Timber skills triumph in Hereford

Timber TED1

By Tabitha Binding

The latest Timber Technology Engineering and Design 1 (Timber TED1) course, designed to upskill and reskill timber professionals, completed last week with 16 participants graduating.

Delivered by the New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE) in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University and Timber Development UK (TDUK), Timber TED1 is the first course based on the Timber in Construction Skills Action Plan.

Industry, professionals and academics developed the skills action plan in response to climate change and the UK Net Zero targets. Timber will play a major part in reducing upfront and operational carbon emissions in the built environment, but education around timber up until now in the UK has been poor. We need more people across all the built environment silo’s to be able to work efficiently and effectively with wood.

Timber TED1 is a 12-week, blended course comprising online learning and nine residential days at the Centre for Advanced Timber Technology (CATT) in Hereford.

The residential days start in the forest, move on to a sawmill and then a Passivhaus construction site, to give students an understanding of sustainable timber and its practical applications. Hands on making deepens this understanding, with students working in multidisciplinary teams to develop a greater awareness of how an effective design, specification and delivery team can work.

The most recent graduation day saw the January 2023 cohort including engineers, architects, timber frame manufacturers, set designers and project managers present their team projects to invited guests from industry, professional practice and academia. The teams were quizzed on their designs, ease of manufacture, the applicability to their jobs and the wider impact that their learning will bring.

Natalie Dixon, UK Division Manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, said: “Wow, well done you guys. That was so inspiring and evocative for me today. It’s been some time since I really delved back into the timber world. I absolutely loved it. We all need a little more contact and engagement with up-and-coming talent.”

Timber TED is open to anyone working in the UK built environment sector who wants to understand and build better with timber.


Want to find out more?

Join Professor Robert Hairstans, CATT Director and Tabitha Binding, TDUK’s Head of Education online at 12.30 on Wednesday 10 May to find out more. Register here…

Other testimonials given after the TimberTED1 courses include:

“All architects should take this course, it will improve the way we work and design.” – Dominika Kubieniec Architect at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

“The course was brilliant and has completely reshaped my perspective on sustainability. The support provided by the team was great and made the learning experience even more enjoyable!”Marc McCutcheonDonaldson Timber Systems

“I can confidently say, it’s the best decision I’ve made on my academic journey so far. I got to learn so much about timber as a material from its origin in the woodland to its application in construction projects all while making valuable professional connections in the industry and gaining and improving a wide range of skills including woodworking. I believe there are still misconceptions about the use of timber in construction and I’m eager to promote its potential as a sustainable and viable building material” – Rania Abooki Mutegeki  Final Year, BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying at Edinburgh Napier University

“It’s great to finally have an education and training centre focused on the development of meaningful timber skills. We have exciting times ahead with the use of all timber products in construction increasing but we must ensure that the right products are specified and used so that the benefits of timber in construction are magnified. Timber TED can educate the whole supply, design, manufacture and delivery teams.” – Phil McCormick, TDUK board lead for education & training.