Growing up in the mill town of Raymond, Washington, alumnus Thomas M. Maloney may have been destined to wind up in the wood products industry. In fact, he spent his entire professional career at Washington State University working with wood.
Now professor emeritus, Maloney was director of the Wood Materials Engineering Laboratory in the College of Engineering and Architecture from 1972 until 1996. Last summer, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Society of Wood Science and Technology for his “extraordinary career contributions to the wood science and technology profession.”
Earning a degree in industrial arts at Washington State in 1956, Maloney led research and development in wood composites for four decades and strengthened the laboratory’s international programs. He expanded the lab’s research focus from products that increase efficient use of forest materials, such as particleboard and other wood composite materials, to adhesives, adhesion, and wood engineering.
In 1967, he founded the International WSU Particleboard/Composite Materials Symposium. Each spring the symposium attracts as many as 500 people to Pullman from some 30 countries. He also oversaw construction of new laboratory facilities, completed in 1988.
The Pullman resident is a former president of the International Academy of Wood Scientists. He has been honored with the Forest Industries annual award (1988) and WSU’s Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service (1983) and Alumni Achievement Award (1999). He is the author of Modern Particleboard and Dry-Process Fiberboard Manufacturing, which is used throughout the world.