Student Profile: Cong Chen

Cong Chen PhotoDegrees:

BS Wood Science and Engineering, 2015

MS Wood Science and Technology, 2018

Position: Graduate Research Assistant Forest Service and Biology

Research Interests: Renewable and biodegradable materials

Advisor: Dr. Douglas Gardner



Cong is a wood science and engineering graduate student from Shandong, China who is working for the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Cong discovered the Center after reading a paper by Dr. Douglas Gardner, who is a professor of bioproducts and bioenergy. After reading Dr. Gardner’s paper, Cong read more about the Center and decided that she would like to conduct her graduate research there due to the “high quality of its facilities and professional faculty.”

“There are so many professional people here as well as advanced equipment, so it makes it a great place to do my research,” Cong explained. “There aren’t many places that manufacture products and conduct research across so many different disciplines. If you want to do something, you can do it here.”

Cong’s time with the Center has had her working with cellulose nanomaterials to create new biodegradable products. The current goal of the project is to produce as a new type of food packaging, and future applications are intended to be for general industrial purposes. Cong also feels that the Center has helped develop her skills and ability to operate in a professional environment in a number of ways.

“Before I came her, I wasn’t familiar with the chemical aspect of engineering, and the faculty have helped me learn a lot,” Cong said.

In the near future, Cong would like to pursue further education regarding material sciences. Additionally, Cong is considering a career regarding the creation and production of renewable and biodegradable materials.