The A.A. "Red" Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory--recently completed at Oregon State University's Oregon Forest Science Complex--is a world-class timber engineering facility dedicated to furthering research, innovation and collaboration across disciplines and professions in the timber design, engineering, fabrication and construction sector. The building will serve as the new headquarters for TallWood Design Institute and will help to facilitate advancement of the timber sector through applied research, product development, testing, and professional education. 

The laboratory houses two distinct technical functions:

  • structural testing bay, complete with a 25' tall, 4' thick reaction wall capable of testing structures up to three stories high, and a 60' X 80' strong floor (one of the largest strong wall/floor systems related to wood and timber research in the U.S.)
  • An advanced wood products manufacturing bay, curently being outfitted with state-of-the-art fabrication equipment, including a CLT press, a 5-axis CNC, and a high-accuracy robot mounted on a linear track system. The CNC panel processing center will be capable of working with large panels, straight beams and curved beams

These capabilities, along with others, will allow the lab to serve not only as a unique incubator for the development and prototyping of new products and building systems, but also as a hands-on space for the development of digital design and advanced fabrication skills, critical to a new generation of designers and builders. Practical elements of the mass timber manufacturing certificate program will be carried out in the lab. It will also serve as a learning venue for a new generation of graduate and undergraduate students diversely trained in mass timber research, manufacturing, design and engineering. Ari Sinha, OSU Wood Science and Engineering faculty member, sees a big potential for enhancing the undergraduate research experience:

“There are a variety of ways research and teaching can intersect in this new space,” Sinha says. “When we complete large-scale tests, we will need a small army of undergraduate helpers. It will serve as experiential learning for them, while at the same time offering us new, world-class capabilities to test buildings at full scale.” 

The A.A. "Red" Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory is slated for completion in the summer of 2019. TDI is excited to see industry, students, and researchers collaborate in this space, to jointly develop new knowledge, products, skills and systems. 

See a youtube rendering here

The A.A. "Red" Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory under construction in 2018.
The structural high bay at the construction site of the A.A. "Red" Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory
The structural testing bay at the construction site of the A.A. "Red" Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. To the left is the 25 foot tall, four foot thick reaction wall, which will be capable of tessting up to three story structures.

Interim Dean of the College of Forestry, Anthony Davis, opened our reception for the dedication of the lab.


The Minda press will be able to press up to 8' X 10' panels.

The first of four arrivals of our Biesse 5-axis CNC. 


The Biesse emerges from its plywood shell...

 Jorn Dettmer, our new Technical Manager, works with the Biesse crew during the install of the CNC.

The new Kuka robot set up in the Emmerson Lab