Department News

Want to learn about Circular Economy in action? The growing urban and reclaimed wood industries are creating high value products using raw materials typically discarded or underutilized. BBE graduate student, Anna Pitti, and associate professor, Omar Espinoza, are investigating ways to expand markets for urban and reclaimed wood products through marketing. Check out this latest update on their work through the Forest Products Management Development Institute.

Widespread use of driverless vehicles has been talked about as a future reality, and the Department of BBE is helping to ensure that autonomous vehicles not only have a place on our roads, but also in our fields.

An ice dam typically forms along a roof’s edge or valley, underneath a thick blanket of snow. Poor insulation or venting in an attic space can cause the home’s interior heat to escape, melting the snow on the roof. That water then runs down the roof and freezes, forming a dam that grows as the melt-and-freeze cycle continues. Water pooling behind that dam can then leak into the house.

Many of the students, who came from a wide range of disciplines, noted the impact the event had on them. Kelly Martichuski, studying Bioproduct and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, said attending strengthened her beliefs behind biodiesel and other biofuels.

Merino Franco, a senior in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE), earned an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) grant that allowed her to work with BBE research professor Joe Magner on a novel project aimed at improving water quality in Minnesota ponds and lakes. From May to November, she managed several specially designed “floating wetland” islands at two different sites.

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