Province Announces $2.25 Million to Bolster Wood Innovation and Design
Prince George, B.C. – It was all smiles at the Wood Innovation Design Centre this afternoon.
This as the provincial government announced $2.25 million in funding for a new Tall Wood and Hybrid Structures Engineering Research chair at UNBC.
Thomas Tannert, an expert in timber engineering design, will occupy the new position with an eye towards helping bolster the school’s master of integrated wood design program.
He comes to UNBC from UBC where he was the associate chair in wood building design and construction. His mandate at UNBC will be to establish an interdisciplinary research program, building capacity to design and deliver innovative and sustainable hybrid engineering solutions.
The program is expected to cover a wide range of topics including:
- Innovations in structural design
- Hybrid structure design combing wood, concrete, steel, and glass components
- Building physics such as vibrations, acoustics, fire safety and life-cycle analysis
The research is being funded through the Leading Edge Endowment Fund, which was distributed through the BC Innovation Council, a provincial Crown agency.
“This investment in a Tall Wood and Hybrid Structures Engineering Research Chair will advance our institution’s goals in the research and natural resource areas,” says UNBC president Dr. Daniel Weeks.
“Maximizing the use of local materials and knowledge when building tall wood structures strengthens regional community development, as well as the sustainability of the forestry industry.”
“We cannot underestimate the importance of research. It drives innovation, improves the quality of our lives and finds solutions to complex problems,” adds Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond.
“Having this research chair at UNBC builds on our vision for showcasing B.C.’s expertise in wood design and construction. I want to congratulate UNBC for continuing to attract significant research funding, including this new research chair.”
The Leading Edge Endowment Fund was launched in 2002 to encourage social and economic development in B.C.
To date the program has funded 29 research chairs throughout the province. Leadership Research Chairs receive a total endowment of up to $.4.5 million through the fund, which is cost-shared between government and the private sector – each contributing $2.25 million.