Real-time measurement of the thickness swelling of modified fibreboard

Wood composite panels such as particleboard and fiber board swell when they get wet and, as a result, they are only used to make products that are used indoors. However, a new type of (modified) fibreboard has been developed that doesn’t swell when it becomes wet, which opens up the possibility of using fibreboards outdoors for siding, furniture and cabinets. The market for such products is large, but end-user need to be fully convinced that the new fibreboard is highly moisture resistant.

BC Pulp and Paper Bioproducts Alliance: Upgrading black liquor lignin through fractionation and chemical modification

Lignin represents the largest reservoir of natural aromatic compounds available on earth. It is a potential substitute for a range of chemicals currently derived from petroleum, but product development and identification of market opportunities remain challenging. The objective of the research is to utilize industrial softwood kraft lignins from the black liquor of British Columbia mills, process them into uniform lignin streams with known performance specifications by fractionation and chemical modification.

Automation and Evaluation of Rapid Deforestation Assessments of Small Farms

The worlds’ forests are being cleared at an alarming rate to make room for agriculture. Consequently, agricultural companies and those that finance them are increasingly required to demonstrate that the farms that they do business with were not recently deforested. Current methods for assessing deforestation involve using experts to analyze satellite images but this process can be cost prohibitive for small farms. The objective of this project is to develop and assess the accuracy of a new method that completely automates this process without the need for experts.

Identification of heterotic gene pools to accelerate hybrid breeding in Brassica napus (canola)

Heterosis is a natural phenomenon where offspring (hybrids) outperform their parents in many agronomic traits, although exploited in breeding the mechanisms controlling heterosis remain elusive. Genetic distance between parents has been positively correlated with heterosis, yet does not adequately explain the phenomenon. Dividing lines from any crop into heterotic groups that provide optimal combining ability upon crossing, is one of the most important goals of any hybrid breeding program. The main objective of this proposal is to define the heterotic pools of Brassica napus (canola).

Modelling successional dynamics in the boreal mixedwoods

A thorough understanding of the effects of the natural disturbances on successional dynamics is essential when developing silvicultural approaches. If applied correctly, this understanding should ensure the sustainable management of the wood resources, as well as the conservation of the biological attributes and ecological functions of forest ecosystems. With respect to the spatial and temporal complexity of the successional dynamics of forest ecosystems, simulation models are powerful tools as they are able to address many factors simultaneously.

Landscape-scale reconstruction of the spatio-temporal attributes and biophysical drivers of mixed-severity fire regimes in the Alberta Foothills

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) presumes that sustainability is a function of how well we understand ecosystem function and ecological dynamics. This includes understanding relationships among climate, disturbance, vegetation patterns, and ecological services. Recent research on the historical ecology of montane forests in western Canada has challenged the long-standing notion that stand-replacing fires characterized the landscape. Instead, a mixed-severity regime (MSFR) existed in portions of the montane forest.

Lateral resistance of Midply walls used as infills in Japanese Post and Beam Construction

Midply walls have higher lateral resistance than traditional light wood frame shear walls, by creating double shear in fasteners and having larger edge distance. There is also a potential to use Midply wall as infills in Japanese Post and Beam construction, in order to improve the seismic performance of the current system. Little research has been done in this area. The proposed project will investigate the effect of different fasteners, stud material, and sheathing thickness on the behavior of Midply walls.

Displacement-based Design of Hybrid Steel-timber Structures

Driven by heightened environmental awareness, the construction industry increasingly strives to utilize materials such as timber with a low-carbon footprint in their life cycle. High-strength mass-timber products, innovative ductile connections, and fast computer-numerically-controlled pre-fabrication, combined with changing legislation create better opportunities to also build tall timber structures. However, low ductility and limited tensile strength of timber are challenges for such buildings particularly in high seismic zones.

Composite action in mass timber floor and beam system connected with self-tapping wood screws

Nowadays, massive timber floor/roof systems are designed by a simplified approach that treats the floor/roof and the supporting beams separately, thus ignoring the composite action between these two elements. Including the composite action in the calculations has the potential to increase the stiffness of the systems and to make their design more competitive and cost-effective. The key to achieve the composite action is to have a very stiff connection between the members.

Upper Fraser River bull trout management evaluation

Bull trout in the upper Fraser watershed (UFW) of British Columbia are important top predators and serve as the basis of a recreational fishery. Anglers in the region have asked government to consider changing current fishing regulations for bull trout from catch-and-release to regulations that allow them to take a portion of their catch home. Allowing for this regulatory change would increase the types of fishing opportunities in the area but could harm bull trout populations.