Swedish lesson for East Anglian lecturers
Marking the beginning of a 5-year education plan for the East Anglia Timber Trade Association (EATTA), three key university lecturers from the Eastern region travelled to Sweden to update their knowledge of today’s timber production on 13-15th September 2018.
The visit was arranged by EATTA as part of its new ‘Who teaches the teachers’ programme and hosted by the Industrial Solutions operations of Timber Trade Federation member, SCA Wood. The lecturers were invited and accompanied by TRADA’s University Engagement Manager.
The visit included one of SCA’s renowned tree nurseries, which produce 100 million tree seedlings each year for renewing Sweden’s forests; and SCA’s Tunadal sawmill, which produces around 500,00 m3 of sawn timber annually. The lecturers came from both architectural and engineering disciplines, from the University of Hertfordshire, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Suffolk. “The aim is for each lecturer to enliven students’ and colleagues’ interest in the timber business and in timber as a sustainable building material,” says EATTA Chairman, Chris James of Nason Davis.
“Through such visits we can get our industry’s message across directly to the specifiers and architects of the future. These three lecturers alone enable us to reach over 300 students, broadening their knowledge and also increasing enthusiasm for wood amongst those teaching engineering and architecture. Over five years we could potentially see 1500 new specifiers favouring timber and wood products as a result of this initiative,” Chris James adds. EATTA plans to repeat the process for the next five years until all the lecturers in the Eastern region have either visited, or heard from colleagues, about the operations, sustainability and commercial functioning of the East Anglian timber trade.
Tabitha Binding, TRADA University Engagement manager comments: “This is a ‘proof of concept’ visit to demonstrate the effects of direct engagement with the academic profession. It’s essential to build first-hand visual and experiential knowledge of modern-day production and its effect on timber systems design. The lecturers were nominated by their colleagues and will be reporting back to both engineering and architecture departments within their universities.”
SCA Wood has a long-standing connection with education and training, as Stephen King, Sales Director, Industrial Solutions, explains: “SCA has been heavily involved in training the next generation of the timber trade in the UK for almost two decades. We are now delighted to facilitate this visit as part of our continuing commitment to sharing our international wealth of wood knowledge. Sweden’s forests are recognised as a model of sustainability. SCA’s additional focus on creating a profitable business from a carbon-negative material demonstrates our own willingness to learn and adapt to market needs. We hope we will open another door to knowledge for our academic visitors.”
During the visit to SCA’s tree nursery one of the lecturers commented that holding the tree seedling brought the sustainability concept to the fore, adding: “I now need to ensure we influence our fellow lecturers on sustainability and why students should now look at a timber option.”
Andrew Moss, Lecturer in Engineering, University of Suffolk
Reuben Brambleby, Senior Lecturer Engineering, Anglia Ruskin University
Ilona Hay, Senior Lecturer Architecture, University of Hertfordshire
Tabitha Binding, University Engagement Manager, TRADA
Stephen King, Sales Director, Industrial Solutions, SCA Wood UK
Chris James, EATTA Chairman, Nason Davis