Alumni Profile: William Tai Yin Tze

Degrees:William Tai Yin Tze

BS Forestry Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 1992

MS Forestry, Michigan Technological University,1998

PhD Forest Resources, University of Maine, 2003

Occupation: Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota.

Research Interests: Nanocellulose / composites focusing on micro-nanofibrillation and adhesion

Advisor: Dr. Douglas Gardner



William is currently an associate professor who graduated with a PhD in forest resources from the University of Maine in 2003. William came to Maine for his PhD research thanks to Doctor Douglas Gardner, who advised William to study at UMaine and work at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. When he was asked what he enjoyed the most about his time with the Center, William said the following:

“I most enjoyed the interactions with fellow students/researchers from diverse academic training.  It was insightful to learn about their studies, and see how various disciplines of science and engineering could be complementarily applied to address composites and structural issues.”

William values the skills that he developed during his research for the Center, as he learned a number of micro-scale techniques, how to describe complex engineering concepts in “layperson language”, and the importance of using standard methods.

William has also endorsed the Center’s internship and graduate research programs, saying that engineering students should “definitely” intern or complete their graduate research for the Center. He also stated the following:

“The Center, to me, is a place where engineering principles are applied and scientific discoveries are realized in both materials and structural levels.  Students from engineering fields can also learn how to work with those from sciences and vice versa.”

Currently, William is working as an associate professor of bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the University of Minnesota. His current projects involve utilizing solid wastes from wood and agricultural processing for adhesive and materials applications. Over the course of his career, William hopes to spark the public’s interest in bioproducts and careers regarding them.