Professor Shuen-Chao Wu was born on March 2, 1927 at Chai-Yi, a city in southern Taiwan. Wu grew up near the forest train station, and frequently had the chance to see trains carrying huge logs. In his childhood, those scenes gave him a strange feeling and unforgettable deep image in his heart. Wu’s interest in forestry can be traced back to the summer of 1940. At the age of 13, Wu joined he boy scouts and had a chance to climb up to Mountain Morrison (also called Yushan, the highest mountain in northeast Asia), reaching its top to the height of 3950 meters above sea level. Through his many trips to the mountains, Wu had been able to observe many plants, such as bamboos, broadleaf trees and coniferous trees, from tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and sub frigid forests, gradually changing with increasing elevations. Since then, Wu grew up with a deep interest in bamboos, woods and forests.
From 1949 to 1953, Wu attended the National Taiwan University (NTU) and majored in Forestry. After graduation, up to 1956, he worked at National Forests (Taiwan Forest Bureau) as a forest staff member, and later continued his work at the Experimental Forest, National Taiwan University. Wu studied at the Graduate School of Forestry at the University of Tokyo, Japan from 1956-1962, and obtained a masters and doctorate degrees. In his six-year sojourn in Tokyo, Wu joined research work focusing on forest operation and wood utilization, and worked all over Japan. He presented many research papers in Japan and Taiwan. On August of 1962, Wu accepted an offer as associate professor, returning to his alma mater, the Department of Forestry, NTU. In 1965, Wu was promoted as professor, and continued his research works and teaching in Forestry for over 30 years. Under his guidance, 60 diploma students, 47 master students and 8 doctoral students achieved their degrees.
After his retirement in 1997, Wu continued to participate in forestry and academic activities by attending several forestry associations and some foundations. From 1972 to 1978, Wu was appointed as the chairman of the Department and Graduate School of Forestry, NTU. Under his exertion, the masters and doctorate degree programs were promoted. He also developed the scheme of the departmental program by dividing it into four units as “silviculture”, “resource management”, “forest industry” and “forest resources and conservation”. In 1978, Wu was invited as Visiting Professor in the University of Tokyo, where he undertook research works and strengthened the relationship between University of Tokyo and NTU. From 1981 to 1984, Wu took a position as the Dean of General Affairs of NTU, and had many outstanding achievements in the areas of forestry and administration. In 1988, Wu was invited as Visiting Professor in the Tokyo Agricultural University, Tokyo, and was actively involved in research works with scholars all over Japan.
As honorable positions, Wu holds the Professor Emeritus of National Taiwan University, Honorary President of Chinese Forest Products Association-Taiwan, the honorary member of the Chinese Forest Association-Taiwan, and the honorary member of Japanese Forest Engineering Association-Japan. 1. As the Representative of Taiwan (China-Taipei), Wu had participated eight times in the IUFRO World Congress, including the meetings from 16th to 22nd, and the Centennial Anniversary, from 1976 to 2005. His research papers were presented in IUFRO and other international meetings. As one of the previous IUFRO Executive Board Members, Wu attended several Board Meetings of IUFRO, traveling to many countries, such as Manaus-Brazil, Garpenberg-Sweden, Pointe-Noire-Congo, Portland-USA, Los Banas-Philippines, Prague-Czekoslavia, Quebec-Canada, Beijing-China, and San José-Costa Rica, etc.
He published over 200 research papers, including:
1. “Effects of Age, Node and Height in a Culm on Specific Gravity and Mechanical Properties of Bamboo”, 1966, Published in Department of Forestry, National Taiwan University (NTU) Report 1, PP 1-45.
2.“The Effect of the Cutting Rotation of Bamboo on its Mechanical Properties”, 1976, Published in New Horizons in Construction Materials, PP555-566, Evo Publishing Company, Inc., Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
3. “Study on the Structure of Bamboo Species Grown in Taiwan”, 1976, Published in the Dept. of Forestry, N.T.U., Bulletin No. 16, PP1-79.
4. “Research and Development of the Production and Utilization of Bamboo in Taiwan, R.O.C.” (The 17th IUFRO World Congress at Kyoto, Japan, September 6-17, 1981.)
5. “ The Structural Variation of Leptomorph Type and Pachymorph Type Bamboo Species”, 1986, Published in Forest Products Industries 5(2.):49-62.
6. “ The Ultrastructure of Vascular Bundles of Some Taiwan Bamboo Species, 1987, Published in Quart. Journ. Exp. For., N.T.U. 1(1):21-44.
7. Three research papers were presented in the 4th International Bamboo Workshop on Bamboo in Asia and Pacific, at Chiangmai, Thailand, November 27-30, 1991. a) Anatomical Characteristics of Taiwan giant bamboo and Moso bamboo. b) The ultrastructure of Taiwan giant bamboo and Moso bamboo. c) Structural variability of vascular bundles of some exotic bamboo species.
8. “The drying shrinkage of 3 rattan specie grown in Taiwan.” (IUFRO All-Division 5 Conference at Nancy, France. August 23-28, 1992)
9. “The Structural Variation of Recently Introduced Bamboo in Taiwan.” (Symposium on International Bamboo Industrial Utilization at Beijing, China, December 7-10, 1992.)
10. After the Beijing symposium, Wu visited An-Chi Bamboo Garden, near Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. Wu had collected 20 species involving 13 genera bamboo samples for his research work there. Later he had used those materials making several research achievements and published 7 related papers as follows: a) “The Anatomical Properties of some Bamboo Species Grown in Mainland China (1), (2), (3)”, 1995&1996, published in Quart. Journ. ExP. For. National Taiwan University 9(1): 93-119, 9(4): 53-70, 10(2):37-59. b) “The Ultrastructure of Bamboos Grown in Mainland China (1), (2), (3), 1995&1996”, published in the Forest Products Industries 14(4): 499-518, 15(1): 1-20, 15(2): 193-215. c) “The Ultrastructure of Phyllostachys Genus Bamboos Grown in Mainland China, 1996”, published in Quart. Journ. Exp. For., National Taiwan University 10(1):23.
11. “Movement of Water and Chemical Solution in Ma Bamboo and Moso Bamboos”. (1993 FPRS Annual Meeting, at Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A. , June 21-23, 1993.)
12. “The wood Properties of Acacia Mangium and Acacia Auriculiformis Grown in Taiwan” (“International Symposium on the Utilization of Fast-Growing Trees (ISUFGT), at Nanjing, China, October 16-18, 1994.
13. Physical and Mechanical Properties of Malaysian Commercial Rattan Species, 1995, Published in Quart. Journ. For., N.T.U., 9(1):19-31.
14. 2 papers were presented in the 40th Anniversary of Japan Wood Research Society at Tokyo, Japan, April 4-9, 1995. a) “Group analysis as applied to wood anatomy of Taxodiaceae members.” b) “A computer model developed for differentiating wood anatomical characteristics in members of Pinaceae.”
15. On November 26-28, 1996, Wu was invited to the “FORTROP’96: International Conference on Tropical Forestry in the 21st Century” at Bangkok, Thailand, and A statement of “Wood Utilization in the Tropics” as one of Conference Keynote Speakers. In this conference, Wu also had the honor as co-chairman with Prof. Walter Liese for portion of congress.
16. “ The Anatomical and Mechanical Properties of Bamboo Species” (IUFRO All Division 5 International Conference—Forest Products for sustainable Forestry, at Spokane, Washington, U.S.A., July 7-11, 1997.)
17. Anatomical and Mechanical Properties of 3 Thailand Bamboo Species, 1998, Published in the Forest Products Industries, 17 (1):19-31.
18. On early September, 1998, Wu visited “Bamboo Processing and Industrial Technology Training Center”, at Moin near San Jose, Costa Rica that was supported by Taiwanese Government for promoting and assisting Costa Rica’s farmers to raise up their income and techniques in cultivation and utilization of bamboos. And discussed some technical aids about their development in the future.
Dr. Wu joins us today, traveling all the way from Taiwan, to share his enthusiasm for bamboo with all the participants of the 9th World Bamboo Congress.