Vision statement

University of Pretoria and York Timbers envision:

  • A strategic partnership to establish a multidisciplinary research programme focused on the structural engineering of advanced wood products (engineered wood) within the context of a sustainable, timber-based built environment and the wood-based bioeconomy in South Africa,
  • Involving researchers and experts from civil and chemical engineering, architecture (built environment), material science, data science (information science), biological sciences (biochemistry, genetics and microbiology) and other related bioeconomy disciplines,
  • Integrated into the Engineering 4.0 development including a dedicated Wood Engineering Laboratory in close proximity to Future Africa, both on the Innovation [email protected] campus neighbouring the Innovation Hub and the CSIR,
  • Linked into a network of high impact international collaborations,
  • Stimulating the development of a sustainable, mass engineered timber construction 3 industry in South Africa and the African continent based on advanced engineered wood products from locally. grown forest plantations,
  • Leading to the design and construction of an iconic, modular, mass timber building housing UP’s planned development of a multidisciplinary bioeconomy research facility.

From an engineering and built environment viewpoint, this vision links to mainly the Chemical and Civil engineering disciplines and Architecture. There are many successful research orientated organisations that integrate the various disciplines that would typically not work together on projects. The mere fact that one would have the teams together in one close-knit environment will foster the necessary synergy.

Chemical and Civil Engineering would benefit from knowing what sort of products would be of interest to the Architectural community, while the Architectural community would benefit from information regarding the structural capabilities and availability of various forms of timber for applications in novel design. This potentially links with the bio-economy input that focuses on the timber supply chain and derived products for beneficiation through engineering processes.

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