Great program for 2023 Wood Science Course

Great program for 2023 Wood Science Course

07 September 2023

Companies and interested individuals are encouraged to register their place/s as soon as possible to ensure they do not miss out on the Understanding Wood Science course which is being held in mid-November.

The 2023 course will begin at Albury on Sunday afternoon 12th November and end at Canberra on the afternoon of Friday 17th November 2023.

Professor Keith Crews, Director of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub to Advance Timber in Australia’s Built Environment, hosted at the University of Queensland will be presenting in Canberra - also joining the final Q & A panel session on Friday 17th November. He is Gottstein Fellow alumnus (see testimonials) and specialises in the research and design of large scale timber structures and is internationally recognised as an expert in the area of Sustainable Infrastructure.

Last year's course was extremely popular with participants. One summing up the experience, "I loved it all!  Great mix of look, listen and do learning!.”  87% agreed the course improved their general knowledge "a lot" around wood characteristics and wider activities of the forest products industry. The remaining 13% confirmed they'd found the learning experience beneficial. 

A major benefit that participants highlighted was the networking - meeting people from various parts of the supply chain, working in different roles and coming from many different places.

The program planning is well progressed and it will be very similar to the new format which debuted last year. First up will be two nights based at Albury, NSW. That will enable the group to set out on site visits to some leading wood processors in the northern Victoria/southern NSW region. Among the operations to be visited are Alpine MDF and Alpine Truss (totally different ownership) both located at Wangaratta.

Following the field trip component the group will travel by luxury coach to Canberra for the final three-day course component. There the program includes learning about the anatomy and biological characteristics of wood. The lecturer for that is Dr Matthew Brookhouse. He is a research scientist at the Australian National University Fenner School of Environment & Society. Participants will enjoy a practical laboratory exercise using microscopes to look and learn about different types of wood.  The Trust appreciates the support of Dr Brookhouse to deliver this central part of  the course.

Other guest presenters include well respected market analyst Tim Woods from IndustryEdge and carbon expert Dr Fabiano Ximenes. Professor Peter Kanowski will canvas challenges for the forestry related sector becoming a truly circular bio-economy.  A whole series of industry experts will deliver guest speaker sessions across the week-long course and in each session there will be plenty of time for asking questions. The speakers will be listed in the final program and it will be made available as soon as the final planning is completed.

Course bookings operate on a first-come-first-served basis and registration is able to be done online.

The course fee includes two-nights accommodation and meals at Albury, luxury coach transport from Albury to Canberra following the field-trip component and a formal course celebration dinner in Canberra. Once they've registered the participants need to book and pay for their three nights of Canberra accommodation at Mercure Hotel Canberra. The Trust has reserved and negotiated a group rate and reserved rooms for all participants there. It is ideal to stay there as a shuttle bus is booked to collect and drop off the whole group each day. Being in the one spot also enable opportunity for everyone to mingle informally too.

After a lot of COVID disruption to Gottstein courses in recent years, the Gottstein Trust moved in 2023 to hold both of its two types of course programs rather than the usual one. “It means that people won't have to wait so long for the next program,” said course convenor Helen Murray. Normally the Trust would hold the Understanding Forest Science program this year followed by the Understanding Wood Science course in 2024.

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