January 2017 Newsletter

The Wood Technology Society
19 Jan 2017

Wood Technology Society January 2017 Newsletter


Welcome to the January 2017 newsletter from the Wood Technology Society, firstly to start with an apology, there has been a hiatus in the newsletter, a year ago the board changed as Andrew True stepped down as chair of the WTS, our line of succession moved up and the new Chair, John Park, and Vice Chair, Graham Ormondroyd taking on their new role and finding their feet.  


But here is 2017 and the reinvigoration of the newsletter, as tradition dictates, penned by the Vice Chair, Graham Ormondroyd. Four times a year, and alongside Materials Word, the newsletter will bring new and views from the wood science community and the industry that it supports. As always your news and views will be of interest to our community and I encourage you to send them through to me for addition to the publication.


Napier University’s Prof. Dan Ridley-Ellis becomes a Woodland Hero


Professor Dan Ridley-Ellis (WTS Board Member) and his team at Edinburgh Napier University become only the second recipients of the award, established last year by the Grown in Britain movement. In being named Woodland Hero 2016, Dan was praised for his and his team’s research into the growth and use of domestically grown timber and how this may be affected by a changing environment and by forest management.


Their work has changed the perception of the quality of the wood, enabled better processing and grading, and is providing information to support new planting that will shape the forests for decades to come, improving species diversity and resilience against pests, diseases and climate change.


Grown in Britain brings together people who value British trees, woods and forests and the products made from them. The movement is designed to help create a sustainable wood culture that connects people, companies and organisations to our woods and forests and the environment they provide. GiB has established a licensing scheme that allows timber to be marked to ensure the forests and woods it came from have been managed in accordance with the Government’s UK forestry and public procurement standards.


Dougal Driver, CEO of Grown in Britain, said: “Dan and his team have carried out vital research on the properties of timber grown in the British Isles and in particular the factors that affect the quality of sawn timber for construction. “He is a world expert on timber grading, resource assessment and segregation of timber into the most appropriate markets and we are fortunate to have him on the Grown in Britain ‘team’ and leading the charge for home-grown timber.


“The Woodland Hero award is aimed at the people who make things happen, whether in the public gaze or in the vital work behind the scenes. Dan’s work on standards, grading and British Standards is largely unseen, and we want to change that as he is a true Grown in Britain Woodland Hero.”


(For full story Click Here)


Massive investment in Forest Products Research in Slovenia


The University of Primorska and its partners were awarded a major grant by the EC to support forest sector and construction sector research, development, and innovation.


The European Commission recognised the potential of the consortium of Slovene partners, led by the University of Primorska, and awarded it with a grant of almost 15 million Euros to establish the Renewable Materials and Healthy Environments Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence (InnoRenew CoE). The Government of the Republic of Slovenia added 30 million Euros of investment funding to boost development of the new research centre.


Look out for the full story in Materials World.



SWST convention and XV EBRAMEM joint session, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

Dr Morwenna Spear FIMMM


In March 2016 I travelled to Brazil to present a paper at the SWST International Convention. I was also keen to gain insight into Brazilian timber structures and green roofs and façades for the NRN-LCEE Plants and Architecture cluster, who kindly paid my travel expenses. This was my first visit across the Atlantic to an SWST event, and I found an enthusiastic band of wood scientists, technologists and experts in many related fields. By holding the event in Paraná state, in the South of Brazil, they attracted researchers and industry from this region of Brazil, which has a healthy forest products industry based on pine and to eucalyptus. There were also representatives present from the more tropical side of Brazilian forestry, for example we heard a very interesting talk from Juscelino Portela, a timber merchant in Manaus (Amazonas), dealing with many small mills harvesting Amazonian timbers. The insights into seasonality, forest management, diversity of timbers and the IBAMA procedures which ensure sustainable forest management of this sensitive region were very enlightening and encouraging.


The final day of the SWST event was held as a joint conference with the EBRAMEM conference – with a large number of Brazilian wood technologists, architects and timber traders. The sessions included a very well presented talk on the development of an affordable housing timber frame company in Paraná state, by Pedro Moreira (Tech Verde); an exciting overview of glulam production (which has increased exponentially in Brazil since approx. 2008) by Neto Calil Neto (Rewood); and a showstopper by Katherine Lehmann (Blumer-Lehmann, Switzerland). This featured some awe inspiring CLT and Glulam constructions with multiple curves, designed not only fully assembled on site from for example five and a half thousand individual pieces; but designed to be shipped within the dimensional constraints of a shipping container! Unusually for a timber conference, the audience were out of their seats for a standing ovation before the questions!

I was inspired by many good examples of timber structures, design and sustainable infrastructure presented by the researchers, but also during a field tour, and later while travelling in Brazil. The tour of the city of Curitiba showed some traditional timber construction methods in service. Many houses are of the vertical plank type, and we saw other examples of log based construction (which arrived with Polish and other European immigrants) at different locations in the city (Fig 1a). Modern structures with machined round wood were also prevalent, such as the Unilivre structure, an approximately 3 storey helical structure, with a walkway circling the various class rooms, and rising towards a view point at the top (Fig 1b). Unilivre was set up in 1991 as a free university, and offers courses in a range of environmental protection and sustainability. The architecture is said to repeat the colours and the four elements of nature: earth, water, air and fire.



Figure 1 (a) Polish log cabins at Bosque do Papa, which commemorates the visit of Pope John Paul II, (b) Structure formed from machined roundwood at Unilivre.





Society News


New access to All Taylor & Francis journals


Management of the Institutes journal publishing activity changed in the middle of 2015 as the business of Maney Ltd was acquired by Taylor & Francis Group, an important and significant business within the global technology publishing arena.


The publishing activity of IOM3 has been seamlessly transferred to Taylor & Francis stewardship, and during the last year, this change of ownership has provided new opportunities both for IOM3 and its members. The new relationship is working well, and by the start of 2017, will deliver a major change to electronic journal access. Effectively, all IOM3 members, at all grades, will have access to almost 80 additional journal titles in the Taaylor & Francis materials science collection, providing a threefold increase in available journal content. New specific areas of coverage will include nanotechnology, biomaterials and adhesion, together with a much broader range of titles for minerals, wood, surface engineering and other materials disciplines.


Members will continue to have full electronic access to the IOM3 portfolio of journals. In addition, members will also be able to purchase books published by CRC Press (the books division of the Taylor & Francis Group) at a special discounted rate. The new access capabilities will be embodied within your individual members’ subscription fee and will be accessible via the IOM3 website. The secure members-only publications area of the IOM3 website will be developed during the latter part of 2016 and wider electronic journal access and books discount launched by the start of 2017.



Board Member Martin Ansell wins Prestigious Award


Dr Martin Ansell (below left), University of Bath and WTS Board member, has recently been awarded the IOM3 Outstanding Service Award for service to the Institute and the Wood Science community in general. Martin picked up his award at the 2016 Premier Awards Dinner.





Martin has served for many years as Reader in Materials (Associate Professor) in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and is an active and influential Board member of the Wood Technology Society (WTS). He joined the Institute of Wood Science (IWSc) in the mid-1980s, taking an active role in the Western Counties branch of the IWSc and serving as Chairman for several years. Martin was awarded Fellowship of the IWSc in 1986, and was soon invited to join the national Board of the IWSc, becoming President for the statutory two year period 1994 - 1996. And has continued to serve throughout the transition to the WTS. He was awarded FIMMM status in 2002.


During his long service of IWSc he co-organised the annual conferences in Bristol, Edinburgh and Bath. Martin has been at the forefront of academic research concerning wood, wood composites and natural fibre composites. In addition to a large number of academic papers, and editing a recent textbook on Wood Composites, Dr Ansell has contributed several articles to IOM3 MADE magazine, and features on timber engineering to the WTS web site.


If you want to nominate somebody for one of the Institutes many prestigious awards entries for the 2017 awards are now open
(For information Click Here)


Congratulations to TPP scholars


2016 saw 14 students pass the Timber and Panel Products, with 11 more students being examined in November, congratulations to all.


In other news PiABC (the awarding body for Institute qualifications) have been granted an extension to the TPP qualification in Scotland until 2019.


If you are interested in the TPP qualification for you or your staff please contact the Institutes training academy or one of your local approved trainers (details on the website).


Find Us on Social Media


You can find and interact with the Wood Technology Society on the following platforms, come and join the debate!


LinkedIn: The Wood Technology Society (WTS,IOM3)

Twitter:  @wood_technology

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