Robert “Bob” L. Smith, the college’s associate dean for engagement, has been named head of the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials. “It is an honor to be asked to lead such a renowned group of scientists,” said Smith, who took over as interim head of the department in January 2013. “The faculty members are all leaders in their disciplines, so to be part of this team is a real privilege.”

Smith will focus on advancing the department’s leadership profile nationally and internationally in teaching and research in the sustainable use of natural resources, and preparing students for technological advancements in the forest products and biomaterials industries. He will continue to lead all of the college’s Virginia Cooperative Extension programs, many of which are critical for the $25 billion forest products industry in Virginia.

“Our goal remains to provide the best education to students and citizens of Virginia in the wise management and utilization of natural resources,” he said. Smith has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of wood science, business management, and forest products marketing; published more than 100 scientific articles; and participated in $4 million of research funding.