23 September 2019

The Better Timber Buildings conference 2019: Introducing our speakers

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The Better Timber Buildings conference, which will take place on 27 November in London, is inspired by TRADA’s long-standing commitment to upskilling the timber industry and improving timber’s competitive advantage.


It is intended as a comprehensive, holistic resource which highlights key areas of knowledge, covers sensitive issues, and prompts purposeful conversation around hot topics – guiding attendees to identify their own interests, improve their personal or business practices, and design and build better timber buildings.


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Meet the Better Timber Buildings conference speakers



Nick Ling, Technical Design Lead, Heatherwick Studio

Nick’s role, a specialist position created to support the technical delivery of large scale and complex projects, means that he is embedded in various design teams, producing design work and mentoring teams using the technical experience acquired through his extensive practical and on-site experience.


Prior to joining the studio, Nick was based at Woods Bagot Europe and worked at Foster + Partners for over fifteen years.




Sam Elliott, Development Director, The Office Group

Sam has been Development Director at The Office Group since 2011 and has led the team in delivering 25 TOG buildings. Some of their most stand-out projects include Tintagel House, 201 Borough High Street and York House.



Dr Keerthi Ranasinghe, Senior Lecturer & Programme Director for Civil Engineering & Quantity Surveying, UoW Trinity Saint David

Dr Ranasinghe is the author of the TRADA publication Eurocode 5 Span Tables 4th edition as well as a number of other popular publications from TRADA. He is also the author of the TRADA Eurocode 5 online software as well as sitting on the BSI committees B/525/5 (Eurocode 5: Timber Engineering), B/525/1 (Eurocode 1: Actions) and B/525/- /32 (Fire). He is also the UK representative on the European Standardisation Committees CEN/TC250/SC5/WG4 (Timber – Fire) and CEN/TC250/SC5/WG5 (Timber – Connections).


Dr Ranasinghe has a wide range of experience in structural investigations and regularly delivers CPD talks and workshops on Eurocode 5 at TRADA, as well as at the Institution of Structural Engineers, UK. Keerthi has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Structural Engineering.



Alex Abbey, Partner, Cullinan Studio

Having worked for architectural practices in Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Edinburgh, Alex joined Cullinan Studio in 1998. He has over 20 years of architectural experience, with particular expertise in low energy design and the use of timber, across a wide range of sectors including education, health and cultural projects. He recently worked with manufacturers to develop an off-site, quick build timber system for primary schools.


Alex enjoys teaching and lecturing about the work of the Cullinan practice and leads its 'Development' management team. Alex qualified as an architect from the University of Edinburgh in 2000.


Key projects include: John Hope Gateway, Visitor Centre, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Project Architect); Gateway to Petra, Visitor Centre, Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities, Jordan (Project Architect); Holy Cross Primary School, Swindon (Project Director); Central Building Refurbishment, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge (Project Director); and Maitland Park, Housing and estate regeneration, London Borough of Camden (Project Director).



Danny Hopkin, Technical Director, OFR Consultants Ltd

Dr. Danny Hopkin is a chartered fire engineer & Technical Director at OFR. He started out as a researcher at the BRE UK, before moving into design consultancy in 2011. He has had an input on large scale projects across the globe, including the Island City Centre Mumbai, 4 Pancras Square London, the new European HQ for Google and the Facebook UK Campus.


Danny has a doctorate in the fire performance of engineered timber products and systems, and continues to undertake research in his role as Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield – with primary interests in the fire performance of timber, structural reliability and quantitative risk assessment. He lead / co-authored the revision of UK guidance (BS / PD 7974) on the topics of: fire dynamics, structural fire performance and quantitative risk assessment.



Steve Cook, Product Improvement & Innovation Manager, Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd

A carpenter by trade, Steve currently leads product improvement and innovation at Willmott Dixon Construction, and has 29 years’ experience in the construction industry. Externally, he is a UK board director of PEFC, Chairman of Grown in Britain, and sits on the Construction Leadership Council’s Innovation in Buildings Workstream, the Structural Timber Association Think Tank and the Supply Chain Sustainability Schools Offsite Leadership Group.



Jennifer Eriksson, Timber Engineer, Stora Enso

Jennifer joined Stora Enso in 2018 after graduating from Umeå University, Sweden, with a BSc in structural engineering focused on advanced timber structures. Her background is in bespoke joinery and she has extensive experience in both designing and building fine wood doors, windows, and furniture for both listed buildings and new developments.


At Stora Enso, Jennifer is part of the Building Solutions R&D team, where she is involved in multiple projects – including moisture and acoustic testing – and the continued improvement of Stora Enso’s massive wood products such as CLT and LVL.




Robin Lancashire, Senior Timber Frame Consultant, BM TRADA

As Senior Timber Frame Consultant, Robin has extensive on-site experience providing advice on best practice construction to all areas of the timber frame industry. Robin is also a co-author of Timber frame construction: designing for high performance 5th edition and regularly provides talks on timber frame construction at national building exhibitions and conferences.



Ed Suttie, Research Director, BRE

Dr Ed Suttie is the Research Director of BRE, the home of BREEAM and a world leading international built environment science and research business. Ed is passionate about material sustainability, health and wellbeing in the built environment, people and forestry. He is involved in research into the health and well-being qualities of materials used in the fit out of offices, schools and healthcare buildings. He has completed work with a Scandinavian led-consortium on the health and wellbeing benefits of wood in interiors.


Ed is the BRE lead for a pioneering office refurbishment study deploying biophilic design that will generate evidence of occupant benefits of a human centred workplace. He is also Executive Group member for Grown in Britain.


Find out more about the Better Timber Buildings conference


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