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 serves as the headquarters for TallWood Design Institute and is intended to facilitate advancement of the timber sector through applied research, product development, testing, and professional education.
The laboratory houses two distinct technical functions:
- A 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, outfitted with state-of-the-art fabrication equipment, including a Minda 8 x 10-foot CLT press, a large 5-axis CNC fabrication machine, and a high-accuracy Kuka robot mounted on a linear track system. The Uniteam UT-9 CNC is capable of working with mass timber panels up to 29 feet in length and 10 feet in width, as well as straight curved beams
These capabilities, along with others, 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, including design-fabricate-build workshops, are carried out in the lab. It also serves 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 intersect in this new space,” Sinha says. “When we complete large-scale tests, we need a small army of undergraduate helpers. It serves 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 was completed 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 Fall 2018.
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 testing structures of up to three stories in height.
Interim Dean of the College of Forestry, Anthony Davis speaking at the May 2019 ribbon-cutting.
The Minda press shortly after arrival in the lab. It can be used to press mass timber panels up to 8' X 10' in size.
The first of four truck arrivals containing components of our new Biesse Uniteam 5-axis CNC.
The Biesse emerges from its plywood shell...
Jorn Dettmer, TDI Technical Manager (left), works with the Biesse crew during the install of the CNC.
The new Kuka robotic cell in the Emmerson Lab