In 2009, before the ink dried on Joe’s Ph.D., he joined the Fire Tower team, where he will continue his groundbreaking work on keyed beams.
Joe’s interest in timber framing grew from a project he took on with his father, rebuilding an ancestral barn in southern Indiana. In Joe's freshman year at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, he attended a lecture by Ben Brungraber. Ben must have said something inspiring, because Joe ventured forth on an ambitious track that eventually led to a Masters in Civil Engineering at University of Wyoming. While in school, Joe conducted innovative research on the strength of wooden dowels - findings that significantly advanced the acceptance of timber frame construction among engineers and code officials.
Masters degree in hand, Joe had a two-year stint with Yankee Barn Homes in New Hampshire, doing engineering, lateral analysis, drafting and frame design. Next came a spell with Trillium Dell Timberworks in Illinois, where he refined his design, engineering and cutting skills in the shop. Meanwhile, Joe sought out a school where he could undertake intensive research on key laminated beams. Michigan Technological University gave him the green light, and now Joe has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering for his analytic methodology for the design and engineering of keyed beams. Concurrent to his advanced studies, Joe privately consulted on timber frame designs and taught on-line courses for Norwich University in Advanced Structural Analysis.
Joe’s trailblazing through the industry has led him to Fire Tower, a team that shares his passion for extending the reach of solid sawn timber.