Dec 03, 2023  
2021-2022 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sustainable Materials and Technology

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Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: Students must earn a minimum grade of “C-” in all required courses having the SFR designator.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: None.

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience:  SFR 492

Contact Information: William H. Livingston, Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs, 201b Nutting Hall, 581-2990,

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT) involves multiple aca­ demic disciplines and aims to produce professionals with strong abilities to assess and communi­ cate the technical foundations of how forest and other plant-based materials can be sustainably produced and converted for a variety of applications ranging from traditional wood products to emerging sustainable materials and bioenergy systems throughout the entire life-cycle of the products.

Renewable and sustainable feed stocks will increasingly be used to meet societal demands for materials ranging from traditional applications in construction and paper to packaging, compos­ ites, electronics, textiles, plastics and bioenergy development. This change is rooted in benefits of using sustainably grown renewable materials, which can replace non-renewable materials pro­ duced from petroleum and mining sources. Benefits of this rapidly emerging 21st century circular bioeconomy include positive contribution to climate change mitigation attributable to the take-up of CO2 from the atmosphere inherent in the growing of trees and plants, lower embodied energy attained from the production of bio-based products, less dependency on fossil fuel-based energy due to the supplementary bioenergy and the co-location of manufacturing enterprises with human communities which provide local jobs and a beneficial environment.

The SMT program outcomes provide a holistic approach to the understanding and application of concepts necessary for product design and the conversion of renewable feed stocks to a wide vari­ ety of materials and products. Graduates of the program will gain a mastery of a broad set of skills necessary for success in this broad and rapidly evolving field. The skill areas include fundamen­ tals of wood and plant growth and properties, quantification of sustainability and certification, supply-chain analysis, fundamentals of materials science and technology, principles of converting wood and other renewable materials to building materials, composites, packaging materials, and bioplastics as well as bioenergy, business concepts including market awareness, techno-econom­ ics, and statistics, along with key “soft-skills” in communications, team-building, critical think­ ing, and innovation.

The SMT program combines rigorous academic content with a focus on experiential learning through a series of directed laboratory experiences in world-class facilities such as UMaine’s world-famous Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC), the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI), several cutting-edge research laboratories at the School of Forest Resources, internship requirements, involvement of industry, governmental, and non-governmen­ tal organization (NGO) partners, as well as field activities.

The Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT) program is accredited by the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST).

The Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT) program at the University of Maine has been developed in response to the need to educate and train necessary workforce for the state and beyond and builds upon the long-lasting reputation of the University of Maine in sustainability­ related disciplines. Maine’s vibrant sustainable materials industry in combination with large areas of forestland near the University provide additional opportunities for a field-based and industry­ oriented education. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the numerous opportu­ nities for summer employment with the bioproducts industry. Students in the Sustainable Materi­ als and Technology (SMT) program have an opportunity to study, interact, and often work with the large number and diverse group of graduate students from around the world who have been attracted to sustainable materials-related studies at the University of Maine. The SMT faculty have active externally funded research programs, and they are involved in various outreach activ­ ities for their professions. Students learn from faculty who continually explore and extend the lat­ est knowledge in their areas of expertise, and students meet directly with these faculty for academic advising.

Graduates of the SMT program are prepared for careers in the administration and supervision of sustainable material processing facilities. Specific career areas include: mill supervision and qual­ ity control; sustainable material business/marketing, new product development, life-cycle analysis and sustainable material procurement. Opportunities also exist for graduate education at both  the M.S. and Ph.D. levels in the newly developed graduate concentration in Bioproducts Engineering.

The SMT program is part of the School of Forest Resources. The School of Forest Resources has the largest scholarship endowment fund on campus for an academic unit, where the School awarded over $400,000 for the 2019-20 academic year to help support undergraduate studies. Some scholarships are specifically available for students in the Sustainable Materials and Tech­ nology (SMT) program.

Under the New England Regional Student Program, administered through the New England Board of Higher Education, the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT) is open to applicants who reside in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire or Vermont for reduced tuition (in-state tuition plus 50 percent).

The BS in Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT) curriculum requires completion of 120 credits of coursework. Recognizing the significance of the sustainable materials industries to soci­ ety, as well as the opportunities for professional employment of highly trained and broadly edu­ cated college  graduates,  the SMT program  is designed  to provide  students  with  relevant  and marketable knowledge and proficiencies in subject areas essential to the conduct of sustainable materials production and applications.

Required Courses in Suggested Sequence for the B.S. in Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT)

First Year - First Semester -16 Credits

First Year - Second Semester - 14 credits

Second Year - First Semester - 16 credits

Second Year - Second Semester - 15 credits

Third Year - Second Semester - 17 credits

Fourth Year - First Semester - 14 credits

Fourth Year - Second Semester - 14 Credits

Technical Electives

The student, in consultation with their advisor, will select 12 credits from the following list of courses.

Mathematics or Statistics Course

Wood Materials Graduate Courses

  • SFR 545 -  Adhesion and Adhesives Technology   Credits: 3
  • SFR 550 -  Wood Polymer Hybrid Composites  Credits: 3
  • SFR 530 - Wood Physics  Credits: 3
  • SFR 531 - Mechanics of Wood and Wood Composites Credits: 3
  • SFR 570 - Cellulose Nanomaterials and Their Composites   Credits: 3                                       

Business Courses (Possibility to pursue Business Minor with approval form advisor)


Any student who receives a semester GPA of less than 2.0 or receives a Conduct Violation must meet with the Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs, School of Forest Resources, during the first week of the following semester to formulate an agreement on what the student will do to improve his/her record. The agreement may require passing a 1 credit course on academic recovery. The student must also meet with her/his academic advisor to review the course schedule for the coming semester. Failure to meet these expectations may result in the student being dis­missed from the program.

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