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June : Forest operations research capacity at Stellenbosch University

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8 June, 2018

Forest operations research capacity at Stellenbosch University

Simon Ackerman
Simon Ackerman

Announcement of an additional forest operations research position at the Department of Forest and Wood Science, Stellenbosch University.

Forest Operations Systems Research Unit at Stellenbosch University The Department of Forest and Wood Science at Stellenbosch University has formed a strategic partnership with SAPPI, Mondi and York through the formation of a specialized Forest Operations Systems Research Unit. FOSRU will be in place as from 1 July 2018 and will be headed by Simon Ackerman, former research scientist at the ICFR. FORSU will concentrate on high-level research and will complement Stellenbosch University's continued and successful collaboration with Industry in the field of postgraduate research and teaching. FOSRU will take advantage of new disruptive technologies and analytical methodologies, in the form of "Big Data analytics", to aid decision making within the forestry supply chain.

Simon's core obligations are three-fold. 1) Research on compartment characterisation and the effect on end of rotation processes and the forestry value chain. 2) Fulfil the role as South African coordinator at the EU 2020 Tech4Effect initiative and maintain the partnership with NIBIO through the project. 3) Continue to contribute to the management and execution of the productivity improvement initiative developed by Stellenbosch University and the ICFR in 2014. Supplemental work will entail high-level academic research through MSc and PhD research with subsequent scientific publications as output through a specialized technical liaison between academia and the forestry industry. FOSRU will also, but to a lesser extent, serve as a resource base for testing trending technology and techniques, and will address shorter-term research questions from the industry partners.

Simon Ackerman is a well-respected researcher in South Africa. His experience and expertise will be optimally utilised and supported within the academic support structures of Stellenbosch University. Simon brings an extensive research network to FOSRU and the industry to the benefit of the industry. Simon will pursue a PhD through Stellenbosch University, supervised by Dr Rasmus Astrup (Research Director of Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)). The current industry partners will finance the position, with the intention of a longer-term association with Stellenbosch University. The intention is to build and grow the consortium. Hence, FORSU invites other stakeholders to become part of FORSU for the benefit of a greater South African forest industry.  

Source: Stellenbosch University