Understanding Wood Science Course

Next course is fully booked – waiting list operating

COVID impact - next course postponed to 2022

Trustees of the JW Gottstein Memorial Trust Fund have moved the upcoming Understanding Wood Science course to a new date proposed in September 2022. This disruption is again due to the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to affect Australia domestic travel and gatherings. The new dates proposed are Sunday evening 11th September 2022 to Friday afternoon 16th September 2022.

The draft program of speakers and field trips remains the same as was set - however some variations may be necessary. A final program will be provided to course attendees before the course starts. The program will also be updated on the website for those who wish to download it.

About the course

There is a wonderful line-up of guest presenters and field trip site visits to leading Australian operations.

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.

Next Course – September 2022 – fully booked

It will be held over one week – running from Sunday evening 11th September to Friday afternoon 16th September 2022.

The first two days will be based at Albury with a great program of field trip activities into northern Victoria. Participants will then travel by luxury coach to Canberra for the second leg of the course.

The Canberra leg of the course will be three days, following on from that two day field trip. It will take place on the Australian National University (ANU) campus at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, in Australia’s beautiful national capital city. The Gottstein Trust is indebted to the ANU for its generous support of the course.

Course Program

The program for September 2022 is packed with learning and networking experiences. A key feature is a new extended field trip that runs over two days. The formal course dinner will also be a highlight.

To Register

Online registration will remain open until the course becomes fully booked. Course numbers are limited so early booking is always good idea.

Please note the Trust does not have the facility for online payment for this course. Payment by direct deposit or cheque are accepted. The online registration section provides a Tax Invoice and we will provide a receipt for payment.

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 particular relevance to those who may have 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 2022 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.


The Registration fee includes accommodation in Albury for two nights Sunday 11th and Monday 12th September 2022 and all Albury meals from Sunday dinner through to afternoon tea on Tuesday 13th September 2022. The registration fee does not include accommodation in Canberra for the three nights Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th September 2022.
For the course segment that is held in Canberra, we make arrangements for participants and speakers to be able to stay at a good rate at a hotel near the Australian National University campus. Participants are notified of the hotel well ahead of the start of the course to enable them to confirm a room. While it is not compulsory to stay at the one hotel – it is a great aid to us if you do. In Canberra participants are required to confirm and pay for their own accommodation and any meals which are not part of the course program.

If there are any local Canberra field trips in a course program, these always begin and end at our course accommodation venue or from ANU. There are no other pick up or set down options.

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