Iain Macdonald, Director
Iain joined our team in 2016 and has worked in or with the forest products industry for over twenty years. Born and raised in Scotland, Iain obtained a marketing degree from Stirling University before spending time in Japan working in international education. He subsequently moved to Vancouver, Canada where he got his first introduction to the wood products industry as an export marketing director serving Japan and Asia Pacific markets. From there Iain took a position at the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) at the University of British Columbia, where he developed and coordinated industry training and technical assistance projects for Canadian value-added wood products manufacturers. He ultimately led CAWP for nine years, during which time he also chaired Canada’s Wood Manufacturing Council. His work in British Columbia involved early support for the first mass timber projects in North America.
Judith Sheine, Director of Design
Judith has been involved with our team since the beginning and became our Director of Design in 2017. She is a Professor of Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Oregon and is an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor.
Sheine served as UO Department of Architecture Head 2012-17 and, previously, was Professor and Chair of the Architecture Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Her research has focused on the relationships between design and construction technologies and for the last ten years she has worked in interdisciplinary collaborations with architecture and engineering faculty and students focused on mass timber products and systems.
Evan Schmidt, Outreach & Education Manager
Evan manages outreach activities at TallWood Design Institute. Evan received his M.S. in Wood Science at Oregon State University, where his research focused on moisture performance of CLT and CLT building systems. Prior to attending OSU he studied architecture and worked as an independent contractor providing drafting and permitting services for residential construction, as well as landscape design and installations.
Dianna Fisher, Education Coordinator
Dianna holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Oregon State focusing on the environmental impacts of recreation, social identity and environmental choices, and responsible behavior. Previous to joining the TallWood Design Institute, she was an instructor of graduate level Environmental Sciences courses and spent over 15 years in the online education world developing award winning courses and leading a team of talented designers.
Phillip Mann, Technical Manager
Phil brings a broad range of experience as a maker to his role at TDI with decades of experience as a carpenter, custom furniture maker, and sculptor. In addition, he has taught art and design at universities across the country including the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Colorado-Denver, and Oregon State University. Phil’s creative work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States as well as at Milan, Italy’s Salone di Mobile. He received an M.F.A. in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Byrne Miyamoto, Structural Testing Coordinator
Byrne is the Structural Testing Coordinator at the A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, where he oversees and aids in the design and implementation of timber research.
Byrne received a B.S. in Renewable materials and an M.S. in Wood Science from Oregon State State University and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Wood Science, with a minor in Statistics. Byrne’s research has ranged from assessment and implementation of structural properties of new wood species into the National Design Specifications to thermal degradation of engineered wood composites.
During his time at OSU Byrne has served as a laboratory research assistant at the Gene D. Knudson Wood Engineering Laboratory. Byrne also recently completed work through an NSF award at the Forest Products Laboratory, where he looked at the performance of CLT adhesives at elevated temperatures.
Mark Gerig, Lab Technician
Mark is a Lab Technician at TDI, assisting with day-to-day operations on both manufacturing and structural sides of the lab. He joined TDI in late 2021 with over a decade worth of cabinetmaking experience. Additionally, he brought to TDI his thousands of hours of experience programming and operating high-volume industrial CNCs from his time as a CNC machinist. Mark received a B.S. in Psychology from Oregon State University in 2013.
Parker Akkerman, MarComms Coordinator
Parker serves as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for TDI. She writes and manages all communication materials while researching and executing TDI’s strategic plan. Parker is originally from Boise, Idaho. She has a strong marketing, professional writing, and recruitment background. Parker graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations in 2020 and recently completed an M.B.A. at Northwest Nazarene University in 2023.
Cathy Knock, Targeted Research Coordinator
Cathy serves the college in the role of Targeted Research Coordinator. In this role, she assists the college with the financial management of many of our targeted research programs including the TallWood Design Institute, our federal USDA McIntire Stennis forestry research appropriation, our large Agricultural Research Service funding, and many of our states targeted research funds.
Her extensive background in grants management and compliance coupled with her accounting background allow her to provide financial analysis to assist the college leadership in decisions surrounding these programs. In addition, Cathy assists the research office with pre-award proposal support.
Mikhail Gershfeld, Senior Advisor
Mikhail Gershfeld, is a Practice Professor at California State Polytechnic University, a licensed structural engineer in California, and Senior Adviser for TallWood Design Institute. He has over three decades of experience in structural consulting, manufacturing, and academia.
Mikhail is an engineer of record for over 750 institutional, commercial and industrial buildings in Southern California (city halls, schools, hospitals, churches, shopping centers, banks, etc). He has taught structural design courses in Cal Poly Civil Engineering graduate and undergraduate programs for over a decade.
His present focus is on the design of light-frame and mass timber wood structures, and interdisciplinary engineering education. He has taught Architectural Engineering Studios and consulted for Architectural Studios at Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Oregon. He is the Past Chair of the ASCE/SEI Wood Education Committee, past vice-chair of the SEAOSC Seismology Committee, member of ASCE and EERI, Reviewer for various academic journals including the Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Journal of Structural Engineering, and Journal of Mathematics and Architecture.