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InnoRenew CoE and University of Primorska successfully organised the 67th SWST International Congress about Advancing Regenerative Sustainability with Wood Science

The InnoRenew CoE, together with the University of Primorska, successfully hosted the 67th International Congress of Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST), held 30 June- 4 July 2024 at the Bernardin Hotel Congress Centre.

67th International Congress of Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST). Image: InnoRenew CoE

67th International Congress of Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST). Image: InnoRenew CoE

This year’s congress was held under the theme “Advancing Regenerative Sustainability with Wood Science” and brought together more than 190 researchers, academics and industry representatives from all over the world.

The congress traditionally started with a welcome reception on Sunday, where the travelling exhibition “Women in Science” was officially opened. This is dedicated to celebrating women in science.

Travelling exhibition “Women in Science” at SWST. Image: InnoRenew CoE

Dr. Andreja Kutnar, InnoRenew CoE director, was the keynote speaker at the congress. In her lecture she touched upon the topic of the future for wood science.


Dr. Andreja Kutnar was the keynote speaker at SWST. Image: InnoRenew CoE

At the congress it was also announced that Dr. Matthew Schwarzkopf, InnoRenew CoE researcher, become Vice President of the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST): “I am honored to be chosen for this position. I have been part of this society from my time as a student until now and very much value what it can offer young researchers and established researchers alike. I’m looking forward to being able to now serve and give back, ensuring that others can continue to benefit from this excellent society!”


Dr. Matthew Schwarzkopf become Vice President of SWST. Image: InnoRenew CoE

Over the four days of the congress, more than 170 presentations were made by researchers presenting the latest developments and insights on innovations in the forest sector, wood science, new uses of wood in the built environment, positive environmental impacts of wood, sustainability, new approaches to education in the wood sector, the future for engineered living materials and the socio-economic impacts of sustainable wood practices.

Among the participants were several InnoRenew CoE researchers who presented their research, namely:

  • Lei Han, who presented “A 3D-Scanning Method to Assess Deformation of Densified Beech Dowel”;
  • Edit Földvári-Nagy presented “DENDRO-SPEC project: Spectroscopic methods for rapid phenotyping of trees refl ecting their ecological resilience”;
  • Dr. Ana Slavec, presented the results of the research “Wooden Flooring in Slovenian Bedrooms: Are Consumers Able to Distinguish Between Natural Wood Synthetic Materials?”;
  • Mateja Erce »Can Wood Elements in Retirement Homes Improve the Wellbeing of Residents?«;
  • Dr. Črtomir Tavzes »Use of Green Tax Policies for Enhanced Use of Wood and Other Natural Materials from Renewable Sources for Faster Climate Neutrality Transition«;
  • Dr. Matthew Schwarzkopf »Aging of polyurethane adhesive bonds in beech composites«;
  • Marica Mikuljan »Effect of biochar impregnation on wood properties«;
  • Dr. Jaka Gašper Pečnik »Use of lignin-based adhesive for fi breboard and plywood«;
  • Dr. Andreja Kutnar in addition to her keynote lecture, also presented “Historical overview of topics at SWST Conventions” and “The New European Bauhaus (NEB) Academy Pioneer Hub for Sustainable Built Environments with Renewable Materials building up NEB Academy Alliance”;
  • Lea Primožič moderated part of the conference and presented her research “Decision Factors of Sustainable Construction Professionals in Slovenia”;
  • Dr. Anna Sandak moderated part of the conference and presented “A Prospect of Engineered Living Materials in the Building Sector”;
  • Faksawat Poohphajai “In-service performance of untreated and Biofinish coated Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)”.


Presentation of InnoRenew CoE researchers at SWST (dr. Jaka Gašper Pečnik, Marica Mikuljan, Mateja Erce, dr. Ana Slavec, Faksawat Poohphajai, Lea Primožič, dr. Andreja Kutnar, dr. Anna Sandak, dr. Matthew Schwarzkopf). Image: InnoRenew CoE

The organisers also organised a poster session, where researchers from InnoRenew CoE presented their research, namely:

  • Albert Kravos and Dr. Jakub Sandak “Quantifying olive leaf pruning waste”;
  • Edit Földvári-Nagy and Dr. Jakub Sandak “Using a Collaborative Robot to Automate the Determination of Wood Sorption Isotherms”;
  • Richard Acquah, Josip Dijanić, Dr. Anna Sandak, Dr. Jakub Sandak, Ryszard Sandak “Comparative Analysis of Wood Decay in Different European Climates: An Experimental Approach Using Flawed Playhouse Structures”;
  • Dr. Andreja Kutnar “Buildings and Education in the Wood Ecosystem for the New European Bauhaus – BE-WoodEN”;
  • Dr. Ondrej Dvoracek, Cuauhtli Campos and Dr. Jakub Sandak “Stereoscopic Vision As AI Tree Logging Enhancem.

Edit Földvári-Nagy at SWST. Image: InnoRenew CoE

The organisers also prepared a panel discussion with the editors of the Handbook of Wood Science and Technology, published by Springer. The book was presented and the importance of standardising the terminology of wood science was highlighted, which is also important for the further development of the discipline.


Panel discussion with the editors of the Handbook of Wood Science and Technology at SWST. Image: InnoRenew CoE

Besides the sessions, there was also a special session for The International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS) presentations. The convention offered also a rich accompanying program which enabled participants for more networking opportunities.

The International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS) and students presentations at SWST. Image: InnoRenew CoE


The final day of the convention there was the possibility to attend the Post-Convention tour which included the visit of the research institute InnoRenew CoE and its laboratories, Vina Koper wine cellar with wine tasting, and visit to a local oil mill with oil tasting.


Tour at InnoRenew CoE for SWST participants. Image: InnoRenew CoE

The congress was an important opportunity to share knowledge and to enrich the understanding and use of wood as a key natural resource, to forge new links and to promote innovation in the field of wood and wood technology. The organisers closed the event with an invitation to participate in the next congress to be held in the USA.

The final SWST congress dinner. Image: InnoRenew CoE

Watch here the video prepared by Damjan Muhič from University of Primorska.