This year marks the ten-year anniversary of official collaborations in research, teaching, and outreach between the UTIA Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC) and Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (SUAS) in Austria. With a campus in Urstein, Austria, as well as in Kuchl, Austria (a city that is known by some as the “Wood Capital of the World”), Salzburg University aligns closely with the research activities of the CRC in the areas of material science and forest products technology. Since the onset of this international partnership, twenty-one Austrian and German student research interns have been hosted by UTIA, seven Austrian and German students have completed joint MS degrees from UT and Salzburg University, and three UT students have completed research internships at Salzburg. Joint efforts between the institutions have also led to four Process Technologies for the Forest and Biobased Products Industries (PTF BPI) conferences since 2010, hosted on a biennial cycle and alternating between the US and Austria/Germany locations. Growing the reputation of UT, Tim Young was received as both a Fulbright “Scholar” (2013) and Fulbright “Specialist” (2016) in Austria. Young commented on the positive impact this type of collaboration has on international visibility of UTIA: “UTIA has a great reputation in Central Europe. The Fulbright awards created many introductions for me and allowed me to collaborate with other universities, including BOKU Vienna, Technical University of Munich, University of Ljubljana, and University of Zagreb. I believe these collaborations are great examples of fostering international outreach and awareness of UTIA programs across European universities that have excellent recognition.”
Led by Tim Young and Adam Taylor, the UTIA and SUAS partnership has flourished through exchanges of students and faculty. The first Austrian intern, Elizabeth Kastner, came to UTIA in 2006 after being invited by Tim Rials of the CRC. Not only did she meet the expectations of UTIA CRC faculty and staff, she set an outstanding reputation for Salzburg students that has yet to be diminished. Anton Astner (Salzburg) set a new tone to the partnership. Conducting his research at the CRC, he completed his dual MS program in just one year, receiving a degree from both UTIA and Salzburg. He now is pursuing his doctorate in BESS through his research at the CRC. The most recent J1 research interns, Franziska Gasteiger and Julian Hamernik, completed their internships this month at the CRC.
As a critical component of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), Young and Taylor, Joseph Bozell, and other UTIA faculty regularly travel to Austria to teach, serve as keynote speakers, and participate in conferences. CRC has two adjunct faculty, Alexander Petutschnigg and Marius-Catalin Barbu, from Salzburg University actively engaged in teaching and research collaborations. Meanwhile, Young travels to Austria for two weeks every year, lecturing on statistical process control, design of experiments, and process development, an area of specialization he can offer to their curriculum. On beginning his involvement as an assistant professor, Young comments, “For me, it’s been a career highlight, a personal highlight. As long as I am at UTIA and for the rest of my career, I’ll probably continue to highlight it.” And so, what next? Young notes, “[Salzburg University] asks me every year if we can send more students from UT to Austria.” As the partnership continues to flourish, opportunities from the Smokies to the Alps abound.
This article was submitted by the UTIA Smith International Center (formerly, UTIA International Programs), which exists to advance the international engagement of the UTIA by empowering faculty, staff, and students to think and act globally in pursuit of sustainable solutions to our world’s agricultural, food, and natural resource challenges. Visit for additional information and resources.
Salzburg University campus 
A picture of the SUAS campus, click here for photo credit.
Current Austrian interns and students 
Current Austrian interns and students from Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. (From L to R) Christoph Metzner (MS FOR Sustainable Biomaterials concentration);
Franziska Gasteiger (J1 Research Intern); Julian Hamernik (J1 Research Intern); Anton Astner (2011 MS forestry graduate, currently H1B Research Associate at CRC).

Young with an undergraduate class in Austria

Young with a graduate class in Austria