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Mathew Smidt

Research Forester/Engineer
Forest Operations Research to Achieve Sustainable Management
521 Devall Drive
Auburn, AL 36849-5418
United States
334-826-8700 x122
Current Research

Research on system innovations in forest operations are directed toward improving performance and reducing cost.  In some cases performance and cost improvements are coincident, like in timber harvests. In other situations like biomass fuel treatments achieving the best possible result given the economic constraint is the objective. While we often focus on machines and methods in forest operations research, the human as source of manual labor or as a machine operator is the most critical component of system performance.  As a research focus the concerns are for safety and health at work, controls and interfaces than enhance system performance, training systems that help capture system potential, and redesign of systems and jobs that address a future workforce.

Why This Research Is Important
Efficient forest operations are the key to achieving both landowner and public objectives in forest management.  Innovation helps to expand the range of possible operations producing greater public benefits.
  • Auburn University, Certificate, Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2020
  • University of Minnesota, Phd, Forest Operations, 1996
  • Duke University, MF, Forest Management, 1989
  • Doane College, Bs, Biology, 1987
Professional Experience
  • Professor and Extension Specialist,  Auburn University,  2000 - 2019
    Dr Smidt developed and supported the statewide logger education and training program for Alabama and conducted a variety of applied research on logging safety, productivity, cost, and transportation
  • Assistant Extension Specialist,  University of Kentucky,  1997 - 2000
    As the timber harvesting specialist Dr. Smidt contributed the the statewide logger education program and conducted applied research in logging productivity and the environmental impacts of logging.
Professional Organizations
  • Forestry Sector Chair 2012-2017,  National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA),  2007 - Current
    Contributed to the AgFF agenda for the second and third decades of NORA
  • Council of Forest Engineering,  1997 - Current
    Executive committee for annual meeting in 2002 and 2010
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF),  1998 - 2018
    War Eagle Chapter Chair, Alabama Continuing Ed Coordinator, Southeastern Chair, Committee on Forest Technology School Accreditation
Awards & Recognition
  • SAF Fellow, 2016
  • FRA Southcentral Region Technical Writing Award, 2016
  • SESAF Public Education and Technology Transfer Award, 2008
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Citations of Non-Forest Service Publications
  • Granzow R, Schall M, Smidt M, Chen H, Fethke N, Huangfu R. 2018. Characterizing exposure to physical risk factors among reforestation hand planters in the Southeastern United States. Applied Ergonomics 66:1-8.

    Jernigan P, Gallagher T, Mitchell D, Smidt M, Teeter L. 2016. High tonnage harvesting and skidding for loblolly pine energy plantations. Forest Products Journal 66(3):185-191.

    Lynch S, Smidt MF, Merrill P, Sesek R. 2014. Incidence of MSDs and neck and back pain among logging machine operators in the Southern U.S. Journal of Ag Safety and Health 20(3):211-218.

    South DB, Smidt M. 2014. Pine, in Cellulosic Energy Cropping Systems (ed D.L. Karlen), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.

    Xu Y, Smidt MF, Zhang Y. 2014. Logging worker wage, performance, and experience. Forest Products Journal 64(5):210-216.

    Smidt MF, Zhang Y, Zheng B. 2012. Financial assessment of logging residue collection in the southeast United States. Forest Products Journal 62(1):10-17.

    Smidt MF, McDaniel J. 2012. Utilization, cost, and landowner return from whole-tree chipping young loblolly pine thinnings. Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering 33(2):211-223.