management, architecture or engineering.
This option is for students interested in sustainable construction practices including topics such as energy use in buildings, material use in sustainable construction, life cycle analysis, environmental rating systems and environmental performance measures.
Applicants for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in sustainable construction are required to have a bachelor’s degree in one of the following: science, construction management, architecture or engineering. Students must have completed courses in physics, chemistry and calculus.
Topics for the M.S. or Ph.D. research may include the following:
Applicants for the M.P.S. degree in sustainable construction are required to have a minimum of two years’ experience in the construction management industry plus a bachelor’s degree in one of the following: science, construction management, architecture or engineering. Students must have completed courses in physics, chemistry and calculus.
Applicants for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in the wood science option are required to have a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering. Applicants must have the appropriate undergraduate degree for the option they pursue. Applicants must have completed at least one semester of coursework in chemistry, biology, physics and calculus.
Applicants for the M.P.S. degree in wood science are required to have a minimum of two years’ experience in the wood products engineering or related industry plus a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering. Applicants to the M.P.S. in wood science and technology must have completed at least one semester of coursework in chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus.
Students with interest in Engineered Wood Products and Structures should have a strong background in integral calculus, statics, mechanics, and mechanical and physical properties of wood. The behavior of wood and wood-based components under loads and the effects of duration of the loads are critical elements when developing engineering codes. Wooden components as small as dowels or as large as bridge beams are considered, using elements of materials science, engineering mechanics and structural engineering. Basic property knowledge, employing theories of elasticity, visco-elasticity and fracture mechanics, is coupled with computer-aided design data to analyze the performance of wood and to solve application problems, such as those encountered in wood-frame construction and timber utility structures. How such factors as chemical fire retardant treatments, adhesive performance and mechanical fastener design interact with use requirements is considered. National and international design codes and their development play an important role in specifying research areas of current interest and need. Fabrication and testing of actual components such as trusses, composite beams, and furniture connections are completed in the department’s Wood Engineering Laboratory.
Topics of study may include:
Studies of tropical timbers take many forms, depending on individual student interests. Often students from other countries bring specific problems and materials with them so their thesis will find immediate application when they return home. The holdings of the C. deZeeuw Memorial Library and reference wood specimens of the H.P. Brown Memorial Wood Collection of the Tropical Timber Information Center (TTIC), housed in Baker Laboratory facilities, are vital to this work.
Research topics may be formulated to answer questions dealing with anatomy, identification, properties or uses of various woods from around the world, using the TTIC reference materials. These studies may be quite narrow, such as anatomy and physical properties of woods from a particular region, or much broader, such as regional distribution of species and species groups based on life zone research throughout a country or larger geographic area.
Topics of study include:
Students with interest in Wood Anatomy and Ultrastructure should have an undergraduate degree in wood anatomy or the biological sciences. Students are required to develop an extensive background in all aspects of microscopy: light, scanning electron, transmission electron, video microscopy and image analysis, including micro-techniques for effective preparation of specimens for the appropriate instrument. Wood anatomy studies are basic to wood identification, wood utilization, and physical/mechanical properties. These studies may include woods from other continents.
The field of ultrastructure is very broad with applications in many biological, chemical and materials sciences. Applied to wood, it emphasizes the sub-light microscopic structures (smaller than 0.2 micrometers) found in this natural material, either in the mature form or in its formative stages where various organelles of the living cell may be studied for their roles in producing the mature wood cell.
The behavior of wood in its many applications can be observed and explained via microscopy and related instrumentation such as EDXA (energy-dispersive x-ray analysis). State-of-the-art resources and facilities are concentrated in the Center for Ultrastructure Studies, which provides instruction and research support staff.
Students entering this program should have an undergraduate degree in wood anatomy or the biological sciences.
Topics of study include:
Because wood is renewable, it will meet the needs of modern society for a perpetually available, carbon-neutral material perfectly suited for a vast array of products. The study area Wood Science and Technology includes detailed research on physical, mechanical, or anatomical aspects of wood and its utilization and leads to the M.S., M.P.S., or Ph.D. degree. Wood science stresses research on the material science of wood, dealing with properties important to its use, or to solve problems in wood utilization by practical applications of such knowledge.
Students entering this program should have an undergraduate degree in wood science or a related area.
Graduate study in the area of wood treatments allows the student to investigate the scientific basis for the improvement of wood and wood products with various treatments, which include drying, preservative treatments and coatings. Preparation for research includes graduate coursework in wood-water relationships and transport processes and additional study in areas such as wood anatomy and ultrastructure, mechanical properties, wood chemistry, wood microbiology, thermodynamics, and engineering economics.
Current research interests include use of innovative techniques to dry and preserve wood, effects of drying method on the subsequent treatability of wood, evaluation of energy usage in lumber drying technologies, improving wood properties with polymer treatments, and moisture migration studies.
Students entering this program should have an undergraduate degree in wood science or a closely related field.