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Renewable Materials

Design for the Future

Sustainability and innovation are words to live by for professionals in Renewable Materials. An important part of the University of Idaho for over 100 years and accredited by the Society of Wood Science and Technology, our B.S. in Renewable Materials trains students to create and design new products from bio-based materials, from wood to recycled materials.

Through hands-on courses, our students apply what they learn in the classroom in our state-of-the-art laboratories in a variety of areas such as biofuel creation from wood waste, development of plastic-enhanced wood for construction, and innovative use of small-diameter trees. Our program is the only program of its kind with an integrated business curriculum that prepares students to work in the renewable materials and wood products industry; a $3 billion industry in Idaho. As a major in Renewable Materials, students take advantage of course work in five career tracks:

  • Bio-Energy
  • Bio-Based Materials
  • Construction & Design
  • Materials Acquisition & Supply
  • Renewable Materials Business Management

Students can also customize their education based on career goals.

What Will You Learn?

Renewable Materials students take numerous classes featuring hands-on laboratory exercises and numerous one-on-one interactions with instructors. Courses Renewable Materials students can plan on taking include:

  • RMAT 100 – Introduction to Renewable Materials
    Overview of renewable building materials and bio-energy industries. Discovery laboratory in the use of renewable and recycled waste stream materials to create useful products.(Spring only)
  • RMAT 321 – Properties of Renewable Materials
    Physiology, structure and physical and mechanical properties of woody and other renewable plant materials. (Fall only)
  • RMAT 436 - Biocomposites
    Raw material, processes, properties, and their applications for a number of natural fiber and wood composites made of veneers, particles and fibers. Additional projects and assignments reqd for grad cr. Two half day field trips. Two lectures and one 3-hr lab a week. REM 536 only: Cooperative: Open to WSU degree-seeking students. (Fall only)
    Prereq:Chem 101 and RMat 321; and Chem 275 or Chem 277
  • RMAT 438 – Introduction to Lignocellulosic Chemistry
    The chemistry of lignocellulosic fiber (natural fiber and wood) formation and structure. Two lectures a week for the first half of the semester. This course meets concurrently with RMat 538. (Spring only)
    Prereq: Chem 101 or Chem 111; and Chem 275 or Chem 277
  • RMAT 444 – Primary Products Manufacturing
    Raw materials, procurement, production methods, drying product specifications, and grading for primary products made from renewable materials including lumber, plywood, poles, and energy products; plant layout, machines, and systems analysis; plant tours. Two lec and one 5-hr lab a wk. (Spring only)
    Prereq: RMAT 321
  • RMAT 450 – Biomaterials Deterioration and Protection
    Agents that cause deterioration of biomaterials; green building durability issues and design considerations; preservative systems and alternative control methods; and environmental considerations. Recommended preparation: RMAT 321 (Fall only)
  • RMAT 491 – Biomaterial Product and Process Development Lab
    Lab to accompany RMAT 495. One 3-hour lab per week. (Spring only)
    Prereq: ECON 201 or ECON 202, and RMAT 495
  • RMAT 495 – Product Development and Brand Management
    This course examines product development strategy and the management of brands. Topics will include strategic intent of product development, the process of product development (ideation through post product launch evaluation), market and financial feasibility of product development, trends in product development, and managing brands (strategic brand management and managing brand equity).
    Prereq: Econ 201, 202, or 272; and Bus 321

Contact Us

Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences

Physical Address:
975 W. 6th Street
Moscow, Idaho

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1133
Moscow, ID 83844-1133

Phone: 208-885-7952


Web: College of Natural Resources

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