Oslo Report: 2023 World Conference on Timber Engineering

Planning now begins for WCTE2025 in Brisbane!

Fri 23 Jun 23


The world’s leading researchers, engineers, architects, consultants, contractors, project managers, suppliers and manufacturers have gathered in Oslo for the World Conference on Timber Engineering.

In total more than 850 delegates attended the conference, with Norway (160 delegates) unsurprisingly the leading contingent followed by Japan (80 delegates), Germany and Canada both with 70 delegates followed by the United States with 65 delegates.

Japan has emerged as a global leader in all-timber and hybrid timber construction with the Japanese government offering strong incentives to use timber in construction.

Through the 2021 revision of the Public Buildings Wood Use Promotion Act, the Japanese government is encouraging the use of domestic forest plantations planted after WWII not only in public buildings but also in privately developed buildings.

Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a new policy which will escalate cedar tree harvesting, to reduce hay fever, which will directly result in more timber being used in construction.

Several Japanese researchers provided papers including Professor Takahiro Tsuchimoto from Kyoto University looking at increasing the number of mid-rise and high-rise timber buildings by looking at cross-laminated panel construction and glulam frame capacity and design.

A copy of Professor Tsuchimoto’s abstract can be downloaded here.

Australia’s largest delegation at the conference

Oslo represented a high point for Australian representation at the conference.

In total 43 Australian delegates attended the four-day conference, with eight delegates providing presentations.

As reported on Monday, presentations included Christina Wijeratne, Senior Investment Associate for the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation who provided “A case study on the use of robotics in constructing the award-winning Boola Katatjin mass timber building in Western Australia.”

In March 2023, Christina Wijeratne spoke to WoodSolutions ‘Timber Talks’ about the project and how the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation is incentivising timber in construction. Footage courtesy of @WoodSolutionsAustralia

Boris Iskra, Forest and Wood Products Australia National Standards and Codes Manager yesterday reported on his presentation – ‘Fire-Protected Timber Elements of Construction – Response During Fire Decay and Cooling Phase’ leading to key changes in the National Construction Code for buildings up to 8-storeys high.

A copy of Mr Iskra’s abstract can be downloaded here.

Dr Cristian Maluk, along with Dr Felix Wiesner, Research Assistant Jeronimo Carrascal Tirado and Research Fellow Kim Barber of the University of Queensland delivered a paper “exploring the influence of heating conditions in the charring profile of bare timber and timber protected with a thin intumescent coating.”

A copy of Dr Maluk’s abstract can be downloaded here.

Professor Keith Crews delivers one of six keynote addresses

As reported on Monday, Professor Keith Crews was one of six delegates invited to give a keynote address.

Professor Crews is the director of the Australian Research Council, Research Hub to Advance Timber in the Built Environment and is a Professional Research Fellow at the University of Queensland.

Professor Crews has published more than 350 research papers and in 2013, co-authored the Australian Timber Design Handbook.

In July 2022, the Australian Government announced the formation of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub to Advance Timber for Australia’s Future Built Environment (ARC Advance Timber Hub) led by Professor Crews.

The aim of the hub is to develop the resources, enablers, and drivers to advance timber, as a natural resource, to be the material of choice, leading towards a net zero future for Australia’s built environment.

The ARC Advance Timber Hub will play an important role as Brisbane prepares to host the next conference in 2025 – the first time it will be hosted in Australia.

• Wood Central will be providing additional coverage from Australian-based attendees next week. For more insights from the conference please visit Wood Central’s running commentary from the conference.


  • Wood Central

    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.


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