WELCOME to the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Forest Value’s first newsletter for 2020.
Our aim is to keep our affiliates informed of the exciting projects and research currently underway at the Centre, and to highlight some important milestones. One of our key goals is to produce industry ready graduates and researchers, and over the past four years we have seen our students excel in their research and make valuable connections and contributions within the forestry sector.
The Centre is proud to have such a strong calibre of talented PhD candidates and research fellows from all corners of the globe and the Centre is grateful to the partners and organisations committed to supporting and developing our candidates who help drive the Centre's research activity.
Congratulations to our first graduate, Dr Mohammad Derikvand, whose PhD identified practical methods for producing mass laminated timber from fibre-grown plantation Eucalyptus nitens for structural timber flooring systems in the built environment. Mohammad said the main highlight of his PhD journey was the high level of interaction with the Centre’s industry partners. You can read more about Mohammad’s journey below.
Another big congratulations to one of our PhD Candidates Sean Krisanski who recently received the 2020 Science and Innovation Award from the Australian Government’s, Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment. This award will help Sean develop an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to make it possible to collect forest canopy samples more safely, at a lower cost and at a much larger scale than existing canopy sample collection techniques.
This Saturday 21 March is International Day of Forests, which is an important day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all forest types. “Forests and Biodiversity: Too precious to lose” is this year’s theme and for the Centre’s PhD candidate Nicolò Camarretta it raises awareness on a topic he knows well.
Nicolò's recent paper published in Restoration Ecology, looked at the stability of species and provenance performance when translocated into different community assemblages. I encourage you to take a look at Nick’s paper.
This newsletter features many of the important projects currently underway at the Centre, as we progress through the first quarter of 2020 with a continued focus to build research capacity in the sector and celebrate our achievements and partnerships along the way. To find out more information on the Centre visit our website, click here.
Deputy Director Associate Professor Julianne O’Reilly-Wapstra
Tasmania leaves lasting impression for PhD graduate
WHEN Mohammad Derikvand moved to Tasmania three years ago to complete his PhD, he didn’t expect the State to leave such a lasting impression.
Last year the Centre for Forest Value’s student celebrated completing his PhD project in optimising laminated high-mass timber components assembled from a fibre-grown resource for building applications. Thrilled to have completed his PhD at the University of Tasmania in less than three years, Mohammed said the project identified practical methods for producing mass laminated timber components from fibre-grown plantation Eucalyptus nitens.
He said the main highlight of his PhD journey was the high level of interaction with the Centre’s industry partners.
“In my job as a researcher, developing skills in communicating with the industry members in our field is a key to success,” he said.
“While progressing my study program at UTAS, I had the pleasure to work across several research projects with the centre’s industry collaborators and other Tasmanian wood products manufacturers including Forico Pty Limited, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Neville Smith Forest Products, Hydrowood, Britton Timbers, and the Ta Ann group.
“These projects mainly aimed to develop high-value sawn timber and engineered wood products from plantation-grown eucalypt timber.”
Director, Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood, and Theme Leader in the Centre for Forest Value, Professor Gregory Nolan said industry interest in processing the Tasmanian plantation hardwood resource had grown quickly in the last four years. Professor Nolan said hardwood is a key area for potential socio-economic benefits for additional processing in the state.
“Tasmania produced 3 million cubic metres of fibre-managed plantation fibre last year, while Australia as a whole harvested 10 million cubic metres. When Mohammad started his research there was very little interest in processing this material and in four years, interest has grown considerably,” Professor Nolan said.
“While the fibre-managed material is not a replacement for native forest logs, one area where it can be used is in manufacturing structural components for buildings. A key area in that are mass laminated panels where it can potentially compete against similar pine products. There is an enormous potential to make things suitable for large-scale buildings. This can generate real socio-economic benefits to Tasmania.”
Mohammad is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in Timber Engineering, at the Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto University, in Finland. Despite his current base in Finland, Mohammad said Tasmania and the University would always hold a special place in his heart.
“I have been to many different places, but Tasmania is something special. It feels like home. Tasmanians are very welcoming and kind people, and this had made my stay in Australia even more memorable,” he said.
“My lifestyle in Tasmania was unique, there was always something to do and enjoy outside. Especially when it comes to nature and the environment. I made lifelong friends and would take any good opportunity to return to Tasmania in the future. I would like to thank all my supervisors, colleagues, and good friends at the ARC CFV and Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood for their support and encouragement during my PhD studies. I am grateful of knowing and being in contact with so many bright people.”
“UTAS is a truly diverse University that provides a collaborative environment for academics, students, and industry owners in the region to communicate their research needs and share their knowledge and experiences,” he said.
To find out more about Mohammad’s PhD click here.