The Department of Wood Science and Forest Products recently welcomed two new faculty members as assistant professors of practice with emphasis on undergraduate education and research in packaging science.

Young Teck Kim has several patents awarded and filed for cutting-edge technology in packaging as well as the agricultural industry. Specializing in biodegradable and plastic polymers, sustainable (rigid/flexible) packaging, smart packaging, and food/ pharmaceutical/nutraceutical packaging using various analytical instruments and novel technologies, Kim brings his successful developments in the field and his focus on industrial problem solving to the department.

Kim received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Korea university and his doctorate from Clemson university, where he was later employed as an extension research professor. Kim, his wife, and their seven-year-old son live in Blacksburg.

Laszlo Horvath has been intrigued by the wood industry since a young age; his family owned a custom kitchen manufacturing plant where he learned about woodworking. His research interests include packaging process optimization, packaging engineering, biomaterial characterization, computer modeling of mechanical performance, and life cycle analysis.

Horvath received his bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from the university of West Hungary, where his research explored both the engineering and business aspects of wood manufacturing and wood structural design, and his doctorate from North Carolina State University.

“We are fortunate to have these individuals join our department to broaden and strengthen our undergraduate instructional program in packaging science using innovative design approaches,” remarked Audrey Zink-Sharp, interim department head. “Their efforts will focus on the development of a diverse curriculum, research in packaging science, public service activities, and collaboration with other departments and colleges on campus.”