Our aim is to create knowledge and build capability in the innovative uses of sustainably-managed timber resources for high-performance timber products. 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. The Group works closely with architects, engineers, and other professionals to provide sustainable solutions for structural and non-structural applications.
Through national and international research collaborations in Australia, South-East Asia, Papua New Guinea and Europe, the Group is leading or is involved in multiple projects in the field of value-adding to plantation timber resources. Our research is addressing the issues of utilisation of young plantation timbers to enhance value-adding through the development of high-value wood products and engineered wood products; innovative processing and manufacturing technologies; wood waste reduction and waste utilisation; wood products performance in various environmental conditions and value-chain analysis for plantation wood products.
For more than 15 years, the Sustainable and Renewable Forest Products Group has been actively involved in international aid program initiatives with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), with projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, Lao PDR and Papua New Guinea to a total value of $9.3 million. The Group has developed a unique expertise in developing innovative wood processing industries to enhance markets for planted timber resources. ACIAR projects are an important part of the Group’s work and the vision is to maintain its important role in assisting developing countries to further enhance their teaching and R&D in wood science and to support their industries in adopting innovative wood processing and manufacturing technologies.
The Sustainable and Renewable Forest Products Group has been very successful in attracting externally funded international students with a high rate of successful completion. The Group will continue working with postgraduate students working on innovative research projects.
More on our research activities
- Barbara Ozarska (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.
- Dr Benoit Belleville (Research Fellow), Benoit is a research fellow and wood engineer whose research focuses timber engineering, engineered wood products, wood adhesion, and mechanical properties of timber.
- Peter Edwin (PhD candidate), Peter is currently developing a multi-criterion optimisation framework for reducing the greenhouse (GHG) emissions associated with hardwood processing in Papua New Guinea.
- Vendy Eko Prasetyo (PhD candidate), Vendy conducting research to improve the production efficiency of medium-size Indonesian wood furniture companies.
- Ngoc Bao Nguyen (PhD candidate), Ngoc analyses the potential production of multilaminar (reconstructed) veneer from low quality eucalyptus and acacia plantations grown in Vietnam.
- 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.
- Phongxiong Wenneng (PhD candidate), , Phongxiong is investigating the impact of selected wood characteristics and properties on the market price of plantation-grown teak logs (Tectona grandis Linn.F) in Lao People Democratic Republic.
- Bernard Gibson (PhD candidate) , Bernie is currently developing a system to attenuate low-frequency structure-borne sound in multi-storey timber buildings.
- Johannes Ferhmann
- Kristopher Orlowski
- Prof Voytek Gutowski
- Dr Con Adam
- Dr Jun Li Yang
- Mr Martin Strandgard
- Mr Phil Blackwell
The wood technology laboratory at Burnley Campus is equipped with a wide range of dedicated equipment for researchers and postgraduate students to undertake studies on physical and mechanical properties of wood species, wood composites, and the performance and durability of wood products. The list of laboratory equipment is provided below:
Instron Universal Testing Machine
Designed for testing mechanical properties of solid, composite, and engineered wood products and assessing bondline strength. The machine is equipped with a 50 kN load cell and most standard tools and fixtures (bending, tension, compression, compression-shearing, hardness).
Hot and cold laboratory press
Tonnage: 25 tons
Platens: 23 cm x 30 cm with a daylight of 13 cm
Temperature: ambient to 315°C
Designed to apply a vertical or horizontal (or both) load to laminated workpieces (up to 3 m long, 1.5 m high, and 30 cm wide) and equipped with pressure load cells to monitor the pressing pressure.
Conveyor and Air Brush Spaying System
Designed to treat wood products with chemicals/coating systems in a controlled environment to ensure repeatability (e.g. water-soluble chemicals solutions, preservatives, fire-retardants).
QUV Accelerated Weathering Unit
Equipment allowing testing materials by exposing them to alternating cycles of UV light and moisture at controlled and elevated temperatures. In a few days or weeks, the QUV tester can reproduce the damage that occurs over months or years outdoors.
Operating range: Up to 135°C and 0.263 MPa
Effective volume: 36 litres
Operating range: 0 to 30 in.Hg; 0 to 100 psi
Capacity: 11.4 litres
Conditioning and Termite Rooms
Two 10 m3 conditioning rooms and one temperature and humidity cabinet (150 litres) which allow precise control of temperature (10°C to 60°C) and relative humidity (20% to 95% RH). One accelerated field simulator (AFS) and/or termite conditioned room for termite and wood decay testing facilities.
Laboratory kilns (3) & Solar kiln
All equipped with data acquisition and programmable controller units to control the temperature and RH conditions. The lab kiln volumes are 0.39 m3.
For testing changes of colour of veneer or coated wood samples after exposure to UV light.
High-Temperature Laboratory Furnace
Temperature: +300 to 1200°C
Capacity: 15 litres
Pull-Off Adhesion Tester
For the mechanical assessment of the performance of coatings and finishing systems on wood samples.