Na­tional Cen­tre for Tim­ber Dura­bil­ity and De­sign Life

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

IN­DUS­TRY, ACADEMIA and gov­ern­ment have part­nered to cre­ate the Na­tional Cen­tre for Tim­ber Dura­bil­ity and De­sign Life – a new group de­signed to put Aus­tralia at the fore­front of in­ter­na­tional best prac­tice.

A strate­gic ini­tia­tive of in­dus­try group For­est & Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia (FWPA), the Cen­tre will en­sure Aus­tralian de­sign guides and stan­dards re­main world class in light of cli­mate change, new engineered tim­bers and changes in build­ing de­sign.

Launched by Fed­eral As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources, Sen­a­tor Anne Ruston, the Cen­tre will be based at the Univer­sity of the Sun­shine Coast (USC), and part­ners in­clude the Univer­sity of Queens­land (UQ) and the Queens­land Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries (DAF). The State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will con­trib­ute fund­ing along with the FWPA and uni­ver­si­ties.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia Ric Sin­clair said the Cen­tre would cre­ate a world-lead­ing pre­dic­tive model to en­able architects and build­ing spec­i­fiers to more eas­ily choose the right tim­ber for the right task.

“It will be an au­to­mated ev­i­dence-based tool to ac­cu­rately pre­dict the struc­tural per­for­mance and de­sign life of tim­ber de­pend­ing where and how it is be­ing used. It’s an ex­cit­ing prospect and it’s one that will be a world first,” he said, put­ting a fiveyear time­frame on the project.

USC Deputy Vice-Chan­cel­lor (Re­search and In­no­va­tion) Pro­fes­sor Roland De Marco said the es­tab­lish­ment of this tri­par­tite re­search part­ner­ship was an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment.

Pro­fes­sor De Marco said by con­nect­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lead­ers in forestry re­search through USC, UQ and Queens­land DAF, the cen­tre would rep­re­sent the press­ing re­search needs of in­dus­try, as man­aged by FWPA, in the field of tim­ber dura­bil­ity and de­sign life.

“Through the ap­point­ment of a world-class, in­dus­try-en­gaged pro­fes­sor – to­gether with the ap­point­ment of a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of sup­port­ing re­search as­so­ci­ates and stu­dents – this cen­tre will es­tab­lish a crit­i­cal mass of world-class ex­per­tise,” he said.

“This, in turn, will en­able the Aus­tralian in­dus­try to po­si­tion it­self at the lead­ing edge of in­ter­na­tional re­search and de­vel­op­ment in this crit­i­cal field of en­deav­our.”

Sen­a­tor Ruston said: “In­no­va­tion and re­search are es­sen­tial to the fu­ture of the Aus­tralian tim­ber in­dus­try.

“It is even more es­sen­tial now with tim­ber’s resur­gence as a re­new­able, car­bon-pos­i­tive and in­creas­ingly ver­sa­tile con­struc­tion ma­te­rial.

“The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment is very pleased to sup­port the launch of the Cen­tre through For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia (FWPA).

“FWPA re­ceived $3.8 mil­lion in Com­mon­wealth matched fund­ing in 2015-16, and the Gov­ern­ment has fur­ther com­mit­ted up to $4.6 mil­lion to match vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions made by in­dus­try to FWPA for el­i­gi­ble re­search and de­vel­op­ment.”

Ric said Queens­land was the ideal lo­ca­tion for the Cen­tre, boast­ing peo­ple – both gov­ern­ment and aca­demic – with rel­e­vant high-level ex­per­tise and a will­ing­ness to in­no­vate and col­lab­o­rate, as well as di­verse and of­ten chal­leng­ing cli­mac­tic con­di­tions per­fect for put­ting tim­ber to the test.


Spe­cial oc­ca­sion --- (from left) Steve Dick­son (MP), Andrew Wal­lace (MP), Sen­a­tor Anne Ruston, Pro­fes­sor Greg Hill (Vice Chan­cel­lor Univer­sity of Sun­shine Coast), Pro­fes­sor Roland De Marco (Deputy Vice Chan­cel­lor Re­search, Univer­sity of Sun­shine Coast), D

Pro­fes­sor Roland De Marco

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