Forestry & Wood Science
Welcome to Stellenbosch University



Kick-off meeting for the Biohome Project meeting for the Biohome ProjectAlbe van Niekerk<p>​Front row: Yenealem Wubishet, Martina Meincken, Tenele Dlamini, Andreas Krause<br></p><p>Back row: James Acheampong, Goran Schmidt, Tefera Endalamaw, Amsalu Mossissa, Bright Asante, Marco de Angelis</p><p>The project aims to produce building materials for affordable housing. </p><p>The target materials are wood plastic composites and wood-cement composites, utilising only waste materials (recycled plastic, fly ash from coal power plants) and wood from invasive trees.</p><p>These materials can be used for insulation, flooring, cupboards, as well as structural components.</p>
Gathering of Commonwealth foresters at Stellenbosch of Commonwealth foresters at StellenboschCori Ham<p>​Royal Forestry Society Education Manager, Ted Wilson, visited the Department of Forestry and Wood Science, at Stellenbosch, on 4 August 2016, during his summer vacation in South Africa. The primary purpose of the visit was to discuss forestry education in the UK and South Africa, and identify potential areas for future collaboration. As in the UK, forestry students at Stellenbosch are strongly encouraged to gain practical experience to support their formal academic studies and training. Several students in recent years have had successful placements and internships outside South Africa, and it is hoped that RFS can help promote opportunities with the UK and Europe as part of our Future Foresters programme. The visit established a basis for more strategic work in forestry education, and possible collaboration in the future. </p><p><strong>In the photo from left to right: Cori Ham and Pierre Ackerman from the Department of Forestry and Wood Science, Ted Wilson (RFS Education Manager) and Reino Pulkki (Lakehead University, Canada). </strong></p>
Forest and Wood Science student scoops second prize in Brazil and Wood Science student scoops second prize in BrazilCarin Bruce<p>​​​​Stephen Amiandamhen, a PhD student in the<br>Forest and Wood Science Department, was awarded<br>the second prize of 250 US dollars for oral and poster<br>presentations at the 59th Society of Wood Science and<br>Technology (SWST) Convention held in Curitiba, Brazil,<br>recently. Stephen also bagged a plaque in the student<br>poster session.<br>His study focuses on the use of phosphate based<br>binders, which have a lower carbon footprint compared<br>to cement based products. He used these binders to<br>produce wood composites from alien invasive tree species<br>and showed that it is possible to produce products of<br>acceptable quality even without bark removal, which is a<br>requirement for a majority of such products.<br>Stephen’s trip to Brazil was made possible with support<br>from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and an 800<br>US dollar sponsorship from the conference organisers.</p>
Calorosas boas-vindas a José! boas-vindas a José!Albe van Niekerk<p style="text-align:justify;">José HT Rocha (MSc), a Forest Engineer at the Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering  (FAEF) and a PhD student at São Paulo University - Brazil under the supervision of Professor José L. M. Gonçalves is currently a guest at Stellenbosch University's Department of Forest and Wood Science for a research visit. He will work as an affiliate student researcher under the supervision of Dr. Ben du Toit until February 2017.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since his MSc study, José has been working with forest residue management, forest nutrition and sustainability of wood production in Eucalyptus plantations in Brazil. His MSc work focused on long term effect of management practices after clear-cutting of eucalyptus plantation in short cycles. In his PhD work, he is investigating the effect of slash use (such as wood chips) and fertilizer application on sustainability of <em>Eucalyptus</em> in short rotation. His main focus in this study is the effect on soil properties and nutrient cycling.  José is a lecturer in Forest Soils at Faculty of FAEF, Brazil.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During his time at SU's Forest and Wood Science department, José will work on the development of sustainable tools for fuel load management to reduce the fire hazard in the forest. He will be focusing on the research project entitled "The effect of repeated use of prescribed burning under pines", coordinated by Dr. Ben du Toit. Besides, José will also work on the effect of fertilizer application and controlled release fertilizer application on the productivity of Eucalyptus plantations in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. </p>
Dept of Forestry and Wood Science welcomes Dr Spong of Forestry and Wood Science welcomes Dr Spong Dr Ben Spong<p>Dr. Ben Spong, a Forest Engineering/Forest Operations Faculty member from West Virginia University in the United States has arrived for an extended research visit to Stellenbosch University’s Department of Forest and Wood Science.  </p><p>During his sabbatical from the USA, he would like to collaborate with faculty, students, and industrial partners working in the area of forest operations – specifically on logging capacity and productivity topics.  While he has a good introduction to Southern African forests from previous short visits, he is excited to have the opportunity to better understand details of the systems, industry culture, and broader social and economic context of South Africa's forest industry. </p><p>Dr. Spong has worked in and with the logging industry since 1993 in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, in west and eastern Africa, and in the Mid-Atlantic United States.  Through his current work as the Forest Operations Extension Specialist with the Appalachian Hardwood Center at West Virginia University, he has supplied trainings and outreach education programs to loggers, foresters, and many other players in the Eastern United States timber industry.</p><p>Dr. Spong's specific programming and research has focused on forest roads, logging best management practices, harvesting systems, logging safety, and logging business management.   Dr. Spong participates on many regional committees engaged in improving logging activities, including the West Virginia Forestry Association's Safety Committee, the Mountain Loggers' Safety Initiative, the WV Division of Forestry's Best Management Practices Committee, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative State Implementation Committee.  </p><p>His work with these and other networking provides access to small logging contractors, large industrial forestry companies, and state and regional agencies and organizations to help develop and deliver educational and development programming to benefit the wide range of players in the forest products industry.  Since joining West Virginia University, Dr. Spong has helped secured close to $1.2 million in external funds to support his research and outreach programs.  </p>
Bronze for Maties Team! for Maties Team!Pierre Ackerman<p>​</p><p>A team of six senior Department of Forest and Wood Science students once again represented Stellenbosch University at the 2018 International Wood Supply Game. Despite tough competition from very experienced teams across the world, the Maties managed a very credible third place out of seven teams.  In fact, they only missed the second spot by two points out of roughly 500. </p><p>The Game was created in 2000 to simulate the operations in the forest product supply chain.  In the forest industry, the value creation cycle from forest to end customer is long and complex. Each enterprise in the value creation network is an independent decision making unit and this can result in a lack of synchronization of operations. Information is an important tool when managing the value creation network. Incomplete and incorrect information causes delivery problems and customer dissatisfaction. The Game simulates operations in the forest product supply chain in order to demonstrate the dynamics at work in the value creation network and shows the importance of information sharing. </p><p>Each game is played with a maximum of seven people, each responsible for the management of one enterprise in the network. Each round in the game represents one week and each game is between 25 and 50 weeks long. The supply chain is represented by different downstream business units of the end customer and the divergent nature of the forest products industry supply chain is simulated in the game with players trying to minimize inventory and backorder costs. </p><p>Universities represented at this year's game were Sweden Agricultural University, University of Laval (x2), Stellenbosch University, the University of Helsinki and the University of Zayed, UAE.  Thanks to Prof. Ackerman and the organizing committee for the opportunity, as well as Jacques Malan for being instrumental in developing the team strategy. </p><p> </p><p>Image: All Eyes on the Screen - The Maties Team: (FLTR) Zimbili Sibiya, Ashlee Prins, Jacques Malan (captain), Marius Terblanche, Hugo Lambrecht, Prof. Pierre Ackerman and Mr Simon Ackerman. Missing: Trevor van Groeningen and Ben van Heerden</p>
Wood Choppers Ball 2017 Choppers Ball 2017Leeshan Mahadeo<p>​It was a magical night with roughly 75 attendees, including undergraduates, postgraduates and lecturers. This year we celebrated our guests of honor, Pierre Ackerman and Tim Rypstra's 20+ year attendance. The caterers made sure that every possible dietary requirement was catered for, since this year we have had the most diverse group of different cultures and backgrounds up to date, even some international students from Belgium! Towards the end of the evening, the new SFSA committee was announced, making history as we are proud to announce our first female Chairman of color, Ashlee Prins. We all sokkie'd and danced together to kwaito music, celebrating another successful year slowly coming to an end. We'd like to thank our generous sponsors, in no particular order, Rammies Fresh Produce, Soobhugs Coaches and SAWPA (South African Wood Preservation Association). Without you, this night would not have been possible. <br></p>