In June, I traveled to Vienna, Austria to attend the prestigious Schweighofer Prize and participate in the international student workshops. This is the second time Canfor has been involved and sponsored students to attend as one way to support innovation in the forestry industry. Amongst the group of 37 students, Canfor sponsored nine from various Canadian and US universities.
At the workshop, I particularly enjoyed sitting with small groups of students to discuss topical issues such as the barriers to attracting people to forestry related careers, and how companies can attract the talent and skilled individuals they seek to hire.
CEO Don Kayne discusses relevant industry issues with a group of international research students.
Following the conference, we asked some of the Canfor-sponsored students for feedback on their experience. Here are just a few things they were shared:
What was your favourite part of the Schweighofer Prize student workshop?
“The wide range of advanced research being conducted in wood products and technologies among this group of students is truly impressive. The opportunity to become familiar with these international researchers and their work is very valuable, and this newly established network will support and encourage future collaborations for many years.” - Nathan Elser, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
What experience will make a lasting impression on you?
“Meeting people who are concerned about wood and wood-related industries and being in an environment that encourages and supports students in the field of wood research.” - Houri Sharifnia, Virginia Tech, Department of Sustainable Biomaterials
Why did you choose your field, and what do you see as the future of your field?
“I have always been interested in wood. Looking ahead as a social scientist, there are social aspects that can be explored such as perception of engineered wood products, perception of tall wood building, or diversity in the industry. I think that the future of the forest products sector is very bright and promising.” - Pipiet Larasatie, Oregon State University, Department of Wood Science & Engineering
How has Canfor helped you achieve your research goals?
“Through its generous funding, Canfor has supported my research goals by providing me the opportunity to meet many promising researchers in my field and successful members of the forest products industry. Being able to discuss my research with others, receive feedback, and identify opportunities for collaboration was hugely beneficial for me.” - Nathan Elser, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Overall, I’m pleased to hear how much they valued the opportunity to connect with other like-minded professionals and students in their industry. From my perspective, I also found it incredibly valuable to have the opportunity to meet and learn from this exceptional group of future leaders.
To learn more about Canfor’s involvement in the Schweighofer Prize, read our June 15 blog post.