Strength Prediction of Softwood

Strength Prediction During Production of Sawn Structural Softwood

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Grading of structural softwood for construction utilises sophisticated grading equipment including mechanical stress graders, x-rays, visual scanning, and laser tracking of grain of every sawn board produced. Much of this grading equipment has been developed internationally with a focus of stiffness grading or visual strength grading. The project will investigate methods of strength (weakness) prediction in grading of structural softwood appropriate for grading in industrial scale facilities in Australia with a view to improve value recovery whilst leading to safer outcomes in construction.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Assaad Taoum


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend funded by Wespine Industries Pty Ltd of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Additional funding

If successful, applicants will also receive a top-up scholarship of $11,403 per annum, and operating funds of $5,000 per annum, for 3.5 years. Both the top-up and operating funds are funded by Wespine Industries Pty Ltd.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • A degree in civil, structural, mechanical, or agricultural engineering or a degree in forest science/forestry

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Work experience in timber design or manufacturing

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Assaad Taoum to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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