Locked In: Gottstein Releases 2023 Wood Science Program!

Packed program includes presentations and field trips.

Thu 12 Oct 23


The Gottstein Trust has released its 2023 Understanding Wood Science Course schedule with Helen Murray, convenor, promising that the course will be bigger and better than ever!

According to Ms Murray, the Trust has room for a few more registrations, with those interested “encouraged to register before it is too late.”

The 2023 course is scheduled for November 12 to 17, divided between Albury and Canberra, following a program similar to the highly successful 2022 edition. 

Last year, more than 87% of people who completed last year’s course reported that their timber knowledge had “improved a lot” thanks to the course.

For 2023, the program involves two nights in Albury, NSW, allowing the group to dive straight into site visits to leading wood processors in the wider Victoria and NSW regions, followed by three nights in Canberra.

Highlights include a tour of the Xlam state-of-the-art facility in Barnawatha and Alpine Truss and MDF facilities in Wangaratta.

In Canberra, Dr Matthew Brookhouse will provide attendees with an understanding of the biological characteristics of wood with presentations delivered by Australia’s leading experts.

On the last night, attendees will share a celebration dinner with trustees and fellows with a special presentation by Evan Dunstone, a contemporary furniture designer and manufacturer who is a previous Gottstein fellow.

The program and speakers

Day 1 – November 12
  • 6 pm: Registration, welcome dinner & field trip briefing
Day 2 – November 13


  • Field Trip 1: Alpine Truss Producing bespoke roof trusses and frames for the Australian housing market 
  • Guest presenter sessions:
    • Hardwood Sawmilling: Vince Hurley (Australian Sustainable Hardwood) 
    • Softwood Sawmilling: Angela Pappin (Hyne) 


  • Field Trip 2: Alpine MDF Industries Manufacture of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and vertical joint (VJ) panels


  • Dinner: Enjoy mingling with fellow participants, speakers & some guests from the region’s timber sector.
Day 3 – November 14


  • Guest presenter sessions:
    • Wood Composites: Principal Structural Engineer Tom Watts (XLam) 
    • Building product conformity: Kim Harris (Director, Engineered Wood Products Association Australasia)
  • Field Trip 3: Tour of the XLam cross-laminated timber plant. 


  • Lunch: In Transit to Canberra


  • Arrive in Canberra
  • Dinner: Make Your Own Arrangements
Day 4 – November 15


  • Findings from 2023 North American study tour Laurence Ritchie, Gottstein Fellow 
  • The Biological Nature of Wood Dr Matthew Brookhouse, Australian National University


  • The Timber Design Awards Or Insights session on Indigenous Cultural Values associated with native timber
  • Resilient Timber Construction Dr Paolo Lavisci, FWPA and past Gottstein Fellow 
  • Appearance grade timbers 


  • Dinner: Make Your Own Arrangements
Day 5 – November 16


  • Wood Anatomy with Dr Matthew Brookhouse, Australian National University


  • Adaptable design strategies in timber featuring Kim Baber, Gottstein Fellow Baber Studios & UQ
  • Durable timber – nature plus nurture Professor Tripti Singh, Director, National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life


  • Course Celebration Dinner featuring Gottstein trustees, fellows and course speakers. 
  • Special Dinner speaker: Evan Dunstone from Dunstone Design Global, a Gottstein Trust fellow and a master contemporary furniture designer and manufacturer.
Day 6 – November 17


  • Timber & Wood Products – markets and trade dynamics Tim Woods (IndustryEdge) 
  • Wood & the Carbon Economy Dr Fabiano Ximenes, NSW DPI
  • High technology meets wood meets net zero carbon Professor Keith Crews UQ
  • The circular economy and the place of forest-related products. Professor Peter Kanowski, ANU


  • Panel Q &A Moderator John Simon, Gottstein Trustee, former chair Forest & Wood Products Australia 
  • Closing comments Helen Murray Course convenor


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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