It is a historic era in which individuals tap into a seemingly-endless well of information on almost anything of interest. The pickings are a little slimmer for lumber professionals, because their business is so technical. However, the concept of lumber moisture is of colossal importance to the lumber manufacturing industry.
New Places to Dig
Lumber mill personnel involved in the lumber drying process have a new place to dig for important information: the kiln drying forum at www.kilndrying.org. The forum is a software-driven hub for a world of questions related to drying lumber. This kiln drying forum has three professional experts to moderate questions and provide guidance.
The site is sponsored by Wagner Meters for the purpose of matching members’ questions with expert feedback on wood kiln drying issues.
Registered users create threads within wood drying topic areas, such as Dry Kiln Maintenance, Stacking/Sorting Wood, Impact on Planing, Dry Kiln Control, Moisture Variability, Drying Defects, Stain Issues, Training/ Events and General Discussion.
New Experts to Question
Kiln drying encompasses a wide variety of methods and processes depending on the dimension and species of lumber being dried. This is why Wagner Meters chose three experts in a generous cross-section of industry and education.
Dr. Mike Milota: Professor – Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University
Dr. Milota works on projects related to drying lumber and biomass. At OSU, Milota teaches a graduate course in wood science, and an undergraduate class in manufacturing with renewable materials. Mike earned his Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Forestry from Iowa State University, and he achieved his Masters and Ph.D. credentials at Oregon State. Dr. Milota is intellectual and practical. He has over a quarter-century of forest products industry experience. Mike is a registered professional engineer in Oregon, and he coordinates OSU’s Lumber Drying Workshop held annually in December.
Dr. Phil Mitchell: Professor – North Carolina State University
Dr. Phil Mitchell, Wood Products Extension Specialist and Associate Professor in the Forest Biomaterials Department at NC State University, has industrial and academic drying research work experience. For over 30 years he has advocated for industry education and taught value-added industry-oriented workshops such as lumber drying, lumber cut-up optimization, wood gluing, lean implementation, and CNC manufacturing processes. His education includes a BS in wood science and technology from NC State, and his MS and PhD in forest products from Virginia Tech.
Pierre Asselin, Ing.f. – Expert and French Forum Facilitator
Pierre Asselin specializes in wood sciences technology and has a bachelor degree in applied science and forest engineering. In the past 10 years Pierre has focused on hardwood mills, wood flooring and appearance-category products. He has provided kiln drying consulting and training to lumber mills in the area of the development of lumber products. His focus is kiln drying start-up operations, on-site training of mill personnel, development of quality control strategies and program, and product development for appearance and value added products (flooring, decking, sideboard, etc.). His very specific work in processing innovation (from tree to finished product) focuses on introducing less common species for appearance in high value products. Pierre has taken part in European exploration missions to identify and analyze best vacuum drying technology processes for the Eastern Canadian lumber industry.
Dr. Stavros Avramidis PhD: Professor – North Carolina State University
Stavros Avramidis, Professor in the Wood Science Department of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, works on wood-water relationships and drying of wood using conventional and dielectric methods. He teaches wood physics and drying to undergraduate and graduate students at North Carolina State University. He holds MS and PhD degrees from the State University of New York and has extensive experience working with national and international research, funding and production organizations and enterprises.
Timothy Duncan: Manager – Engineering and Research-and-Development, Wagner Meters
Tim is primarily responsible for Research and Development in moisture measurement systems at Wagner Meters. Tim earned his BA degree in physics from the University of California (Berkeley), and an MBA from Capella University. Tim spent seven years as a programmer/analyst with UC Berkeley’s Electronics Research Laboratory before joining Wagner in 2006. Tim also developed a core metrology statistical software suite for start-up OnWafer Technologies.
New Answers to Old Questions
Log in to the primary forest products forum and join the universal conversation on the kiln drying of wood. The lumber industry community awaits.