Gottstein growing industry expertise

“THE J.W. Gottstein fellowship gave me the opportunity to interact with international experts and discuss my modelling expertise and research interests with forestry colleagues in the US – all positive results for the sector in Australia.”
Testimonials such as this by Mihir Gupta, an economist with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (ABARES), again highlights the benefits of industry investment in the educational trust, which has awarded more than 250 fellowships, industry awards and scholarships since it was founded in 1971.
During Mr Gupta’s study mission to the US, he worked with colleagues from Forest Economic Advisers (FEA) in Boston and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Olympia, Washington State, aimed at improving the scope and quality of forestry forecasting in Australia.
“Both FEA and the DNR are keen to develop a close working relationship with ABARES,” Mr Gupta said.
“DNR has already expressed interest in a transport costs model developed at ABARES.”
DNR staff undertake programs similar to the forest economics section, which will be useful in terms of both data and methodology exchange.
Mr Gupta said DNR might find it useful to include probabilities for price projections that can be examined in ABARES and FWPA joint work programs.
“This could provide a convenient way to incorporate adjustments based on market and industry expectations,” he said.
ABARES has developed in-house models including the Forest and Resource Use Model (FORUM) and econometric models for domestic forestry consumption and trade.
The outputs, which include estimates for production, consumption and trade of wood products, can be used by stakeholders to inform short and long-term investment decisions and planning policies and to improve forestry operations.
Boston-based Forest Economic Advisers undertakes detailed analysis and forecasts for the US forest products industry using sophisticated mathematical and econometric methods.
The Department of Natural Resources manages about 2.3 million ha of state trust lands in Washington State.
US Department of Agriculture forest service has developed a detailed model that provides projections of future timber demands and timber prices under alternative scenarios regarding global economic growth and wood energy consumption.
The model gives insights on how US competition and trade in forest products could be affected by expanded global use of wood for energy in future decades.
The US Resources Planning Act mandates that the US Forest Service provides a periodic national report assessing forest resource supply and demand status every 10 years.
This report includes long-range projections of forest product consumption, production, trade, and timber market trends, and researchers developed a model that provides such projections.
THREE J.W. Gottstein fellowships were awarded this year for overseas study. Recipients are a built environment specialist, an architect and a resources policy expert.
Perry Forsyth is professor, built environment, at the University of Technology Sydney; Gavin Matthew is the manager, processing, at the Australian Forest Products Association, Canberra; and Kim Baber is a Brisbane architect.
Prof. Forsyth is currently visiting Europe, Canada and the US researching timber design, construction and assembly to meet future housing needs.
Mr Barber attended the recent World Conference on Timber Engineering in Vienna and will visit projects and manufacturing facilities in Austria, Switzerland and Tokyo during September.
AFPA’s Gavin Matthew will study genetic modifications research and deployment in plantation forestry in New Zealand and Brazil.
The chairman of the J.W. Gottstein Trust Brian Farmer said industry support of the Gottstein Trust and its fellows and scholarship holders represented “a sound co-investment in the forest and forest products sector”.
He urged industry to consider the wide benefits the trust offered to companies and organisations throughout Australia.
“Businesses in industry have people – from the workshop floor to academia – who can apply for Gottstein fellowships or scholarships in 2017 for the chance to further their experience, education or training within or outside Australia,” he said.
Project topics are listed on the Gottstein website – www.gottsteintrust.org
Applications for each category will be considered by the trustees and promising applicants will be selected for interviews in November this year. Applications close on October 21. Visit www.gottsteintrust.org
Contact Gottstein Secretary at PO Box 330, Hamilton Central, Q 4007, or email gottstgeinsecretary@bigpond.com

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