10 May 2021

Teaching timber – structural and civil engineering degrees

Location: Online
Time: 12:00–13:30 BST
Organiser: TRADA
Venue: N/A

Are you introducing timber as a material into your structural or civil engineering course? Would you like to access resources and a new publication that will give you, your university and your students a head start when incorporating timber into your teaching?


Lecturers and tutors who are, or will be, teaching timber in UK higher education degree courses are invited to join us on Monday 10 May 2021 (12:00–13:30 BST) for Teaching timber – structural and civil engineering degrees.


‘The climate emergency must be “central” to our education of engineers’, says the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), who accredits engineering degrees. New guidelines for developing degree programmes were released in 2020 and revised in 2021. Low carbon material selection and sustainability feature, opening the door for timber to be taught more equally alongside other construction materials.


The crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are two of the most serious issues of our time. Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.


For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. In our bid to accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in our work as structural or civil engineers, we will incorporate timber – maybe for the first time! We will require our future engineers to understand timber as a material, how to specify the right species and right product, efficiently and effectively.


This webinar is intended for university lecturers of structural and civil engineering programmes who are interested in integrating timber more fully into their curriculum and will feature the new TRADA technical textbook Designing timber structures: an introduction, co-authored by James Norman and Andrew Thomson.


Further TRADA resources, including Books Online, Learning Resources and Case Studies, will be highlighted. These resources will enable you to advance your knowledge on all aspects of timber and timber-based designs, and confidently introduce timber to our future engineers.


James Norman, Associate Professor in Sustainable Design, Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, and Vikki Edmondson, Senior Lecturer, Civil Engineering, Northumbria University – both experienced timber teachers – will talk through:

  • introducing structural timber engineering to students;
  • the methods, tasks, tools, project types that work best;
  • how to meet the requirements of the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM); and
  • how to incorporate timber within the curriculum.
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