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Haviarova Selected as Woman Ambassador of Wood Science

The Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST), an international association of over 500 wood science professionals from 44 countries, is committed to the field of wood science for the future. The association is pleased to acknowledge "Women Ambassadors Creating the Future of Wood Science," a SWST-sponsored traveling exhibition designed to celebrate women ambassadors over time.

Dr. Eva Haviarova headshotDr. Eva Haviarova, professor of wood products in the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, is among 16 ambassadors that were announced on February 11, 2022, as part of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebration.

The first exhibition of Women Ambassadors will take place during the 2022 SWST International Convention in Kingscliff, Australia, July 10-16. The display will be unveiled at the convention's opening ceremony and reception and will continue to be highlighted during the week. The exhibition will then travel around the world, including a stop at the 2023 SWST International Convention in Asheville, North Carolina. Information from the display also will be available for downloading and printing at individual institutions.

"Being recognized and selected as an ambassador for the wood science field among other very accomplished women on a global scale is a great honor," Haviarova said. "I am at a point in my career where I feel that I can inspire others and fulfill an important mentor role. A career in wood science was a great choice I made and I wish that more women/girls would see the same potential as I did when I chose to dedicate my life to work with wood, one of the most versatile, inspiring, and sustainable materials out there."

Haviarova, who earned her PhD in furniture design and manufacturing from Purdue in 2000, joined FNR as the manager and director of the Wood Research Laboratory in 2001, and has acted as the director of the lab since 2004. She also served as an assistant professor from 2001-2009, before being promoted to associate professor in 2009 and to full professor in 2020.

Haviarova currently teaches four courses in FNR: Furniture Product Development and Strength Design (FNR 41910), Identification and Basic Properties of Wood (FNR 31110), World Forests and Society (FNR 23000) and Global Sustainability Issues (FNR 30200), and co-teaches Furniture Design for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Manufacturing (FNR 48400). Previously she taught Furniture Cabinet Design and Manufacture (2004-2015) and led spring break or summer study abroad courses: Forestry and Forest Products in Latin America (2006), Sustainability Issues in Central America (2013-15) and Sustainability Issues in Europe (2018).

Haviarova was instrumental in developing the Sustainable Biomaterials: Process and Products Design major and a new forestry SUBO concentration, which integrates the disciplines of material science,hariarovawithstudent.jpg sustainable product design, manufacturing and environmental impact. She also led the curriculum development for a minor in furniture design, an interdisciplinary program in cooperation with Creative Art that integrates artistic design with strength design.

For her efforts and innovation in teaching, Haviarova was recognized with the Distinguished Educator Award by the International Society of Wood Science and Technology in May 2021. Haviarova also was honored with the William L. Hoover Faculty Service Award within FNR in 2019.

In addition to teaching, Haviarova acts as co-advisor of The Forest Products Society student chapter. She actively seeks employment opportunities for her students and connects them with industry professionals through internships, mentorships and more.

Haviarova conducts research primarily in the areas of furniture strength design and product development. She also works in value-added for hardwoods, design, and development of low-cost furniture for the underprivileged, design of light timber frame structures and advanced wood identification. All told, Haviarova has published more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and delivered more than 200 professional presentations.

Haviarova is heavily involved in Extension work, providing knowledge for wood product manufacturers, organizations and individuals at the state, national and international levels in the area of forest products and related subjects. Her School Furniture in Developing Countries project, which she began working on as a graduate student, has resulted in the creation of construction manuals that are unique to school furniture production in specific countries due to the differences in locally available raw materials, construction techniques, school requirements and anthropometrics of the target school populations. Thus far, she has prepared 10 manuals to be used across six countries (Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, Jamaica and Dr. Eva Haviarova with broken chairAfghanistan), four non-governmental organizations (Marigold, Shelter for Life, Global Partnership for Afghanistan and Humble Way) and the National Guard in Indiana and Texas. For her school furniture efforts, Haviarova received a humanitarian award, Woodworkers Helping Others, in 2020, which was presented to her at the Midwest Industrial Woodworking Expo in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Haviarova also works with the company Purposeful Design in Indianapolis, which is a custom furniture building business that trains and employs individuals whose lives have been derailed by difficult situations, from incarceration to addiction and homelessness. She teaches quarterly workshops, sharing her expertise in sustainable furniture design, aesthetic and strength principles. She also offers a more intimate look at wood, discussing varieties of wood species at the microscopic level, reasoning that a better understanding of the science behind wood molds more intentional woodworkers.  

Away from Purdue, Haviarova has given back to the forest products community through many professional leadership roles. She served as the president of the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST) from 2019-20, following a two-year stint as vice president (2017-19). She also has been an elected board director for the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) since 2012, and served on the board of the Forest Products Society (2008-11). Haviarova is a member of the Xi Sigma Pi Forestry Honor Society, the Ohio Valley Section of the Forest Products Society, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and works closely with the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen's Association (IHLA).

In 2009, Haviarova earned the IHLA President's Award in recognition of exceptional contributions to Indiana's forest products industry and to IHLA members.

Posters recognizing Haviarova and the other ambassadors are available on the SWST Women Ambassadors website.

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