Strength Prediction of Softwood

Strength Prediction During Production of Sawn Structural Softwood

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement



$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.

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.

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


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

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

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Assaad Taoum to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • 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.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application 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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