Knowledge and skills triumph with first TimberTED students

The new Timber TED courses provide a comprehensive understanding of timber design and support practical development of vital timber skills

The new Timber TED courses provide a comprehensive understanding of timber design and support practical development of vital timber skills, according to the first group of students to graduate.

Students from the NMITE course

The first group of TimberTED students have completed their course.

The first full Timber Technology Engineering Design (Timber TED) courses began last year, with students from across the timber supply chain graduating from the 12-week course in December.

The Timber TED courses have been developed by the New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE), in partnership with Timber Development UK (TDUK) and Edinburgh Napier University. They are designed to upskill and reskill the built environment professionals of the future to address the climate emergency and have a better understanding of timber’s role in the path to net zero.

Students included architects, engineers, project managers and timber frame manufacturers, all of whom wanted to upskills and better their understanding of how to use more timber in their design and building projects.

The course began in the forest, with students also visiting Woodland Heritage’s sawmill and a construction site to better understand the journey that timber goes on from forest to final build, before returning to the classrooms at NMITE’s campus in Hereford to learn about materials, products and connections.

The students then formed multi-skilled teams and were asked to design and execute a sustainable built-environment structure using timber, putting into practice their new understanding of timber construction and digitally driven design.

Feedback from the students proves just how transformative the Timber TED courses can be.

Gerard Clarke, who works in Technical Sales and Marketing at timber frame manufacturer  FastHouse, said: “I am delighted to have just completed the TED1 Timber Engineering and Design Course. What an enjoyable way to future-proof my skillset in the concepts of sustainability and timber construction. This unique course has made me appreciate the sustainable built environment and the principles of sustainable timber design in construction. I have enjoyed networking with other professionals and feel lucky to become part of a community of knowledge in helping timber transform the built environment.”

Fellow student Oliver Dewar, Trainee timber frame designer at Taylor Lane, added: “The 12-week course provided a fantastic opportunity to expand and develop my understanding of sustainable timber practices and their importance in the industry.”

The 12-week courses are a mixture of remote and in-person learning.

On graduation day in December, academics and professionals from across the timber industry also visited the NMITE facility in Hereford and were given the chance to see how the students had faired. All were impressed by the level of knowledge that had been gained, and the practical structures they had designed and built.

Patrick Guest, Managing Director of National Timber Group and a TDUK Board Member, said: “I think the facility and training platform that has been created is very impressive. I see NMITE’s facility as the cap of the educational iceberg and we need to be using this platform to make as many people as possible aware of what can be achieved with timber.”

The second Timber TED1 course began in January with another 16 students, while the Timber TED2 course, which will focus on design, construction, technology and manufacture, will commence on 2 May.