5 Years for Dr. Li!

January 22, 2020 — Congratulations to Dr. Hui Li for 5 years of exemplary service at Washington State University!

Making energy-efficient buildings healthier

Julia Day Portrait

November 13, 2019 – When it’s built later this year, the Catalyst Building in Spokane’s University District will be one of the most innovative buildings in the country — a planned carbon net-zero hub and one of the world’s most energy efficient.

As part of the project, researchers in WSU’s Integrated Design and Construction Laboratory (ID+CL) are studying how people will experience and interact with the new building.

Julia Day, assistant professor in the School of Design and Construction and director of the ID+CL, is developing a tenant engagement program for the multi-tenant Catalyst building, a five-story, 150,000-square-foot facility. The spaces for the anchor tenant, … » More …

Coffee grounds could create a stronger type of plastic

October 8, 2019 – WSU research shows that coffee grounds, usually viewed as a waste product, can be used to form a new, stronger type of plastic.

Poly‑lactic acid (PLA), derived from corn starch, is used in medical supplies and for 3D printing, said Yu-Chung Chang, research lead and Ph.D. candidate in material engineering. On its own, PLA is brittle but when combined with oil coming from used coffee grounds, it’s more sustainable and cleaner, he said. “What we use is actually the waste part of the waste, where it has almost no monetary value,” Chang said. “But once we add it into our 3D printing … » More …

Welcome to Joshah Jennings!

October 1, 2019 – We’re excited to welcome Joshah Jennings to CMEC as the new Scientific Laboratory Manager!  Joshah joins us from the WSU Center for Materials Research where he has served as both the engineering laboratory manager and safety chair for that research unit.  Joshah will be responsible for overall safety in the PACCAR building, serve as the building coordinator, supervise PACCAR technical staff and provide technical support for CMEC’s manufacturing and testing facilities.

Welcome, Joshah!

CLT facility has roots at WSU

CLT in WSU's PACCAR building

September 27, 2019 – WSU researchers have been a key partner and recently joined in the opening celebration of what will eventually be the largest cross-laminated timber (CLT) facility in the U.S.

Katerra, a California-based company, opened a 270,000-square-foot facility in Spokane last week that will eventually produce more than 11 million square feet of floors and roofs and employ up to 150 workers. Researchers in WSU’s Composite Materials Engineering Center (CMEC) helped Katerra develop advanced technologies used to make CLT and has supported the burgeoning industry.

[Read more]

WSU aviation biofuel research attracts interest from Delta Air Lines

An airplane taking off

September 26, 2019 – Washington State University research on aviation biofuels has attracted the interest of one of the world’s largest commercial air carriers.

Delta Air Lines, as part of a $2 million investment along with its partner Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels LLC (NWABF), is studying the potential for a sustainable biofuel refinery in Washington state, where researchers already have shown that wood waste can be converted into aviation fuel.

The sustainable biofuel would be produced from locally sourced forest residuals such as limbs and branches that remain after the harvesting of managed forests.

Research done by the collaborative Northwest Advanced Renewable Alliance (NARA Project) first demonstrated the … » More …

Simpson Strong-Tie Building Connections Symposium: October 5th in Pullman, WA

Simpson Strong-Tie logo

Students are invited to join Simpson Strong-Tie engineers and field specialists for a day of building connections where they will learn how structural connectors and pre-engineered building components help structures perform safely to resist natural hazards such as high winds and earthquakes.

The Building Connections Symposium will be held Saturday, October 5, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the PACCAR Environmental Technology Building, 2nd Floor – Town Square, on the WSU Pullman campus. This year’s theme is Modular Construction. The event will include hands-on activities and opportunities to interact with the experts from Simpson Strong-Tie:

Get useful tips and insightful perspectives that … » More …

Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy

Karl Englund Portrait

While most of a turbine can be recycled or find a second life on another wind farm, researchers estimate the U.S. will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material to dispose of over the next 20 years, a figure that doesn’t include newer, taller higher-capacity versions.

Composite Materials’ researcher Karl Englund is working to find ways to recycle wind turbine blades into various goods, including decking materials, pallets and piping. [read more]

Simpson Strong-Tie awards Masters degree fellowship to Madison Broers

Mandy Broers Portrait

Simpson Strong-Tie has awarded undergraduate scholarships to students in the design disciplines for over twenty years. In recognition of the importance of the Masters degree for civil engineering students, Simpson Strong-Tie is awarding their first graduate fellowship to Ms. Madison Broers, an MS civil engineering student at Washington State University. Madison’s academic record is outstanding, along with excellent professional and leadership experiences. Madison is researching the effects of dynamic amplification of occupant loads on floor structures.