Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory is to increase knowledge in mechanized forest harvesting systems. Through increasing knowledge, we will reduce environmental impacts due to harvesting forest products, increase worker safety, reduce the cost of harvesting, and increase the value of the products.  We will accomplish this mission through research, education, and extension.

Research: The forest environment is a complicated, uncontrolled work place. Defining research questions that are both helpful for practitioners and scientifically rigorous is challenging. The Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory faculty are experienced in logging and road construction, and in using advanced measurement and analysis techniques. Our research areas include, forest engineering, forest management, operations management, design including equipment, roads, and harvesting systems, and worker safety.

Education: The OSU College of Forestry offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Many forestry objectives require treating the forest with machines and this expands the demand for education in mechanized forest harvesting beyond the traditional areas of Forest Engineering and Forest Operations; one example is managing fire hazard. With 12 forest harvesting machine simulators the Mechanized Harvesting Lab now has the capacity to provide on-campus students with experiential learning opportunities using a variety of ground-based forest harvesting systems.

Extension: The rapid pace of forest harvesting equipment development challenges the ability of harvesting professionals and landowners to recognize opportunities. The Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory has the ability to quickly create simulated environments using data from the site of interest and to simulate the harvest with a range of machines and silviculture prescriptions. Providing the harvesting professional or landowner with the ability to work with the machines in the simulated environment, they can quickly explore a range of prescriptions to find the ones that best suit their needs.