Wood is the most renewable and sustainable material on the planet which provides both environmental and performance benefits. Thus, by ensuring sustainable forest practices and regenerating this natural product there are real possibilities to significantly improve the environmental credentials of the building and construction industry by choosing timber in the built environment.
Our research focuses on value adding to plantation timber resources through the manufacture of high value wood products. Major areas of research include the utilisation of young plantation timbers for high value wood products; innovative methods for timber drying; decorative wood veneer technology and veneered products; wood waste reduction and waste utilisation; wood products performance in various environmental conditions; reusing and recycling wood materials and products; value-chain analysis for plantation wood products; timber as sustainable and renewable building material.
Our interest is in enhancing key elements in value chain of wood products manufactured from plantation grown wood (e.g. through maximising value, improving production efficiency).
The research is undertaken through large international collaborative projects in South-East Asia, Papua New Guinea and Europe.
Our research provides guidelines to the forest products industry in sustainable use of timber for high-value wood products from a changing resource base. The introduction of environmentally friendly production methods and eco-friendly designed products will potentially create an on-going culture of production of ecologically sustainable wood products.
More Sustainable and Renewable Forest Products
- Barbara Ozarska (Assoc. Professor), Barbara is a timber engineer whose research focuses on value-added utilization of plantation timber for high value wood products based on solid wood, veneers and engineered wood.
- Gerry Harris (Research Fellow), Gerry's research focuses on developing innovative wood drying methods for high value wood products, in particular for Australian eucalypts.
- Dr Benoit Belleville (Postdoctoral Fellow), Benoit is a wood engineer whose research focuses on wood as a sustainable and renewable material, with a particular emphasis on timber engineering, engineered wood products and mechanical properties of timber.
- Adam Redman (Research Fellow), Adam is an engineer whose research improves the quality, utilisation and cost of primary and secondary processing of sustainable wood products for domestic and international industries.
- Karnita Yuniarti (PhD candidate), Karnita aims to investigate the suitability of intermittent drying for Eucalyptus saligna in order to improve its drying quality.
- Azrena Abdul Karim (PhD candidate), Azrena investigates how to improve the performance of surface coatings on solid wood used in exterior applications.
- Ratih Damayanti (PhD candidate), Ratih investigates wood quality of young fast grown plantation teak (Tectona grandis Linn. F) for high value products.
- Jamaludin Malik (PhD candidate), Jamaludin aims to enhance timber quality of jabon wood (Anthocepalus cadamba) for high quality products by treatment through densification and impregnation with merbau extractives.
- Alexander Vittouris (PhD candidate), Alexander is and industrial designer whose PhD study investigates seasonal, emerging bamboo culms in order to form angular, grouped structures through pre-harvest shaping.
- Khamtan Phonetip (PhD candidate), Khamtan investigates the optimized drying methods for plantation Eucalyptus camaldulensis using solar kilns for Laos’ climatic conditions.
- Robert Lee McGavin (PhD candidate), investigates the feasibility of small-log processing to produce structural grade veneer from juvenile sub-tropical and tropical hardwood plantations.
- Ngoc Bao Nguyen (PhD candidate), Ngoc analyses the potential production of multilaminar (reconstructed) veneer from low quality eucalyptus and acacia plantations grown in Vietnam.
- Vendy Eko Prasetyo (PhD candidate) , Vendy investigates how to maximise wood yield in the utilisation of young plantation tropical timbers of inferior quality.
- Ibrahim Ali (PhD candidate), Ibrahim investigates the ecological benefits of termite soil interaction and microbial symbiosis in the soil ecosystem in two climatic regions of Australia.
- Khalid Alaboudi (PhD candidate), Khalid investigates the challenge of bioremediation in mining sites using biological agents such as termites, termite microbial community and microwave technology to manage and control mining site contamination and to stop irreparable damages.
- Ahmed El-Hadad (PhD candidate), Ahmed investigates the role of Non-Destructive Technology in detecting and locating termites and decay fungi in timber-in-service.
- Nathan Kotlarewski (PhD candidate, joint supervision between Swinburne University of Technology & The University of Melbourne), Nathan aims to generate design solutions for new commercial applications of balsa wood (Ochroma pyramidale, syn. O. lagopus) grown in plantations in Papua New Guinea.
- Philip Ashley (MPhil candidate), Philip investigates innovative use of CNC wood processing technology for the flexible manufacture of furniture.
- Trevor Galgal (MPhil candidate) , Trevor studies a streamlined life cycle assessment of solar and conventional timber drying kilns in PNG and Australia.