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Dean Paul Winistorfer

Paul M. Winistorfer, Ph.D., has served as Dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment since August 2009. Under Dr. Winistorfer’s leadership, the college has undertaken strategic initiatives to move the college forward, including renaming the college (formerly Natural Resources), renaming three of the four academic departments, creating new degree programs, creating the Student Leadership Institute, reorganizing the Academic Programs Office, creating the Dean’s Cabinet, instituting the Dean’s Development Tour, developing a more strategic presence in the National Capital Region, and focusing on development of the college’s new six year strategic plan: Our Position of Greatest Potential 2012-2018. Dean Winistorfer helped the college meet its goal for the campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future by closing the six-year campaign at more than $14 million for the college. The college is reaching new heights in enrollment, sponsored research expenditures and private giving during each of the last three years.

He earned his doctorate in forestry (wood science) from Iowa State University in 1985. Prior to serving as dean of the college, Dr. Winistorfer was head of the department of wood science and forest products at Virginia Tech from 2001-2009. Dr. Winistorfer was chair of the Virginia Tech Department Head’s Executive Council in 2009.

Dr. Winistorfer began his professional career as a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Georgia. He served on the faculty at the University of Tennessee for 16 years, where he was the founder and director of the Tennessee Forest Products Center (now the Center for Renewable Carbon). He was recognized as the outstanding teacher in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Tennessee in 1992-1993.

Dr. Winistorfer has extensive experience in the field of wood composites, directing a research program at The University of Tennessee that focused on density and densification of these products during manufacture. This work led to successful national USDA Research Initiative Competitive grants, a stream of important publications, and technology that has been commercialized in the private sector and is in place at over 120 manufacturing facilities, R&D labs, government labs, and university labs worldwide. He is a U.S. patent holder and twice recipient of the American Museum of Science and Energy Emerging Technology Awards in 1999 and 2000.

He has served his profession as President of the Forest Products Society, President of WoodLINKS USA, member of The Virginia Forestry Association Board of Directors, Chair of the Powell River Project Board of Directors, and member of The Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation Board. He maintains an active professional membership in the Forest Products Society and the Society of American Foresters.

At Virginia Tech, Dr. Winistorfer serves on the President’s Academic Council, the Academic Affairs Council, the Council of College Deans, the Energy and Sustainability Committee, the Economic Development Leadership Team, the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station Executive Committee. Dr. Winistorfer chaired the 2011-2012 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC). The CVC is the annual workplace giving campaign for employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia, including those at Virginia Tech. Record benevolent giving was reach for the University in 2011-2012.

Dr. Winistorfer and his wife Jeanette have twin sons, Jonah and Soren, and live in Blacksburg, Va.


  •     Headshot of Paul M. Winistorfer
  • Paul M. Winistorfer
  • Dean, College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • (540) 231-5481
  • pwinisto@vt.edu
  • College of Natural Resources and Environment
    324 Cheatham Hall (0324)
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

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