Principal Investigator: Michael Ramage
PhD Student: Patrick Fleming
Collaborator: Oren Scherman, Chemistry
The broad research group focusing on polymer modified timber is made up of chemists, material scientists, engineers, and architects working from the molecular scale of wood to the scale of structural elements and buildings. The fundamental objective of the research project is the design and development of modified, environmentally friendly, structural timber products. The main focus of the work involves the creation and utilization of innovative impregnation methods that are ecologically sound, require a relatively low energy input, and improve the mechanical properties of fast growing softwoods to meet the requirements of higher structural grading classes in current industry specifications. It is hoped that through intelligent composite design, further benefits such as new ways of designing and building with timber, increased material utilization, reduced in-situ maintenance requirements, and ecologically efficient end-of-life disposal can also be achieved. The nature of the research is multidisciplinary and as a result, supervision, guidance, facilities and resources are available from across the chemistry, engineering and architecture departments in the University of Cambridge. By working across all of the relevant scales of wood, the group is able to form unique collaborations, leading to innovative results that combine the strengths of both research and design.