Mr. Tom Busch

He is the “Father of Forestry Mechanization in the South.”  Mr. Busch was a pioneer in the harvesting, handling, and transporting forest products.  As a forester, developer, and inventor with International Paper, his machines radically improved harvesting productivity.  He developed or improved many machines; his most notable accomplishments are the Busch Combine and TH-100, timber harvesters.

Professor Thomas J. Corcoran, Jr.

He served on the forestry faculty at University of Maine for 35 years where he created and lead the forest engineering program.  Professor Corcoran was an internationally renowned scholar with many publications, achievements, and recognitions.  His career included much service to forest engineering; he spent his life advancing the profession.  He served forest engineering, COFE, and SR. COFE faithfully.

Mr. George Cronwall

He provided leadership in forest operations and logging in the Northwest.  Mr. Cronwall helped initiate the Pacific Logging Congress and further the development of new technologies in forest operations.  His efforts were instrumental in the development of the earlier forest engineering programs at University of Washington, Oregon State University, and the University of British Columbia.

Professor Bernard E. Fernow

He was the first professional forester in North America and probably should be considered the “Father of Forest Engineering.”  Professor Fernow’s most notable contribution was his leadership in establishing the first Forest Engineering program in North America at Cornell University.  He also promoted forest engineering as a discipline.  He had an outstanding career which included first chief of U.S. Forest Service.

Professor Donald M. Matthews

He was Professor of Forest Management at the University of Michigan and is known for his text “Cost Control in the Logging Industry.”  He is the “Father of Forest Engineering Economics.”  Professor Matthews developed logging analyses methodologies that are still used today and helped define forest engineering as a separate discipline.

Professor Henry R. “Pat” Paterson

He was Professor, Department Head, and Professor Emeritus at Oregon State University, a career of 37 years as an educator.  He was instrumental in the development of forest engineering, a leader in the education and training of forest engineers, a pioneer of the profession, and distinguished teacher.  He was a stalwart role model, a guide for all forest engineers.

Professor J. Kenneth Pearce

He was a registered professional engineer and served as Professor and Professor Emeritus of Logging Engineering at the University of Washington.  Professor Pearce studied logging operations in many countries and served as advisor to the World Bank on the improvements of logging operations.  He contributed much to the profession through his teaching and textbooks.

Mr. Glenn M. Plummer

As harvesting development manager for Georgia Kraft, he provided leading edge mechanization for timber harvesting.  Mr. Plummer developed timber harvesting production and cost data, and was foremost in many technology developments in the South.  He provided substantial technical and leadership contributions to forest engineering, and was a pioneer in harvesting education and research.

Mr. C. Ross Silversides

A forest engineering graduate, he served as Woodlands Manager for Abatibi Paper Company, later was responsible for harvesting research with the Canadian Forest Service, and after retirement served as an advisor to the Canadian National Institute of Science.  He was a consultant on many forest engineering projects around the world, authored many publications, and coauthored two books.  He received many awards and much recognition for his achievements, including two honorary doctoral degrees.

1997 HONOREES Dr. Ivar Samset and Professor Thomas A. Walbridge, Jr.

Dr. Ivar Samset
Dr. Samset served as Researcher and Research Leader in Forest Operations at the Norwegian Forestry Research Organization, 1949-1958, and served as Professor in Forest Operations at the Norwegian Forest Research Institute and Norwegian College of Forestry, 1956-1988, and Emeritus thereafter. He has published extensively in his 50+ year career, having several notable textbooks. His strong character and untiring efforts helped propel forest operations and forest engineering to the forefront of academic and applied research and application. He has served in many areas of leadership, and has received numerous honors and awards, including an honorary doctorate from Sweden.

Professor Thomas A. Walbridge, Jr.
Professor Walbridge served as staff forester, 1953-1967, Project Director of American Pulpwood Association Harvesting Research Project, 1967-1973, Professor of Industrial Forestry Operations, Department of Forestry, School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, VPI, 1973-1989, Professor Emeritus, 1989-1997, President of T.A. Walbridge and Associates, 1989-1997. He was instrumental in developing industrial research and promoting mechanization in the South. He has been an avid researcher and author, leader in the profession, and outstanding educator. His efforst helped establish COFE and he has taught and counseled many of the foresters and forest engineers working around the world today. He has made many contributions to forest engineering and has received many honors, but “Doc” is most noted for his genuine love and concern for the profession, for his students, his friends, and his colleagues.


Pierre Francois Joseph Abeels

Professor Abeels was born in Belgium and received his training as an engineer in agronomy with a speciality in forestry.  He served as Chief Engineer in the Congo and then in similar positions in Belgium.  He then had research leadership positions with FAO in Africa and with the University of Louvain in Belgium.  He took on a lifetime of teaching and research assignments with the university, having recently retired as Professor Emeritus.  During his career he served as a Visiting Professor in Algeria, Morocco, Germany, and Benin.  He provides consultations in Africa, Near East, Malaysia, Nepal, and many other countries.  His speciality areas are off-road locomotion, tractive relations, and soil trafficability.  He is a noted researcher, teacher, inventor, publisher, and leader in the forest engineering profession.   He has published over 200 articles and the book, Génie Forestier.

Professor Abeels has received many awards and recognitions with the latest becoming a Fellow in ASAE and receiving their Kishida International Award.   He speaks four languages and has served as an able “ambassador” for forest engineering all over the world.

Ulf Sundberg

Professor Sundberg was a graduate of the Royal College of Forestry in Stockholm.  He was a Professor at the Department of Operational Efficiency at the Swedish Forest Research Institute, which later became the Faculty of Forestry of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.  He also served as Head of the University Campus at Garpenberg.  Other duties and positions included Visiting Professor at Yale, Head of Forest Logging and Transport Branch at FAO, and consultancies in 13 countries. Professor Sundberg also served as Vice Chair of the FAO/ECE/ILO Committee on Forest Operations.  He published over 87 scientific reports and papers, 14 textbooks, and 90 general papers.

During his life, Professor Sundberg received many honors.  He was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Forestry and Agriculture, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Royal Norwegian Academy of Science.  He was a Knight and Commander of the Royal Swedish Order of the Northern Pole Star.  He was an honorary member of the Forest Students Association and IUFRO, and he also received several honorary doctorates.

He is remembered for his love and enthusiasm for forest engineering and his personal and professional contributions to the profession and to those who knew him and had the opportunity to work with him.

1998 HONOREES Mr. Benjamin McMillan “Mac” Davis and Dr. Pentti Tapani Hakkila

Mr. Benjamin McMillan “Mac” Davis
He was born in 1921 in Alabama. Mac received his Agricultural Engineering degree from Auburn University in 1943. He served in the US Army 1943-1946. Much of his career was in all aspects of woodlands operations with International Paper, 1946-1978. He served as logging engineer for 9 of those years. Mac helped develop or developed mechanical unloading, rail woodyard, barge swamp logging, barge woodyard, mechanized systems, and comprehensive logging training programs. From 1978-1981, he organized and managed the harvesting division of the Jari Project in Brazil with over 1500 employees. Currently he heads Systems consultants and fishes in south Alabama.

Dr. Pentti Tapani Hakkila
He was born in 1935 in Finland. He received his BF and DF degrees from University of Helsinki and M.S. from Michigan State University. He currently serves as Professor of Forest Operations with the Finnish Forest Research Institute and is semi-retired. Other positions with the Institute included Research Officer, Research Specialist in small-sized timber, Research Professor of Biomass Utilization. He also served as Special Lecturer of Forestry and Docent of Wood Science at University of Helsinki. Pentti has over 266 publications on wood utilization and harvesting. His main research areas have been small-sized operations, residue utilization, wood energy, and thinning systems. He has served on many national and international organizations, and on consultancies all over the world.

2012 HONOREE Bryce Stokes


Dr. Bryce Stokes has made many professional contributions to the forest industry.  His many work activities have included:  industrial research, USFS research, USFS agency administration, education (affiliate professor, Auburn University), and consultant.  He is currently employed by CNJV, LLC, a Department of Energy (DOE) contractor.  He is a Senior Advisor to the Biomass Program of the DOE in Washington, D.C.  His principal duties included leading the forestry portion of the Billion Ton Report update (a national assessment of potential biomass supply), conducting analyses, and providing strategic and tactical advice.  Since arrival at the DOE, he has been involved with three major tasks with an interagency wood utilization working group: 1) developing a strategy and website for the utilization of biomass from wind disturbances; 2) development of a model business plan for a biomass collection yard and business; and 3) initiating and supporting a partnership effort of federal, private, professional, environmental, and other non-government organizations to develop a national roadmap for the sustainable development and use of wood for energy.  From 5/98-1/09 he worked for the USFS Research & Development (R&D) in Washington, D.C., where he served as the National Program Leader for forest operations research programs.  Other staffing and programmatic responsibilities included bioenergy and climate change.  From 1/02-11/02 he served as a Congressional Fellow for Representative John E. Peterson.  From 7/91-5/98 he worked for the USFS R&D as Project Leader where he developed and managed research programs, worked on budgeting and fiscal management, and supervised an engineering research unit.  From 10/80-7/91 he worked as a research engineer for the USFS.  From 6/78-10/80 he worked as a Harvesting Engineer for Weyerhaeuser Company.  His research has focused on harvesting systems improvements to reduce costs and negative environmental impacts.  Bryce has had many leadership positions while being a member of COFE including: Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer of the SR.COFE from 1986 to 1998, Member and Chair of the Policy and Awards Committees for many years, and Co-Chair of the 2009 COFE Annual Meeting.

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