Forestry, Wood and Building Technologies

Within the research area Forestry, Wood and Building Technologies, the objective of Linnaeus University Centre for Data Intensive Sciences and Applications (DISA) is to create more intelligent decision support systems for the wood industry. The work includes improving and synchronizing information and communication flows in forestry, and identifying relationships among different properties of wood-based materials by using Big Data, for example.

Our research

The researchers within Forestry, Wood and Building Technologies work with fundamental and applied questions, with the aim to create more intelligent decision support systems for forestry and the wood industry. Part of the strategy is to increase the digitalisation in forestry and to identify relationships among different measurable properties of wood-based materials.

Work with management and synchronization of new digital data, computational intensive methods, advanced statistics and very large sets of data will be included. This requires competence in the fields of computer science and statistics, in addition to knowledge of forestry and managing of resources and of wood material. Some examples:

  • Strength, stiffness and shape stability are decisive for the competitiveness of wood – the only renewable structural material for construction. Timber can be graded with respect to these important engineering properties, but higher utilization of the material requires more accurate grading than what can be obtained using the methods on the market today. This will be possible by using the latest advances of information technology.
  • A technology leap is currently taking place in forestry, where new types and large amounts of data recently have been accessed (data from the land survey laser scanning, forest soil data, forest land data, digital data for protected nature, land set aside for conservation and cultural remnants etc.). In addition, there are automatic measurements by different sensors in each part of the production chain and also partly through societal services that provide information about e.g. the local weather forecast, prices, the need for quantity and quality of forest assortments. There is a great potential for improving information and communication flows in forestry, but data flows need to be synchronized. In addition, cross-border sensors and communication flows across the entire production chain will give us access to previously unknown and probably very large amounts of data (Big Data). Converted to new applicable knowledge, these data can provide a very high economical value for the forest industry.
  • Applications of Big Data in the forest-based industry and furniture domain such as intelligent personalized generation of wood and furniture product bundles (methods and software), support of smart business network operations, development of expert systems based on intelligent models of wood and furniture sector manufacturing, data analysis for decision making, and development of intelligent wood and furniture operations through the integration of advanced control systems (based on micro-controllers, for example) and sensors/actuators.
  • Data flows must be integrated and standardized, so that data can be sent between different systems and users across the entire management chain and increase the possibilities for mobile communication. For this to become a reality, a functional interface for communication is required, between systems as well as between systems and users. Through access to current data in the right form and with high quality, conditions are provided for flexible and customized management of forest operational operations, for planning and optimization of transport logistics of forest raw materials, and for efficiently implemented forestry business transactions.

Forestry, Wood and Building Technologies is an application area within the Linnaeus University Centre of Excellence (LNUC) for Data Intensive Sciences and Applications.

Foto: Peter Ekberg