UMaine News – Professors Gardner and Neivandt taking the REU students to Chile

University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute faculty members David Neivandt and Douglas Gardner will accompany 10 undergraduate students from across the country on a weeklong trip to Chile as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) program, a 10-week summer research experience based at UMaine and funded by the NSF.
Gardner, Neivandt and the students leave Friday afternoon from Bangor International Airport and will be in Chile for one week. The students have been at UMaine this summer doing research with faculty and graduate mentors who are affiliated with FBRI or the University of Concepcion-UDT. The students are conducting research advancing their general knowledge of the sustainable forest bioproducts field and specifically in the areas of sustainability and life cycle analysis; feedstock extraction and modification; process control and sensing; nanomaterial production and utilization; and new product development.
In Chile, the group will take field trips to forest products manufacturing facilities and Chilean forests (native and plantations). The students will present the results of their work in a video conference back to UMaine on Aug. 9.
Additional non-NSF REU funded students, including two Chilean students on a mutual exchange with two U.S. students, have also been participating. The students’ home schools include Medgar Evers College; University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; Connecticut College; Moorpark College; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Virginia Tech; Westminster College; University of Connecticut; Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Federal University of Sao Carlos; University of Concepcion-UDT; Bates College; McGill University; and the University of Maine.
Neivandt, who is the principal investigator for the NSF REU, is an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and the director of product development for UMaine’s Pulp and Paper Process Development Center.
Gardner is a professor of forest operations, bioproducts and bioenergy, and the leader of the Nanocomposites Research Group.
Contact: Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777 or

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