Understanding Wood Science Course

Timber processors strive to satisfy stringent market demands. A lot of knowledge, expertise and information is needed in order to successfully manage variable raw material supply volumes; variable raw material (wood) characteristics which in turn impact yields and cost of processing; and the wider Australian and international market dynamics (raw material supply/demand/price and ditto for end products) which their businesses face.

Integral to managing the many challenges – is an appreciation of wood science and technology and the new techniques being introduced. This Gottstein Trust Wood Science Course of five days duration is designed to provide such information. The course may even assist some decision makers in the industry to gain greater efficiency in their operations – through access to subject matter experts, field trip inspections and through the course networking opportunities.

Wood products are recognised as carbon friendly. Yet ironically in Australia, there is still decreasing availability of various types of timber from some regions and changes in quality from others. A clear understanding of timber users’ final requirements is essential for those who process timber. Their customers’ requirements may be for high quality appearance grade products, or for a uniform quality but lower cost product. The magic lies in understanding each variety and style of timber (the raw material) to ensure efficient conversion of the raw material into a marketable and fit for purpose product.


  • Provide an understanding of wood and the properties which affect processing and end-use.
  • Provide insights into the potential for development of new products.
  • Provide an appreciation of contemporary issues including innovation, technology and supply/demand trends for wood products.

Future Courses

Due to the high level of interest in the course after missing a couple of years due to COVID, the  Gottstein Trustees decided to hold back-to-back Understanding Wood Science Course in 2022 and 2023. The next course is to run from Sunday evening 12th November to Friday afternoon 17th November 2023.

Course Program

The 2023 program includes  two days of site visits to leading wood processors, when the group will be based at Albury for two nights. The group then travels to Canberra by coach for the rest of the program. In Canberra among the learning experiences will be a laboratory session to examine wood samples under the expert guidance of Dr Matthew Brookhouse, at the Australian National University. 

Course Fees

(All inclusive of GST)
$ 3,995.00 - Includes two nights Albury accommodation
$ 3,265.00 - Gottstein Patron Donor (20% discount for up to 2 people), includes two nights Albury accommodation
$ 3,630.00 - Gottstein Sponsor Donor (10% discount for up to 2 people), includes Albury accommodation

NB: Travel to Albury to start the course and travel back home from Canberra at the end of the course is a participant cost. We transport the group by luxury coach from Albury to Canberra. The other cost to be covered by the participant is the three nights accommodation in Canberra (discounted rates available under our Group Code with Mercure Canberra).

To Register

Online registration is available. Invoices are issued within a couple of days after the registration is received. A place is assured once full payment is made. 

Who Should Attend

Senior and potential managers, operational team members, tree growers, industry and government policy people, consultants, executives, non-executive directors and service providers within the forest and wood products supply chain. The course will be of extra special relevance to those who've recently joined the industry.

Why You Should Attend

You will gain a deeper understanding of wood science and key features of the modern wood products industry – this will be an asset in your professional work environment. This course should also assist you to place your operation within a national and international context.
In order to facilitate informal exchange and discussion, the course is limited to a maximum 35 participants.

Invited Speakers

The 2023 course will feature guest presenters with deep experience in the industry. Speakers typically donate their time and expertise to the Gottstein Trust courses and the Trust is indebted to them for such generous support.

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