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D. Earl Kline named Charles Blakeslee Nettleton Faculty Fellow

September 13, 2016

D. Earl Kline holding a clock set in a wooden base
D. Earl Kline

D. Earl Kline, professor of wood process control in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, has been named the Charles Blakeslee Nettleton Faculty Fellow in Forest Products by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Nettleton Faculty Fellowship in Forest Products was established by a gift of Blakeslee Chase, daughter of Charles Blakeslee Nettleton. Charles B. Nettleton was a successful entrepreneur and land manager who bought and managed a 10,000-acre parcel of forestland in Alleghany County, Virginia, and built a lumberyard that became Lumber and Building Supplies. He was the husband of Carrie Nettleton, the first Virginia woman to hold the title of president of the National Council of State Garden Clubs.

The fellowship recognizes teaching and research excellence; recipients hold the honor for a period of three years.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1988, Kline leads the Wood Enterprise Institute, a business start-up learning environment. This concept-to-market, real-world setting focuses on the higher order learning skills of inquiry, problem solving, innovation, entrepreneurship, and teamwork.

Established by Kline in 2007, the Wood Enterprise Institute is a student-run, faculty-supported two-semester course sequence in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials. Since its inception, the institute has grown in recognition as a premier learning venue for creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and business leadership.

Kline is a dedicated teacher who brings his industry and real-world connections to the classroom, emphasizing the skills of inquiry and entrepreneurship to address applied problems and arriving at solutions. He fosters a hands-on environment, leveraging practitioners from industry to augment classroom experiences.

Kline has an established research program initially focused on machine vision as applied to lumber grading systems, but evolving to the field of continuous improvement. He has secured more than $3.1 million in external funds to support his research, has published extensively in scientific literature, and holds two U.S. patents for his discoveries.

He is a member of many professional organizations and he has organized, led, conducted, and participated in many professional meetings. Kline has served on numerous department and college committees. He has held two editorships of prominent scientific publications.

Kline received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech and his doctorate from Texas A&M University.

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