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11 May 2015 < Back

PCA Release Speaker Programme for 2015 Conference

This year the PCA is taking its 85th annual event to Cambridge, with the Conference taking place at The Møller Centre. We are starting the day with a packed Conference, followed by the PCA and GPT AGM and rounding off a great day with the PCA Best Practice Awards Dinner.


Peter Wilson, Director of the Wood Studio Forest Products Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University which focuses on the creative use of timber in architecture, design and construction of buildings and structures. The key objective of the Wood Studio is to promote the use of timber and timber products with the more creative sector of the market, with an emphasis on architects and designers. Peter’s lecture focuses on the ‘Impact of Timber Innovation on Future Property Care’. Specifically looking at the development of engineered wood construction in new and different forms, including using engineered timber in the manufacture of large and complex buildings.

Max Wade is Technical Director (Ecology) at AECOM based in Cambridge and has over 20 years of professional ecological experience, specialising in environmental protection and the management of a wide range of habitats, endangered species and ecosystems with an emphasis on plant ecology. Max has advised various clients and government on a range of issues including risk assessments for pathways and species, alien invasive species management and the distribution and spread of aquatic flora, the latter while Professor of Ecology at the University of Hertfordshire. More recently Max has been supporting the PCA in developing a professional and evidence based approach to Japanese Knotweed and other invasive weeds. Max’s presentation is titled ‘Pushing back the invasion – Industry is showing that it holds the key to controlling the threat from invasive plants’.


Brian Ridout has built a reputation as an independent consultant specialising in the scientific assessment of timber decay and other damp related problems in historic buildings and important structures. He promotes a philosophy that steers away from what he sees as damage caused by unnecessary or incautious remedial treatments and the use of chemical preservatives. In his lecture – ‘Remedial Treatments and Heritage Conservation – A clash of approaches’ – Brian has promised to challenge some of the commonly accepted conventions in respect to rots and wood destroying insects and the biocide’s used to treat them. He will consider some of the basic conceptions about the spread and characteristics of timber destroying fungi and look questioningly at some of the ways we diagnose and tackle insect infestation in the built environment. This highly anticipated presentation will no doubt be challenging, informative and will undoubtedly provoke thought and debate.

Dr. Dirk Lukowsky started his career as a finish carpenter, eventually qualifying as a master cabinetmaker. After ten years spent learning his craft, he studied wood science and technology at the University of Hamburg and earned his Ph.D. with a thesis on the protection of wood with melamine resins. Since 1999, he has worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research (WKI) in Brunswick, where he specializes in failure analysis and wood protection. Dirk’s presentation, titled ‘Failure Analysis of Wood and Wood based Products’, describes strategies and simple but powerful techniques to document and analyse failures like fractures, cracks, delamination and discoloration.


 To reserve your place at this exciting event, click here to download a non-member booking form and send back to the PCA!



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