Cream of industry experts for wood science course

REGISTRATIONS remain open for the Gottstein Wood Science course in February, lauded for many years as the most important industry educational event of its kind.
A host of top-flight speakers have been confirmed for the event in Melbourne to be held at the CSIRO Clayton precinct from February 15 to 19 and supported by CSIRO and the University of Melbourne.
The Gottstein Memorial Trust organises the annual week-long courses in wood science for those people new to the forest products industry, including executives.
“The courses, provide a deeper understanding of wood and the properties that affect its processing and end uses,” course coordinator Dr Silvia Pongracic said.
“The presenters provide a comprehensive coverage of the scientific aspects of wood utilisation, from the biological structure of a tree to the latest trends in processes and uses.”
Since 1978, 21 wood science courses have attracted more than 700 senior executives and potential managers.
The course covers both hardwood and softwood anatomy, processing and the benefits of the timber industry overall.
The Gottstein Trust has been assisting people in the forest and wood products sector with development opportunities for more than 40 years.
Information about the wood science course program and registrations should be directed to Dr Silvia Pongracic on 0418 764 954 or email
The following speakers have been confirmed for the course.
Phillip Blackwell – forestry consultant and part-time lecturer at the University of Melbourne. Phillip holds a Masters of Forestry and in his spare time renovates houses.
Kevin Ezard – marketing consultant and conference director of Frame Australia, the major national event for engineered timber and building prefabrication.
Prof. Ian Ferguson – professor emeritus, University of Melbourne, a distinguished forest scientist.
Prof. Gil Garnier – director of BioPria and of the Australian Pulp and Paper Institute, who has experience in the pulp and paper industries in Canada, the US and Australia and is passionate about the future of wood fibre.
Dave Gover – CEO, Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. A New Zealand forestry engineer, he has experience in softwood and hardwood engineered wood products in Australian and New Zealand.
Vince Hurley – CEO, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, the largest hardwood sawmill in Australia and vice-present Victorian Association of Forest Industries.
Dr Jugo Ilic – Associate Professor with the University of Melbourne who runs the Know Your Wood consultancy. He has more than 35 years’ experience at CSIRO, focusing on the anatomy and functionality of wood.
Boris Iskra – standards manager, FWPA, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the forest and wood products sector. He is a structural engineer with a recent focus on building fire safety and risk.
Colin Stucley – director of Enecon Pty Ltd. He specialises in the efficient conversion of waste wood to energy.
Dr Barrie May – managing director of TreeMod, an environmental consultancy. He has a background in forestry and worked with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences focusing on carbon accounting and life cycle assessment.
Cameron MacDonald – chief operating officer, HVP Plantations, is a forester with an MBA and has more than 25 years’ experience in both the plantation and native forest sector, covering both operational and finance roles. He is a director of the Australian Forest Products Association.
Andrew Morton – a director at IndurFor Australasia with more than 20 years’ experience in international strategic consulting in the forest and wood products sector. He is involved with due diligence with forestry and plantations valuations, mergers and acquisitions.
Jack Norton – a chemist with over 40 years’ experience in providing advice, education and research services in wood protection. He is a member of the International Research Group on Wood Protection and is secretary of the Timber Preservers Association of Australia.
Sean O’Malley – has trained as an ecologist in the UK and currently works in carbon and ecological footprinting, energy efficiency and many other environmentally slanted projects. He also worked in areas such as innovation, product development and labelling and production.
Associate Professor Barbara Ozarska – principal research fellow with the University of Melbourne. She has 30 years’ experience in the forest and wood products industry in Australia focusing on secondary products.
Mat Thomsen – an optimisation engineer at Hyne TrueFrame. He has over 15 years’ experience in the softwood sawmilling sector throughout North America and Australasia.