Sigurdur Ormarsson

Sigurdur Ormarsson

Department of Building Technology Faculty of Technology
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I am a Professor of Timber Engineering with a focus on computational mechanics of wood and timber structures. I work at the Department of Building Technology and hold the so-called "Linnéprofessuren".


Courses at the undergraduate, advanced and Ph.D. levels that I have been teaching are listed below:

Applied programming, Structural analysis, Finite element modelling (basic and advanced), Material and fracture mechanics, Wood mechanics, Wood materials, Design of steel and wood structures, Design of advanced timber structures, Stabilization of buildings and roof constructions in wood, Applied FEM, Training school – Modelling, Scientific methodology and planning, Wood, timber and engineered wood products, From roundwood to timber engineering, Modelling of wood and timber structures, Timber based building systems.


An important part of my (and the department) research activities is to support the wood industry in developing of new and innovative quality wood products and to develop strategies of sustainable (multi-storey) timber buildings that are able to meet quality requirements regarding both design safety and society's needs. Wood is an environmentally friendly and renewable material, though very complex. It is a moisture sensitive, inhomogeneous and strongly orthotropic material that often has a spiral formed fibre orientation. To efficiently use wood as a building material during varying climatic conditions, it needs to be thoroughly analysed with respect to material strength, shape stability and load bearing capacity.

The ability to manufacture shape stable quality products in wood is very important for all sawmills, carpenters and furniture companies. My research interests are mainly on the numerical modelling of climate-related distortions in wood and timber structures, time-dependent behaviour of wood, stability of wood structures, and computer-based design of advanced timber structures. Moisture related stresses-cracking-and-fatigue as well as permanent compression deformations in wood are very complex phenomena that need to be carefully analysed because they are controlled by combined strain behaviours from reversible hygro-elasticity, mechano sorption, viscoelasticity and irreversible plasticity.

The department has several advanced experimental facilities that consist of various servo hydraulic testing machines at the material, component and structural levels, combined with a digital image correlation system called ARAMIS. Based on the combined numerical and experimental approaches, I develop simulation tools (adaptive 1D/2D/3D models) that are usable for the design of quality products in wood and timber structures with different degrees of complexity.

Some of my model applications are briefly listed below:

  • a growth stress model for radial tree growth
  • a 3D model for moisture-induced distortion of solid timber and laminated timber products
  • an enhanced beam model for hygro-mechanical and long-term behaviour in inhomogeneous glulam structures
  • a model for lateral torsional- and out-of-plane instability of slender timber structures
  • a model for moulding, spring-back and moisture related deformations in double curved veneer products
  • a 3D model for moisture-induced stresses in mechanical dowel type timber connections.
  • A 3D model of structural behaviour of large wooden volume modules used for multi storey houses


Article in journal (Refereed)

Conference paper (Refereed)

Chapter in book (Refereed)

Conference paper (Other academic)

Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)

Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic) (Other academic)

Report (Other academic)

Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))