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Future of wood science education in Europe

The InnoRenew CoE, together with InnovaWood and University of Primorska, hosted a two-day workshop on the current and future state of wood science education in Europe 14-15 November 2019.

As global challenges intensify and wood product demands increase, wood science and technology needs to evolve and become more interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary; however, wood science education as a rather small and specialized domain within universities often faces administrative reforms and budget cuts.

Dr Robert L. (Bob) Smith, head of the Sustainable Biomaterials department within the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech (USA), led the workshop. Department heads and senior representatives of wood science programs from various universities in Europe attended and  discussed evolution within the wood science discipline and best strategies and paths to take in order to address global challenges.

Workshop on the future. Image: Lea Primožič

“US and European wood science programs are experiencing challenges in maintaining study programs, but innovative solutions and teamwork between institutes have led to positive changes in how we approach education in this area,” said Dr Matthew Schwarzkopf, InnoRenew CoE researcher, assistant professor and programme coordinator of the Sustainable Built Environments master’s programme at the University of Primroska.