Experimental and Computational Micro-Characterization Techniques in Wood Mechanics

Research Institute


The School of Forestry at Canterbury is the only university department in New Zealand to offer professional forestry degree programmes. Research is carried out within four clusters:

  • Sustainable Land Management
  • Forest Engineering
  • Understanding Reduced Forest Variability 
  • Forestry as a Business

Variability in the forest resource increases the risk to both forest growers and processors. Understanding the causes of variability of wood traits, and therefore promoting the development of superior resources and products is the major challenge in plantation forestry. Understanding Reduced Forest Variability comprises research in wood quality, breeding, silviculture and modeling. Research in wood quality focuses on the assessment (and tools and statistical determination) of genetic variation and of establishment and early growth on pines and eucalypts with regard to intrinsic wood characteristics.


The School has first class facilities for teaching and research. It also accommodates the South Island branch of Scion, the NZ’s major forestry research institute. The wood technology laboratory contains timber drying, pulp and paper testing, mechanical testing for wood from matchstick to structural timber and a variability of acoustic timber testing facilities, including an ultrasonic disc scanner and a fully climate controlled DMA. We have access to the X-ray diffraction and microscopy facilities.