News & Events

Keep up to date with the latest news of the Timber Engineering Research Group

12/12/19 - 2019 Competitive Research Call Launch with Minister Creed  

Prof. Annette M. Harte, leader of the  Timber Engineering Research Group of NUI Galway met with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed at the launch of the 2019 Competitive Research Call where funding for the "Modular mass timber building for the circular economy (MODCONS) project was announced.  The project will focus on the design, development and experimental testing of sustainable modular timber building solutions to support national needs while also creating export opportunities in the sector. The proposed modular building solution will maximise the use of Irish timber in cross-laminated panels for walls and floors and will be optimised for structural integrity, fire, acoustics and vibration. 

The Quadrangle 

18/11/19 - Engineers Ireland Article on Sustainable Timber Construction

The WoodProps Programme team published an article in the Engineers Journal entitled "Sustainable timber construction: Exploring engineered timber as a climate-friendly building solution". The article highlights the potential to use timber in construction with an emphasis on reducing the environmental impacts of construction, storing carbon within the structure we build and recent advances in engineered wood products that have allowed this material to rival steel and concrete to create larger more environmentally sustainable buildings.

View the Article Here

31/10/19 - WoodProps Seminar

The WoodProps Programme team organised a seminar on the sustainable use of timber in construction on the 31 October in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin. The event was attended by over 80 members of the construction industry including architects, engineers, contractors and regulatory personnel.  Chaired by Des O'Toole of Forest Industries Ireland, attendees heard from Researchers Dr. Conan O'Ceallaigh and Dr. David Gil-Moreno of the WoodProps programme, experienced engineers such as Bryan Carroll of Punch Consulting Engineers and John Spittle of Weihag Glulam Manufacturer and architects, Diane Harrington of Bucholz McEvoy and Mike Haslam of Haslam & Co. Architects. The conference heard how CLT and other engineered wood products such as glulam are transforming medium to high-rise buildings in Europe and how their use is increasing in Ireland with examples presented by the speakers.

Article "Building High in Engineered Sitka Spruce" in the Farmers Journal (Click here)

For those who missed the event, please find the presentations from the day on the WoodProps Programme webpage

29/08/19 - Grading of Douglas Fir - TTJ Online

In the September edition of the Timber Trade Journal (TTJ) online, the ongoing work of the TERG team on the WoodProps Programme is presented. Pages 24-25 highlight the important work related to the machine grading of Irish and British Douglas fir. This research is focused on making more species available for the Irish and British construction markets. Incorporating new species into the market provides greater resilience to the forest stock, allows more choice for customers, and a product that may be better suited to particular applications.  Douglas fir, for example, has better mechanical properties and slightly higher durability performance when compared to more commonly graded Sitka spruce. For more information, please see the link to the article below.

Link: Article 

TTJ Article O'Ceallaigh
Pictured: TTJ Online Article

08/07/19 - Forest Industries Ireland Event

Prof. Annette Harte of the Timber Engineering Research Group was an invited speaker at Forest Industry Irelands event entitled, Forestry: Real Solutions to Ireland’s Climate Emergency on the 8/7/19 in The National Botanical Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland. The event was attended by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle alongside academic staff from Universities and Institutes of technology around Ireland, Forestry experts, Enterprise Ireland and Coillte. Prof. Harte discussed forestry practices in Ireland, the role of timber in construction and the potential for buildings to store carbon and offset carbon emissions associated with other commonly used construction materials.

Annette FII.jpg
Pictured: Prof. Annette Harte addressing the crowd during the panel questions.

17/06/19 - CompWood 2019

The Timber Engineering Research Group attended CompWood 2019 to present ongoing research on adhesive free timber buildings as part of the Interreg NWE funded AFTB project. CompWood 2019 is an International Conference on Computational Methods in Wood Mechanics – from Material Properties to Timber Structures which takes place in Växjö, Sweden, June 17-19, 2019. The conference is devoted to computational methods applied in the field of wood mechanics and timber engineering for research from material properties up to structural applications. The conference provides a forum for leading academic scientists, researcher scholars and young scientists to exchange knowledge and facilitate discussions of research topics in wood mechanics and timber engineering. Dr. Iman Mohseni presented a paper entitled "Numerical modelling of beam-beam connection systems using compressed wood plates and dowels". More info: Click here

Ade Iman AFTB CompWood.jpeg
Pictured (Left to Right): Dr. Adeayo Sotaya, University of Liverpool and Dr. Iman Mohseni, National University of Ireland Galway at CompWood 2019 in Växjö, Sweden.

30/05/19 - The National Forestry Conference 2019

The Timber Engineering Research Group exhibiting at the National Forestry Conference organised by the Wood Marketing Federation and the Society of Irish Foresters in Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield, Co. Meath on Thursday the 30th of May 2019. The theme "Forestry as a Climate Change Solution" examined the role of the Irish forestry and forest products sector in mitigating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The event was attended by over 150 stakeholders within the timber industry. The Timber Engineering Research Group were also very pleased to have Minister of State, Andrew Doyle launch the online "Timber Information Resource Centre"; a source of scholarly and technical documents to inform architects, developers, engineers, product manufacturers and other industry stakeholders on all aspects of wood products and design. The "Timber Information Resource Centre", developed as part of the WoodProps Programme funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is designed to be a living database updated frequently to keep pace with a fast-moving and innovative industry and is available to anyone interested in learning more about timber and its uses in construction. 

Ministerial Launch O'Ceallaigh

Pictured (Left-Right) Dr Annette Harte, Senior Lecturer NUI Galway, Minister of State, Andrew Doyle and Dr Conan O'Ceallaigh, Adjunct Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher NUI Galway.

21/05/19 - Solid Wood Solution 2019

The Timber Engineering Research Group of the National University of Ireland Galway participated in Solid Wood Solutions 2019 and exhibition in London on the 21st of May 2019. Solid Wood Solutions shines a spotlight on pioneering projects through informative case studies presented by those who conceived and developed the buildings that are gaining global attention. Attended by over 150 construction professionals, this event presented a great opportunity to gain insight and network with those who are shaping the future of the engineered timber industry. Dr. Annette Harte, Sameer Mehra and Dr. Conan O’Ceallaigh discussed the ongoing developments of the WoodProps Programme and AFTB Project with the delegates. Project brochures and technical notes were distributed to participants.

Solid Wood Solutio

13/05/19 - TERG discusses WoodProps with Balcas

 The WoodProps team visited Balcas Sawmill in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh to tour the facilities on the 13th of May 2019. Balcas is one of Britain and Irelands leading timber product suppliers. The ongoing research activities of the Timber Engineering Research Group related to the quality of Irish grown timber was discussed, as well as recent work characterising minor conifer species in Ireland such as Larch and Scots pine and most importantly, the recent development of machine grading settings for Douglas fir in Great Britain and Ireland.  These activities will demonstrate the potential for some minor conifer species to become viable alternatives to more commonly planted species and promote forest diversification in Ireland.

Balcas 1

18/11/19 - WoodProps visit Medite

The WoodProps team were invited to visit and tour the facilities at Medite in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary on the 29th of April 2019. Medite is a market leading manufacturer of sustainable timber construction panels, and is renowned for delivering high-quality products through customer-led innovation utilising Irish grown timber. The ongoing research activities of the Timber Engineering Research Group related to timber quality and engineered wood products were discussed, as well as the innovative products of Medite and Smartply. Further discussion focused on challenges facing the timber industry and activities to promote the use of timber products in construction.


14/03/19 - The National Construction Summit 2019

Dr. Conan O’Ceallaigh presented the ongoing research of the Timber Engineering Research Group (TERG) at The National Construction Summit 2019 in Citywest, Dublin, Ireland on the 14/03/18. Dr O’Ceallaigh’s presentation entitled “The use of Irish-grown Timber in Construction: Research to Standards” was attended by foresters, building design and contracting professionals, architects, and members of academia. The ongoing work in the WoodProps Programme and the AFTB Project were presented with a focus on the developments within the Irish forest sector, the increased interest in timber as a structural material, the development of mass-timber products allowing timber to compete with steel and concrete in large and tall modern buildings.

Cons Summit 2019 Conan O'Ceallaigh

23/04/19 - Study on the timber quality of Irish Larch

 The WoodProps team within the Timber Engineering Research Group were happy to begin some important work on the timber quality of Irish Larch. The logs, provided by Coillte, will be processed by Murray Timber Group in Ballon Co. Carlow. The results of this study on Irish larch will be compared to tests on larch in the UK and used to establish grading machine settings.

Timber quality and the assessment of timber properties of Irish grown species, with a focus on timber grading and the uses of this natural resource for structural applications, are key priorities of the WoodProps Programme. Work by the WoodProps Programme contributed to the development of machine grading settings for Douglas fir and further studies on Scots pine will commence later this year. 

Murrays Ballon

19/03/19 - TG1 Committee Meeting in NUI Galway

On Tuesday the 19th of March and Wednesday the 20th, the TG1 met in the Alice Perry Engineering Building at National University of Galway Ireland. This group is under the umbrella of the CEN TC124/WG2, which meets twice a year, and evaluates reports for new machine grading settings and for visual grading assignments according to the European standards.

These kind of reports are necessary to grade timber, and they include: the species or species combination, the country/ies or standardised areas where the species was sampled and to which the settings will apply, the strength class/es (or grade combinations), the cross sections tested and of course the machine used for the grading. The grading machine will need to be previously approved by the TG1, and this is another kind of report that TG1 assess every now and again as well as possible modifications in the functioning of the approved machines. A full list of approved grading machines can be found here.

Similar requirements apply to visual grading assignments to be included in EN1912, but they include visual grading rules instead of the grading machine. The third type of grading, output control machine grading, does not require TG1 approval because it is the sawmill who verifies the correct grade by testing pieces. The main standards used for grading are EN 14081, EN 384, EN 408, EN 14358, EN 338 and EN 1912. As well as the correct use of the standards, the TG1 assess potential issues not contained in the standards that may result in the unsafe grading of timber.

 Even though the group has been working for years, it is not clear to many, including Notified Bodies, what the TG1 does. If we use an analogy, TG1 is like the court that applies the laws created by the government, in this case mostly CEN TC124/WG2 but also CEN TC124/WG1. As the laws are not perfect, and there is always room for interpretation or it is difficult to legislate for all possible cases, the TG1 sometimes needs to create new rules, that are incorporated as additional “law” in a document known as “decision list”.

 In the last meeting in Galway, the TG1 assessed 29 reports, 10 of them for visual grading of tropical hardwoods. The meeting also served to discuss issues not anticipated in the current standards used for grading, and that typically constitute a future discussion at working group level CEN TC124/WG2 for revision of standards.

WoodProps Programme within the Timber Engineering Research Group currently plays an important role in the TG1, with David Gil-Moreno (National University of Ireland Galway) acting as the secretary since October 2018, and with Daniel Ridley-Ellis (Edinburgh Napier University), partner in the programme, as new convenor. The next meeting will be in Vienna, the 1st and 2nd of October. For more information on the TG1 please visit here

22/1/19 - Knowledge Transfer Group for Forestry

 The Timber Engineering Research Group and WoodProps team were happy to attend the Knowledge Transfer Group (KTGs) for forestry in Ennis Co. Clare on the 22/1/19 and Carrick-on-Shannon on the 24/1/19. The aim of the KTG is to gather private forest owners to promote knowledge sharing and provide a forum to discuss best practice amongst participants in a sector empowering them to undertake appropriate management activities in their forests. Dr. David Gil-Moreno presented some of the ongoing work within the WoodProps Programme at NUI Galway. Timber quality and the assessment of timber properties was presented with a focus on timber grading and the uses of this natural resource. Recent work by the WoodProps Programme, which has contributed to the development of machine grading settings for Douglas fir was also presented. This means Douglas fir may now be graded to construction grade C16 timber creating a new market for this species demonstrating this species potential as a viable alternative to more commonly planted species and promoting forest diversification in Ireland. The WoodProps Programme is continuing to examine other minor conifer species in Ireland and look forward to working closely with private forest owners in the near future. 

David KTG

28/11/18 - WoodProps Team visits Woodfab Timber

The Timber Engineering Research Group and WoodProps team visited Woodfab Timber Ltd., Aughrim Co. Wicklow and had a chance to tour their facilities. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the objectives of the WoodProps Programme and to discuss our ongoing research with conifer species grown in Ireland. The WoodProps team also gained valuable information from Woodfab Timber Ltd. related to their sawmill production of timber products and activities related to added-value products. 

WoodProps WoodFab COCWoodProps WoodFab COC1

29/8/18 - WoodProps Programme meet with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

The Timber Engineering Research Group welcomed the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to the National University of Ireland Galway on the 29th of August to discuss the ongoing research related to forestry and structural uses of engineered wood products. In particular, the activities of the DAFM funded WoodProps Programme were presented and the aims for the current year were discussed.
For more information on the objectives of the WoodProps Programme, Click Here.

Timber Engineering Research Group ImageAH Presentation

7/6/18 - WoodProps Programme meet with Taylor & Boyd Design Consultancy

Dr Conan O’Ceallaigh of the Timber Engineering Research Group visited Taylor & Boyd, a design consultancy based in Belfast on the 5/6/18 to outline the objectives of the WoodProps Programme and the advantages of CLT construction. Taylor & Boyd has demonstrated a desire to establish themselves as a leader in the design of modern timber buildings. This ambition has been recently acknowledged by the RSUA Design Awards where their vertical glulam framed extension of a 1906 reinforced concrete mill, “The Weaving Works” was a winner (Link). As part of the WoodProps Programme, the motivation, benefits, and challenges of constructing with timber were discussed.  The outlook from Paul Taylor, Partner at Taylor & Boyd, was positive with increased interest growing in modern timber construction in recent times. Further communication with Taylor & Boyd into the future will allow both parties to develop and disseminate expertise in modern timber building design.

Woodprops Programme Taylor+Boyd Visit
Pictured (Left-Right): Paul Taylor, Partner, Taylor & Boyd and Conan O’Ceallaigh discussing the ease at which CLT structures may be constructed and the potential for CLT construction in Ireland.

6/6/18 - WoodProps Programme at the SIRT Seminar

The Timber Engineering Research Group will present part of the ongoing research in the WoodProps Programme at the seminar hosted by SIRT (Strategic Integrated Research in Timber) in the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) on the 06/06/18. David Gil-Moreno's presentation “Broadening the range of commercial species-Recent findings on the timber properties of five minor conifers” will address findings of his PhD thesis and WoodProps research. In particular, David will present some of the most relevant results of the key determining timber properties for grading of five minor species: noble fir, Norway spruce, western red cedar, western hemlock and Douglas fir.

WoodProps 1  WoodProps 2

30/5/18 - National Forestry Conference: Forestry as a central pillar in the bioeconomy

The Timber Engineering Research Group will be attending the National Forestry Conference. The Conference entitled "Forestry as a central pillar in the bioeconomy" organised by the Wood Marketing Federation and the Society of Irish Foresters will take place in Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield, Co. Meath.

The conference, chaired by Dr Sandra O'Connell, Director of Architecture and communications, RIAI and Fergal Leamy, Chief Executive, Coillte will feature presentations from leading Irish and international speakers on the role of forests in a sustainable bioeconomy, and the applications of timber and use of engineered wood in high rise buildings.

Follow for more information National Forestry Conference

2/5/18 - WoodProps Programme at the National Construction Summit 2018

Dr. Conan O’Ceallaigh presented the WoodProps Programme objectives at The National Construction Summit 2018 in Citywest, Dublin, Ireland on the 02/05/18. Dr O’Ceallaigh’s presentation entitled “The Rise of Modern Timber Buildings: Research to Standards” was attended by foresters, building design and contracting professionals, architects, and members of academia. The presentation outlined developments within the Irish forest sector, the increased interest in timber as a structural material, the development of mass-timber products allowing timber to compete with steel and concrete in large and tall modern buildings.

summit 2018  

31/8/17 - Talking Timber, Teagasc, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan

The Timber Engineering Research Group of National University of Ireland Galway participated in a timber marketing event entitled “Talking Timber” organised by Teagasc with the co-operation of the Irish timber industry and the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland. The event providing opportunities for forest owners to familiarise themselves with the timber sales process, various timber harvesting techniques and value added products such as Glulam and CLT products. A poster exhibition was held in conjunction with the event where the AFTB project was promoted.

Talking Timber

16/5/17 - Ministerial Announcement at The National University of Ireland, Galway

Dr Annette Harte and the Timber Engineering Research Group at The National University of Ireland, Galway were very happy to welcome the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle TD to announce a three-year initiative to characterise the strength properties of Irish timber for European regulatory authorities. 
Ministerial Ann

Pictured (Left-Right)   Dr Annette Harte, Vice-Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, Mr Karlo Simic, PhD Researcher, NUI Galway and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle TD.

Read More: Minister Launches Initiative at NUI Galway to Support Irish Timber Industry

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