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North Carolina State University Names West to Head Furniture Safety Testing:

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Dr. Harvey A. West has joined the staff of the Furniture Manufacturing and Management Center at North Carolina State University. Dr. West will serve as Furniture Extension Specialist with responsibility to establish and direct a laboratory for the testing and evaluation of furniture materials, components, and products. According to Dr. Tom Culbreth, Director of the FMM Center, the testing laboratory will provide a significant resource for the furniture industry, particularly in North Carolina and Virginia. The Furniture program has been involved in the mechanical testing of sealing since the 1960s and this new initiative is a significant expansion of that activity. "We felt the time was right to ramp up our testing and evaluation efforts since the level of consumer product regulation is increasing, performance standards are becoming more prevalent in the US and in export markets, and the proliferation of new materials and construction techniques continues to accelerate." "We are very fortunate to have someone as capable and personable as Harvey directing this activity for the Center. His academic training and past experience make him a superb person to develop and direct the lab. As a materials scientist, he understands the behavior of wood, metals, and other furniture materials at a molecular level. As an engineer, he appreciates the performance requirements and the cost/manufacturability constraints faced by furniture producers." Dr. West earned a Ph.D in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State University and is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina. Prior to joining the FMM Center, he was manager of the Raleigh, NC, branch of Materials Analytical Services, a private testing laboratory. Before that, he was in charge of the testing facilities in the Materials Science and Engineering Department of NC State and taught courses on the characterization of the mechanical behavior of materials including composites. He is very familiar with the use and development of testing protocols as well as the design of experiments and fixtures. The FMM Center is seeking input from furniture manufacturers as to their immediate and long-term testing needs. Dr. West can be reached at (919) 515-3335 to discuss your concerns and suggestions.

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