In a bid to help tackle the UK’s lack of timber engineering expertise, Edinburgh Napier University launched a scholarship initiative related to the MSc in Timber Engineering, and the first students are set to graduate soon.
The initiative will see skilled workers entering into the timber business in the UK, meeting rising demand for timber frame housebuilding and timber-related design and construction.
Chair of the University's Forest Products Research Institute's advisory board, Geoff Rhodes, told Timber Trades Journal: “The aim is to train engineers to appreciate the benefits of timber and understand that construction is not all about concrete, steel and glass.”
One of the first scholarships went to 28-year-old John Kalaitzis from Athens, who told the publication that he was surprised by the “incredible features and capabilities of timber”. He added: “I now realise how multi-dimensional it is as a material.”
This year there are many more applicants for the programme, and the University is expecting there to be around 12 or more young people taking up the challenge over the coming year.
Ian Smith, Head of the Edinburgh Napier's School of Engineering and the Built Environment, said that the scholarship programme was allowing students to develop a “better understanding of the timber proposition, and civil and structural engineering graduates are now applying to the MSc course from across the UK.”
Norbord produces a number of timber-based products for the construction and DIY industry, including Caberboard flooring products, such as the Caberdek flooring system. Construction professionals involved in timber frame projects also frequently employ Norbord's Sterling OSB in their projects.