Mathew Smidt

Research Forester/Engineer
521 Devall Drive
Auburn, AL 36849-5418
Phone: 334-826-8700 x122

Current Research

Research on system innovations in forest operations are directed toward improving performance and reducing cost.  In some cases performance and cost improvements are coincident, like in timber harvests. In other situations like biomass fuel treatments achieving the best possible result given the economic constraint is the objective. While we often focus on machines and methods in forest operations research, the human as source of manual labor or as a machine operator is the most critical component of system performance.  As a research focus the concerns are for safety and health at work, controls and interfaces than enhance system performance, training systems that help capture system potential, and redesign of systems and jobs that address a future workforce.

Why This Research is Important

Efficient forest operations are the key to achieving both landowner and public objectives in forest management.  Innovation helps to expand the range of possible operations producing greater public benefits.


Certificate in Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2020
Auburn University
Phd in Forest Operations, 1996
University of Minnesota
MF in Forest Management, 1989
Duke University
Bs in Biology, 1987
Doane College

Professional Experience

Professor and Extension Specialist, Auburn University

Dr Smidt developed and supported the statewide logger education and training program for Alabama and conducted a variety of applied research on logging safety, productivity, cost, and transportation

Assistant Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

As the timber harvesting specialist Dr. Smidt contributed the the statewide logger education program and conducted applied research in logging productivity and the environmental impacts of logging.

Professional Organizations

  • National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), Forestry Sector Chair 2012-2017 (2007—Current)
  • Council of Forest Engineering, (1997—Current)
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF), (1998—2018)

Awards and Recognition

SAF Fellow, 2016
FRA Southcentral Region Technical Writing Award, 2016
SESAF Public Education and Technology Transfer Award, 2008

Featured Publications and Products


Research Highlights

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