Wood Engineering

Career Objectives

Improve the productivity, quality and competitiveness of the wood industry and its derivatives.

Professional Profile

This professional creates and optimizes industrial processes corresponding to chemical, biochemical and/or physical transformations of wood.

He determines its production technology respecting economic, social and environmental factors.

His knowledge is oriented to wood science and technology, complementing with economics and administration foundations.

Specific tasks or activities carried out in the profession

-He takes part in the study, *feasibility, project, direction, construction, inspection and installation of wood industries, expect for the corresponding civil works.

-He classifies wood samples into these categories: family, type and species.

-He determines wood properties. Although its components are the same (cellulose, lignin, mineral salts, resins and water) their proportion is different in each species and is what determines the properties of wood. Among their properties, we have:

Resistance, where short or interrupted fibers and knots, play an important role, which is to decrease resistance.

Flexibility, which determines how curved or bent wood can be by means of heat, moisture or pressure.

Density, which depends on its water volume (cellulose) fundamentally

Hardness, which is determined by its density, the higher density, the greater hardness

Thermal conductivity. Dry wood contains tiny cells of air bubbles which makes it behave as a thermal insulation.

-He identifies the most suitable characteristics and properties of wood for each specific application.

-He prepares wood for its industrialization process. In that:

-He manages and optimizes the wood sawing process, which consists in:

-Tree felling

-Strip the bark and removal of branches.

-Cut the log into pieces according to the use that will be given later.

-He manages and optimizes the wood drying which is the most important process for the wood to remain in good condition; this can be by air drying or different artificial drying techniques.

-He manages the wood preservation treatment, attacking biological agents (bacteria, fungi and insects) that produce its deterioration through the management of factors that inhibit their development; as well as physical agents that produce its deterioration, such as: mechanical damages, UV light, corrosion or chemical degradation.

-He manages and optimizes the cellulose procurement process and the manufacturing process of paper and cardboard for multiple uses.

-He designs and develops wood manufacturing processes, such as:

-Strip Boards, formed by strips or the same type of wooden planks glued by their edges.

-Veneer or sheets, formed by rectangular planks of little thickness.

-Strips and boards, which are straight prisms, of square or rectangular section and great length.

Wood cylinders, usually very long.

Frames or profiles, obtained from strips that are given a relief as a decorative element.

From remains of bark, shavings and branches that are made in sawmill we can find:

-Plywood boards, formed by several thin wooden sheets that are superimposed on the cross grain, glued and pressed.

-chipboards, formed by several thin sheets of wood that are shredded into wood chips, mixed with glue and pressed.

-Fiberboards, made from fibers obtained from wood pulp which are glued and pressed.

He designs and manufactures a wide variety of wood products and structures, such as: railroad ties, posts, structures for houses, floors, furniture, doors, sporting goods, etc.

He programs, executes and supervises the wood industrial process.

He controls equipment and machinery maintenance.

He deals with the quality control of wood.

He evaluates and improves the efficiency of industrial production processes and equipment efficiency.

He watches over the optimization of *resources and the qualification of workforce.

He follows the technological evolution of wood transformation processes and modernizes the industrial infrastructure.

He creates scientific knowledge regarding timber-yielding resources for their use and preservation.

He investigates and conducts tests to find other possible applications of wood and other products derived from it.

He looks for alternatives for the *sustainable development of the wood industry.

He evaluates the environmental impact produced by wood industrial processes and products obtained from it.

He carries out improvements in the protection of workers of the timber industry.

He interprets and applies the current legislation corresponding to his area.

He performs teaching, advice and *expert’s reports in his specialty.

Occupational Field


-Timber products industries for manufacturing.

-Furniture Industries

-Cellulose Industry

-Paper and Cardboard Industry

-Waste wood, firewood and chips Industry.

- Advisory bodies and technical assistance to producers.

-Forestry sector government agencies

-Higher Education Institutions.

Estimated time of College years

5 years

Main courses considered in the syllabus

Basic Training Courses

Mathematics (5 semesters)

*Chemistry (2 semesters)

*Physics (2 semesters)


Professional Training Courses

*Wood Anatomy

*Physical and Mechanical Properties of Wood

*Wood Chemistry

*Applied Computer Science

*Computer-aided Industrial Technical Drawing

*Industrial Power

*Industrial Engineering

*Operations Management

-Tools, Equipment and Machinery


*Forest Measurements

*Sawing Process

*Wood Drying

*Wood Preservation

*Boards and Sheets

-Adhesives and Coating

*Cellulose and Paper

-Construction Technology in Wood

-Furniture Techniques

*Unit Operations

-Productive Process Operational Control

*Quality Control

*Pollution Control

*Hygiene and Industrial Safety

-Design and Development of Timber Products and Wood Structures

-Productive Project Formulation and Evaluation

*Forest Policy

Complementary Training Courses

*Economics and Administration Foundations

*Statistics (2 semesters)


Cellulose and *Lignin Chemical Products

Advanced Design of Timber Products

Advanced Design of Furniture

Advanced Design of Constructions

Vocation, Skills and Interests required in the candidate to this career 


-Motivated by Industrial work.

-Appreciation for production.

-Affinity and Interest in making woodwork.

-Interest in the implementation of knowledge and the use of technology.

- Inclination for knowledge of the scientific area.

-Tendency to the use of schemes for the understanding of something.

-Taste for relating to people.

-Natural tendency towards activity planning.


-Organization and Planning Ability

-Ability to create practical solutions

-Ease to understand the functioning of devices or systems

-Manual Skill

-Spatial Location

-Mathematical Skill

Logical Reasoning: It is captured through the observation of a reality, a drawing, a diagram, the functioning of something, behavior, etc. Ability to analyze proposals or complex situations, predict consequences and be able to solve the problem in a consistent way.

-Ability to organize work groups.

-Ability to organize activities.

-Ease to relate and communicate with people.


-Create products that meet the needs and demands of society.

-Satisfaction for the application, construction and transformation.

Or any specific dream or longing which feels involved or oriented towards this direction.

Candidate Personality



Practical sense

Adaptability to work in groups

Good human relations

Tolerance in treatment

Authority in front of a group

Work Scope

-Work in the industry and in the field.

-He interacts with chemical, mechanical engineers, electricians and forest engineers.

Related Careers

-Forest Engineering, Forest Technician, Chemical Engineering.

*Glossary of Terms

*Operations Management (Course): Planning, organization, execution and supervision of wood transformation activities. -Analysis and application of methods to solve production planning and control problems.

*Wood Anatomy (Course): Diversity of anatomical characteristics present in each timber species. -Industrial Uses.

*Sawmill: Facility devoted to cut wood.

*Botany (Course): Plant taxonomy. -Diversity of Species. -Geographical Distribution. -Study of the functioning of plant organs and tissues of plants.

*Cellulose: Substance that is found in the membranes of plant cells and is obtained from wood *pulp.

*Cellulose and Paper (Course): Techniques for the extraction of *cellulose and wood chemical products.

-Techniques for wood transformation in paper and cardboard: *pulp preparation, paper dyeing, paper pressing and drying. –Machinery used. –Recovery of *waste and *pulp recycling.

*Kinematics: Study of the laws that govern the motion of bodies.

*Thermal Conductivity: Ability to conduct heat.

*Wood Preservation (Course): Wood deteriorating agents (bacteria, fungi, insects). -Products to preserve and protect wood. - Methods of impregnating wood with preservatives for its maintenance in good condition.

*Quality Control (Course): Test of materials. –Quality of the sawing process of wood, *pulp, paper and all types of finished products. -Methods and Techniques of statistical quality control through quality control charts and an acceptance *sampling (sample analysis). – Programs for continuous improvement of quality.

*Pollution Control (Course): Pollutants produced by different forest industries. –Ways to reduce or dispose of pollutants.

*Material Take Off: Determination of the capacity or volume of a body knowing its dimensions and applying the corresponding geometric formulas. -For instance, the quantity cubic meters of wood.

*Sustainable Development: Development that continues to finance itself and thus remains in time.

*Technical Drawing (Course): Interpretation of *floor, *profile and *perspective drawings and others. –Computer-aided drawing.

*Electromagnetism: Branch of physics which studies electrical and magnetic phenomena and the relation between them.

*Industrial Power (Course): Electricity knowledge. –AC and DC generators, transformers, AC motors, motor installation, power distribution in an industrial plant.

*Statistics: Techniques for the collection, presentation, treatment and analysis of data, in order to summarize and describe the characteristics of the information they provide.

*Statistics (Course): Basic knowledge and essential concepts to understand *Statistics applied to the forest area.

*Feasibility: Feasible: That is possible to perform.

*Physics (Course): *Kinematics; *Electromagnetism; *Waves and Optics; *Thermodynamics; *Fluid Mechanics, Heat and Temperature.

*Physical Chemistry: Part of chemistry that studies the molecular interactions in matter due to physical effects, such as changes in temperature, pressure, volume, heat and work. As well as the study of optical, electrical, magnetic and mechanical properties at atomic and molecular level, among others.

*Economics and Administration Foundations (Course):

Economics: *Macroeconomics and *microeconomics concepts; Theory of supply and demand for products; input costs; market research and commercialization.

Administration: Planning, organization, direction and control of business management.

-Operation of the forest products market.

*Hygiene and Industrial Safety (Course): Maintenance of the environment in sanitary conditions to prevent it from affecting people’s health, such as chemical, physical and biological factors that could affect their health. Prevent diseases from the creation of healthy environments.

*Applied Computer Science (Course): Use of applied Software in the area such as Simulation Software for Production Systems.

*Industrial Engineering (Course): -Industrial Plant Location. –Installations. –Forest industrial transformation. –Work Methods and *Layout. –Industrial Instrumentation and Automation. –Computerized Production Systems.

*Layout: Logical and ordered distribution of the materials, as well as their arrangement according to human anatomy that facilitates their use.

*Lignin: They are chemical compounds present in the wall of plant cells to create wood.

*Macroeconomics: Regarding the production and consumption of the wealth of a country and the problems related to the level of employment.

*Fluid Mechanics: Related to Statics (no motion) and Dynamics (in motion) of fluids. –Concepts and fundamental definitions of fluid mechanics. –Flow analysis. –Flow meters. –Compressible and non-compressible fluids. Among other topics related.

*Forest Measurements (Course): Methods and techniques for measuring the dimensions of forests, trees and their parts. –Measurements of diameters, sections and bark. *Material take-off of tree parts. –Measurement of firewood and primary products. –Use of instruments for that task. –Mathematical principles in the construction of basic forest measurement instruments.

*Microeconomics: Economic analysis relative to the individual behavior of consumers, traders, producers, companies and industries, etc.

*Waves and Optics: Oscillations, Mechanical Waves, Sound. –Electromagnetic Waves. –Behavior of light as a wave and its phenomena. –Optics Knowledge.

*Unit Operations (Course): They are each of the actions necessary in the raw material process, whether their transformation and/or adaptation processes (chemical and physical processes) as well as the actions necessary to carry out their transport.

*Floor: View from above of an object.

*Profile: Side view of an object.

*Expert’s report: It is the testimony of an expert, in matters of his competence to be presented before the judicial or administrative authorities.

*Perspective: Object seen from a distance from a certain location.

*Forest Policy (Course): State policies related to the use of forest resources.

*Sawing Process (Course): Characteristics of raw material (wood). Systems and Machinery in sawmills.

-Processes to transform tree piece into sawn timber (cutting and brushing). –Determination of the volumes and qualities of pieces, sawn wood and by-products. –Management and operation of sawn wood production systems.

*Physical and Mechanical Properties of Wood (Course): Physical (mass, density, weight and specific weight), mechanical (resistance, elasticity, plasticity, hardness) thermal, electric and acoustic properties and characteristics of wood. –Measurement Methods and Techniques. –Application of wood properties in industrial processes and their use.

*Pulp: Preparation of a mechanical wood pulp, crushing wood chopped with large amounts of water, or using chemicals, that are added to the previously crushed wood, where a chemical pulp is obtained, from which pure cellulose is obtained.

*Chemistry (Course): *General Chemistry, *Organic Chemistry, *Physical Chemistry.

*Wood Chemistry (Course): Chemical compounds which form the wood tissue. –Chemical properties and functions of cellular elements that form wood and their relation with other physical and mechanical properties. –Compounds that provide coloring and resistance to wood that influence in processes such as gluing and finishing wood.

*General Chemistry: Course that deepens knowledge acquired in high school: properties of matter, atoms and elements, nomenclature, atomic structure, chemical bond, ionic bonding, states of matter, among others.

*Organic Chemistry: Study of the molecules that contain carbon and that are found in living beings.

*Resources: Everything that can be used to support our purposes.

*Wood Drying (Course): Theory of the movement of water in wood. –Relation between the chemical, anatomical and physical properties and characteristics of wood and wood drying. –Drying methods and techniques: air-drying and kiln-drying. –Management of equipment for wood drying.

*Boards and Sheets (Course): Industrialization techniques for forest products such as: veneer (wood slices to cover furniture), veneered, plywood, chipboards, fiberboards and strip boards, etc.

-Planning, organization, execution and supervision of wood transformation activities.

*Thermodynamics: Part of physics that studies the force and movement generated by calorific phenomena, thermal properties of matter and heat exchange. –Laws that govern thermodynamics.