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Plenary Speakers


Mike Burnard

Deputy Director of the InnoRenew CoE

Assistant Professor at the University of Primorska

Adhesion and Wood: Insights from a Bibliometric Analysis of Published Literature

Mike grew up in the forest sector in the Pacific Northwest of the US, first following his father and grandfather around the family sawmill and later working for the company, which became noted for its innovative products, marketing, and operations. He returned to academia in 2010 and completed a Master’s of Science degree in Wood Science at Oregon State University in 2012.

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Manfred Dunky


Challenges of Bio-based Materials from an Industrial Perspective

Manfred Dunky studied Polymer Engineering and Science at the University in Leoben, Austria, and got his PhD 1980 on “Chemical-physical characterization of UF resins for the particleboard industry”. 


Greeley Beck

Senior Development Chemist


Adhesive systems – for future structural and non-structural wood applications

Greeley obtained his Master’s degree in Wood Science and Engineering from Oregon State University in 2014 and then moved to Norway to pursue his PhD in Wood Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. His Master’s and PhD work involved protecting wood from biodegradation with his PhD focused on understanding the role of moisture for decay resistance in acetylated wood. 

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Joseph Jakes

Research Materials Engineer

US Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory

Using Advanced Experimental Tools to Accelerate Wood Adhesive Development

Since 2010 Joseph Jakes has been a Research Materials Engineer in the Forest Biopolymer Science and Engineering group at the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI. He received a BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005.

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Charles Markessini

R&D Director

Chimar  Hellas SA

Adhesive Systems used in the European, Asian, and African Particleboard, MDF, and OSB Industries

He has completed his Chemical Engineering studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece, in 2002. In his final thesis he studied the design of a pilot unit producing urea-formaldehyde resins under continuous flow conditions.

In 2007 he has completed a two-year master’s course in “Applied Informatics, specialization in Computer Systems” at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki. 


Nayomi Plaza

Materials Research Engineer

US Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory

Using Advanced Tools to Accelerate Wood Adhesive Development

Nayomi Plaza is a Materials Research Engineer at the US Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). She received her PhD in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison in December 2017. Her doctoral dissertation focused on neutron scattering studies on the nanoscale wood-water interactions to elucidate the role of these interactions in the durability of forest products.

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Lisa Podesto

Senior Business Development Manager

Lendlease Design-Build Americas

​​​Mass Timber Opportunities: Through the Eyes of a Developer/General Contractor

Lisa serves as Lendlease’s US based Timber and Innovation Specialist, responsible for advising construction, development, and design-build projects nationwide where the use of mass timber and componentized solutions are being considered. 

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