WPA appoints new Chair of Flame Retardant committee

The Wood Protection Association (WPA) has appointed Dr Matthew Powell to take responsibility for the flame retardant (FR)-related activities conducted by the organisation.

Matthew will be taking the reins from Gordon Ewbank, who has served the WPA and the timber industry for many years, and plans to retire at the end of 2023.

Matthew is highly experienced in wood protection technology, and his role will include the following:

  • to act as Chair of the WPA FR Committee
  • to prepare summary reports on FR matters for delivery to the WPA board of directors
  • to keep Members of the WPA up to date with standards, regulations and any other matters that could affect the market for FR treated wood, products, and processes
  • to act as the spokesperson on FR treated wood and wood-based materials in internal and external communications and at WPA events
  • to continue to be part of the WPA Benchmark audit team.

Matthew spent 21 years as a formulation chemist at a leading timber treatment company, during which time he worked on EU Biocidal Products Regulation, extensive FR testing projects, and microemulsion and emulsion product developments. In 2019, he started his own consulting business, Prenwell Consulting.

Matthew’s expertise lies in getting products to market – which involves intensive research and data collection – particularly fire test data, which stands him in good stead for his roles at the WPA.