Barry Goodell has been named head of the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment

Goodell succeeds Audrey Zink-Sharp, who has served as interim department head since Paul Winistorfer became dean of the college in August 2009.

“Dr. Goodell brings a wealth of experience to the department,” Winistorfer said. “His knowledge of programs in the U.S. and abroad will clearly help us position the department for the future.”

“I’m excited to have Dr. Goodell join our college leadership team, as I’ve interacted professionally with him over the past 25 years,” Winistorfer continued. “He brings an open, inclusive leadership style with a keen sense of vision for the future. We are in good hands moving forward.”

Goodell will lead a department that is enormously diverse, with areas of research ranging from wood pallets and housing structures on one end of the spectrum to nanotechnology and drug deliverables on the other. The department has many points of service to Virginia citizens and industry, as well as the nation, with its industry-linked Extension and outreach programs.

“I am excited to be joining Virginia Tech to lead one of the most dynamic faculties in the field of wood science and forest products in the world,” Goodell remarked. “I look forward to continuing the fine work of my predecessors, Paul Winistorfer and Audrey Zink-Sharp, in helping to build the reputation of the department.”

The department focuses on the utilization of renewable materials and training the future generation of consumers, scientists, managers, leaders, and innovators. Its vision is to be the best place for student education and to lead the nation in discovery-oriented research and continuing education in renewable materials utilization.

Goodell has been a faculty member in the University of Maine’s Wood Science and Technology program in the School of Forest Resources since 1983. During his tenure as program director from 2003 to 2007, the program quadrupled its enrollment and added an undergraduate elective sequence in wood design and craftsmanship, one of the only of its type in the country.

His accomplishments at the University of Maine include co-founding the Advanced Engineering Wood Composites Center, a world-class accredited facility for research on composites and bio-based composites, and serving as project director of the university’s Wood Utilization Research Center and national coordinator for the federally funded 13-state Wood Utilization Research National Centers program. He also served as head of the university’s Forest Products Laboratory, director of its Wood Sciences and Engineering Institute, and scientific coordinator for two Hatch-Multistate Research Programs.

Goodell is current president of the Forest Products Society, an international organization representing all facets of the forest products industry. He received the society’s prestigious Gottschalk Award, presented to individuals who have served the society with great distinction and dedication, in 2006. He has also served as an executive board member for both the Forest Products Society and the Society of Wood Science and Technology.

He has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed publications and holds multiple patents. He has significant research funding and grant experience, and has conducted research in the areas of bioconversion of wood/cellulosic materials for biofuels and the protection of wood and biomaterials, as well as on the development of nanoporous carbon and carbon nanotubes for energy storage applications.

Goodell received his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Oregon State University.