About the Director
Dr. R. Szymani is the Director and founder of the Wood Machining Institute, Berkeley, California, U.S.A., since January 1984. He is also a technical consultant, lately on machine guarding and worker safety, and was Editor of the bimonthly international newsletter Wood Machining News (1984-1989). During 1984-1998 he worked part as Research Scientist at the California Cedar Products Company, Stockton, CA. From 1991 to 2005 he was an Adjunct Professor at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dr. Szymani has worked in the wood machining field for fifty two years, conducting research on high energy water-jet cutting (UBC), wear resistance improvement of saws and knives, theoretical and experimental analysis of circular saw tensioning, on reduction of kerf losses during sawing, and veneer peeling (UC Forest Products Laboratory, Richmond, CA).
As Assistant Professor at Oregon State University during 1977-1979, Dr. Szymani was instrumental in the development of the Saw Vibration Frequency Analyzer for evaluation of circular saw tensioning, developed strong industry contacts, published the state-of-the-art Report on Defect Detection in Lumber, and continued specializing in the technology of scanning and process optimization in the wood industry. Subsequently, Dr. Szymani developed the technical programs for eleven international conferences on scanning technology and process optimization, and was Editor of the book Scanning Technology & Process Optimization: Advances in the Wood Industry, published in 1999 by Miller Freeman, Inc. of San Francisco, CA. During 2000-2007 he continued to develop the technical programs and organized biannual International Conferences on Scanning Technology and Process Optimization in the Wood Industry. In 2006, at the invitation of VETAS, the Forestry & Wood Industry Magazine for Latin America, he was responsible for organizing the ScanTech/SawTech conference in conjunction with Expo Vetas 2006, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
For the past 40 years, Dr. Szymani has organized and conducted annual short courses on The Design, Operation and Maintenance of Circular and Band Saws. He has also organized ten International Conferences on Sawing Technology (1989-2007), and three International Symposia on Computers in Furniture and Cabinet Manufacturing (1992-1996). Szymani was the Conference Director of the 7th International Wood Machining Seminar organized by the University of California Forest Products Laboratory, Richmond, CA. In July, 2001, as Director of WMI, he organized the 15th International Wood Machining Seminar held in Los Angeles, California. As an international consultant and lecturer to the wood industry and cutting tool manufacturers, he presented seminars on saws and sawing technology and on scanning technology and process optimization in the wood industry in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Japan, South Africa and in several European countries. He also organized WMI Workshops on Design, Operation and Maintenance of Saws and Knives, and presently works full-time as a Safety Consultant and Accident Investigator.
Szymani has published 91 technical articles, 35 research reports, proceedings of 18 international conferences and 216 issues of the international bimonthly newsletter Wood Machining News. His commitment to the dissemination of information on sawing technology through means that stress the practical application of scientific research has earned him the 18th annual Wood Technology Award for Excellencegiven by Miller Freeman Publications, who published Forest Industries and World Wood magazines and organized the annual Wood Technology Trade Show in Portland, OR.
Szymani received a Ph.D. degree in Wood Science and Technology and M.S. degree in Engineering Science, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley; M.Sc. degree in Wood Science at the Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; as well as Masters of Engineering in Wood Technology from College of Agriculture in Poznan, Poland.
Full resume available on request.