2022-23 Academic Catalog

Sustainable Bioproducts

Department Head and Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Rubin Shmulsky
201 Locksley Way
Box 9820
Mississippi State, MS  39762-9820
Telephone: 662-325-2116
E-mail: rs26@msstate.edu

The Sustainable Bioproducts field is concerned with extending our knowledge of wood as a material and applying this knowledge to the manufacture of useful products. It requires knowledge of the chemical, physical, botanical, and engineering characteristics of wood and other biomaterials, and the application of these characteristics to production of solid and engineered wood products in related industries. The M.S. thesis-option program requires 24 hours of academic coursework, 6 hours of research/thesis credit, and a defense of the student's written thesis before his or her graduate committee. The M.S. non-thesis (Campus 1 and Campus 5) program requires 30 hours of academic coursework and a comprehensive examination. The M.S. non-thesis Campus 5 program also requires 30 hours of academic coursework (24 hours of academic coursework, 3 hours of professional practices, 3 hours of capstone/final project) and comprehensive examination.

Graduate study in the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts leads to the following degrees:

  • Master of Science in Sustainable Bioproducts, thesis option
  • Master of Science in Sustainable Bioproducts, non-thesis option
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Resources with a concentration in Sustainable Bioproducts

Major areas of study include composites, environmental biotechnology, materials science, bioenergy, bio-based material protection, cross laminated timber, business and production systems, and wood chemistry.  Research assistantships are available for Ph.D. students and for M.S. students in the thesis option. For additional information, see the Sustainable Bioproducts Graduate Handbook or contact the Departmental Graduate Coordinator.

Admission

An applicant to the program is not required to have the GRE or GMAT test scores unless his/her grade point average is below 3.00. An international applicant is required to have a TOEFL score of 550 PBT (79 iBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 or better in order to be considered. Interviews, certifications, etc. are not applicable.

Provisional Admission

An applicant who has not fully met the GPA requirement stipulated by the University may be admitted on a provisional basis. The provisionally-admitted student is eligible for a change to regular status after receiving a 3.00 GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University (with no grade lower than a C). The first 9 hours of graduate courses must be within the student's program of study. Courses with an S grade, transfer credits, or credits earned while in Unclassified status cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student shall be dismissed from the graduate program. Academic departments may set higher standards for students to fulfill provisional requirements; a student admitted with provisional status should contact the graduate coordinator for the program’s specific requirements. While in the provisional status, a student is not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship.

Academic Performance

The Department of Sustainable Bioproducts will accept a C grade; however, the student’s overall GPA must be 3.00 or above.

Accelerated Program

The Department of Sustainable Bioproducts offers an Accelerated BS/MS program to highly qualified MSU undergraduates. Programs of this type, offered in several departments across the university, give students the opportunity to earn graduate credit while completing a Bachelor’s program. Currently enrolled undergraduates who have completed 60 credit hours toward a Bachelor’s degree, and who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher for all undergraduate work may apply for the program by contacting the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts for further information. Undergraduates may enroll in graduate level courses and receive credit for both the graduate and equivalent undergraduate course upon completion. These courses will be taken during their final year of undergraduate studies, and the student is expected to apply to the graduate program in Sustainable Bioproducts in their final semester, completing both programs in as few as five years in total.

The M.S. thesis-option program requires 24 hours of academic coursework, 6 hours of research/thesis credit, and a defense of the student's written thesis before his or her graduate committee. The M.S. non-thesis Campus 1 program requires 30 hours of academic coursework and a comprehensive examination. The M.S. non-thesis Campus 5 program also requires 30 hours of academic coursework (24 hours of academic coursework, 3 hours of professional practices, 3 hours of capstone/final project) and comprehensive examination. The Ph.D. program may entail approximately 60 hours of course and research work, a written preliminary examination, an oral examination, and a dissertation.

Master of Science in Sustainable Bioproducts - Thesis

Graduate-level coursework12
SBP 8111Research Seminar I1
SBP 8121Research Seminar II1
SBP 8000Thesis Research/ Thesis in Sustainable Bioproducts6
Graduate-level electives10
Graduate-level courses from other MSU departments as approved by the graduate committee
SBP 7000 Direct Individual Study (no more than 6 hours total) may be used to satisfy 8000-level course requirements
Total Hours30

 A comprehensive examination is required. The M.S. student is encouraged to present one professional paper to a referred journal.

Master of Science in Sustainable Bioproducts - Non-Thesis

Graduate-level coursework12
Major Required Courses: Campus 1 thesis option and non-thesis option
Research Seminar I
Research Seminar II
OR
Major Required Courses: Campus 5 non-thesis option
SBP 8023Professional Practices in Wood Products Industry (Professional Practices in Wood Products Industry)3
SBP 8203Graduate Capstone (Graduate Capstone Seminar)3
Graduate-level electives12-16
Total Hours30-34

A comprehensive examination is required.

Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Resources with a Concentration in Sustainable Bioproducts

The Ph.D. program generally requires three academic years beyond the bachelor's degree as a full-time student. The total number of course credit hours may vary based on the specific doctoral program, the student's needs, and the student's academic history.  

Academic hours with half at the 8000 level or higher24
SBP 9000Dissertation Research /Dissertation in Sustainable Bioproducts20
Additional hours10
Total Hours54

A written preliminary examination, an oral examination, and a dissertation are required. In lieu of the foreign language requirement, the Ph.D. candidate is required to take 6 hours of research skill courses from the departmental list. The Ph.D. student is encouraged to submit two professional papers to referred journals. The student must meet all the necessary guidelines to complete thesis/dissertation requirements set by the department, college, and the University in order to graduate. Types of qualifying and exit examinations are required by the department (doctoral preliminary).

SBP 6013 Wood Anatomy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: SBP 1103 or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Anatomy of commercial timber species; elements of botanical microtechnique, fundamentals of microscopy, and fundamental properties: gross and minute structural characteristics of wood leading to identification

SBP 6023 Lignocellulosic Biomass Chemistry: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: CH 1213 or CH 1223 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. This course will give a brief introduction to the major chemical composition of wood. The distribution of wood components (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, and extractives), their structures, isolation, processes & applications will be covered

SBP 6113 Adhesives and Composites: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: SBP 1103, SBP 2012, SBP 2123, SBP 3113, SBP 3123 or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Introduces students to theories and practices of wood composite products, wood adhesives and manufacturing, and evaluation of various wood composite products

SBP 6123 Lumber Manufacturing: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Raw materials, production methods and product specifications for sawn wood products. Machinery and plant layout. Operation, control, and analysis of lumber manufacturing systems; markets

SBP 6133 Biorefinery Processes: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: SBP 4023 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. This course will cover biomass resources; biorefinery concepts; and the different chemical and thermochemical processes used to convert biomass into chemicals and fuels

SBP 6153 Biomass Products Manufacturing: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: BIO 1134/BIO 1144/consent of instructor) Three hours lecture. Introduction to concepts of conversion of biomass covering subjects: physical properties of wood, product manufacturing, wood chemistry, composites/adhesives, and the use of organisms or isolated enzymes used to break down cellulose, lignin and hemicelluloses

SBP 6213 Deterioration and Preservation of Biomaterials: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: SBP 1103 or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Develop an understanding on biological and non-biological abiotic agents that cause wood deterioration; biological control methods; design considerations; wood preservatives and preservation systems; treatability of wood; treatment mechanics; preservative effectiveness; commodity standards

SBP 6243 Sustainable Bioproducts: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CH 1213 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Introduction to concepts of conversion of biomass covering topics including physical properties of wood, product manufacturing practices, wood chemistry, composites/adhesives. Also, the use of organisms or isolated enzymes used to break down cellulose, lignin and hemicelluloses

SBP 6253 Quantitative Methods in Sustainable Bioproducts: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: SBP 2123 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. The study and practical application of quantitative techniques commonly used in industry to evaluate the net worth of raw materials, and the cause and effect on process variables

SBP 6263 Furniture Design and Fabrication: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: SBP 3133 or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Basic theories and principles of furniture strength design and manufacturing; mechanical properties of environmentally preferable materials; green and sustainable design of certifications; testing standards. Machines used, function and operation. Advanced manufacturing and quality control methods

SBP 6313 Bioproducts and the Environment: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: SBP 2012, 2123, and 3123 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. An introduction to environmental topics and laws, environmental impact, and control technologies associated with emissions from diverse sustainable bioproducts industries, including global and national issues

SBP 6353 Forest Products Marketing: 3 hours.

Three hour lecture. Marketing and business practices used by forest products companies trading in lumber, engineered wood products and furniture

SBP 6990 Special Topics in Sustainable Bioproducts: 1-9 hours.

(1-9). Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

SBP 7000 Directed Individual Study in Sustainable Bioproducts: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

SBP 8000 Thesis Research/ Thesis in Sustainable Bioproducts: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

SBP 8013 Advanced Wood Science & Technology: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Introduction to properties of wood (anatomy, chemical, physical, mechanical) and manufacturing process of sustainable biomass-based products will lead to an understanding of the basic concepts and current topics related to sustainability, natural products, and technology development in forest products and wood science

SBP 8023 Professional Practices in Wood Products Industry: 3 hours.

(Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Discussion and practice of workplace skills related to performance of duties in the wood products industry sector

SBP 8111 Research Seminar I: 1 hour.

One hour seminar. Review of current research work in wood science and technology; the scientific method; philosophy of research

SBP 8121 Research Seminar II: 1 hour.

One hour seminar. Review of current research work in wood science and technology; the scientific method; philosophy of research. This course focuses on oral communication skills

SBP 8123 Advanced Lignocellulosic Biomass Chemistry: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: SBP 4023/6023 or consent of the instructor). Three hours lecture. Chemistry of major lignocellulosic biomass components. Chemical modification and swelling of cellulose, chemical and enzymatic degradation of polysaccharides and lignin, wood preservation, wood plasticization and wood conversion to value added chemicals

SBP 8133 Environmental Issues in Sustainable Bioproducts: 3 hours.

(Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Environmental impact, regulations, management of wood treatment by-products and chemical wastes; biodegradation microorganisms; bioremediation; biomass residues; soil, sediment, water, air contaminations; current clean-up technologies

SBP 8143 Standards for Testing Sustainable Materials: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. This course will evaluate how solid and composite sustainable materials are used in product development. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of material properties and how they impact end-use product performance

SBP 8203 Graduate Capstone: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: SBP 8023 or consent of instructor). Seminar. Integration and application of knowledge from previous coursework in sustainable bioproducts for the creation of an original project proposal. Emphasis on professional oral and written expression, logical organization of thought, literature review, data presentation, budget writing, and peer evaluation

SBP 8213 Advanced Wood Mechanics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor). Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Study of elastic and viscoelastic behavior of wood composites; fracture in wood; stress analysis; current topics in wood mechanics. Mechanics. SBP 8213 Advanced Wood Mechanics

SBP 8990 Special Topic In Sustainable Bioproducts: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

SBP 9000 Dissertation Research /Dissertation in Sustainable Bioproducts: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged