University Research Corridor Article Highlights MassTimber@MSU Leaders Research

MSU’s mass timber leadership spotlighted in MetroMode.

Glulam beams with blue sky in the background.
T3 Minneapolis, MGA, Michael Green Architecture, DLR Group. Photo by Ema Peter; MGA.

The University Research Corridor (URC), an alliance of three Michigan universities—Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University— is currently engaged in practical sustainability education, research, and innovation. A recent MetroMode article highlighted the impacts of research efforts by Michigan State University's mass timber leaders—Sandra Lupien, Director of MassTimber@MSU, Dr. Mojgan Nejad, MSU Forestry Associate Professor, and Dr. George Berghorn, MSU Assistant Professor of Construction Management and MassTimber@MSU Research Director.

Lupien discussed the numerous benefits of mass timber, including positive impacts on forests, climate, sustainability, economics, and workforce development and how MassTimber@MSU focuses on advancing sustainable mass timber manufacturing through research, education, communication, outreach, policy, and partnerships.

Lupien highlighted Dr. Nejad’s lab's work on developing sustainable mass timber adhesives from lignin, a byproduct of forest and agriculture industries. These biodegradable alternatives, tested with Element 5, show improved adhesion compared to fossil fuel-based adhesives, and if commercialized, they could be much more cost-effective.

The increasing demand for mass timber highlights the need for a well-trained workforce in architecture, engineering, construction management, and installation. Dr. George Berghorn—MSU Assistant Professor of Construction Management—though a $650,000 National Science Foundation grant, led the creation of mass timber curriculum modules. These modules are designed for adoption by AEC educators across the nation, ensuring that students are thoroughly prepared for careers centered around mass timber.

Read the full article here.

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