Making effective use of technological advances

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 9:00am – 12:00pm


Speakers: Daniel Hindman, VT; Torsten Lihra, FPInnovations


As technology continuously evolves, manufacturers need to assure that they incorporate the latest inventions into their products and processes as needed. This session will provide information about wood finishing, joinery, and adhesives to help you stay abreast in these areas.




Daniel P. Hindman, Ph.D., serves as associate professor in Sustainable Biomaterials where his research program focuses upon the efficient use of wood materials for residential and commercial applications. Dr. Hindman’s research philosophy revolves around three principles related to wood materials: structure, safety, and sustainability. It is important to understand the structure of wood materials and how this structure impacts the hygrothermal and mechanical properties of materials. Recent projects have included the study of wood strand properties, as well as the splitting of bolts loaded perpendicular to grain in wood composites, and defects associated with wood flooring. Safe use of wood products in the workplace is a subject that has received little attention. Recent funding for Dr. Hindman’s work has included the study of unbraced I-joists subjected to lateral buckling and the strength of fall arrest systems for use in residential construction.

Sustainability of fiber sources is an important aspect of green building that requires further quantitative research to understand how to improve the performance of buildings. Recent projects have included life cycle analysis of different structural styles of wood buildings, as well as understanding the moisture relationships of green building insulation materials. Dr. Hindman teaches Wood Mechanics and Green Building Systems and the graduate level Timber Engineering course.


Researcher and Group leader – Value-Added Products at FPInnovations, Dr. Torsten Lihra has focussed his work on the secondary processing of hardwood. Over the last 15 years, he has acquired working experience in the furniture industry and conducted research and development projects in areas such as marketing of forest products, mass customization and lean manufacturing. Dr. Lihra played a key role in creating the Partenariat de recherche sur l’industrie du meuble (PARIM) (Research partnership for the furniture industry), a major initiative for conducting R&D dedicated to the Canadian furniture industry. In 2010 he acted as Network Liaison Manager for the Strategic Value Chain Optimization Network, a pan Canadian research initiative of 12 Universities and FPInnovations.

Holder of a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in wood sciences from Université Laval, Québec, and a Bachelor’s degree in secondary wood processing from Rosenheim, Germany, Dr. Lihra has also studied and worked as a cabinetmaker. Through his involvement in organising numerous seminars, his knowledge of secondary wood processing and his close alliances with international partners, Dr. Lihra is recognised as a key expert in the Canadian value-added wood products industry.