People

Professor Chunping Dai

Faculty Profile

With extensive industry background, I am interested in both fundamental and applied research in engineered wood products (EWPs) and bamboo utilization technology (BUT). My current research areas include: modeling and innovative manufacturing of EWPs; development of engineered bamboo products for sustainable infrastructure applications; natural fiber composites for bio-packaging; improvement of veneer and strand-based composites manufacturing; and enhanced properties of wood and bamboo products.


Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr Vahid Nasir

Profile

My research interest is focused on the processing, manufacturing, and characterization of wood and bamboo products. I am passionate to study the mechanical performance and behavior of wood and engineered bamboo products under harsh service conditions. My vision is to integrate the unique sustainability features and properties of wood and bamboo products with state-of-the-art technological tools to produce high-performance products for high-tech engineering applications. I enjoy combining the knowledge of materials and mechanical engineering with wood science. I also use different machine learning or nondestructive evaluation methods, if needed, to address the high-variability observed in lignocellulosic materials. With a background from the school of mechanical engineering, I started my Ph.D. in Wood Science at UBC in 2016. I continued my research as a postdoctoral research fellow in the BAM Lab at UBC following my Ph.D. graduation in 2020.   

Dr. Kate Semple

Profile

I have worked in the area of wood and bamboo composites research since completing my PhD in wood-cement composite materials at the Australian National University in 2003. After that I relocated to the University of British Columbia to undertake a series of post-doctoral fellowships in particleboard and OSB manufacture and quality. From 2012 to 2015 I worked on a G8-sponsored Tri-University partnership in bamboo material and composites, focussing mainly on strand-based panel boards.  Bamboo material makes good quality strand-based composite products, but is much tougher and harder than wood, and does not compress during conventional hot pressing for wood composites. From 2015 to 2018 I worked at FPInnovations on plywood and LVL projects and research advisory to industry members. In 2019 I returned to Australia and worked on a short term project in native wood durability and field trial set up, hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland. I returned to UBC in February 2020. My role here is assisting with funding grant proposals, and the diverse group of graduate students with technical questions, writing and publication of their work. My main research is currently the application of bamboo fibre in moulded pulp manufacture, and in wood-bamboo hybrid building materials going forward.


Graduate students – PhD

Lucy Binfield

PhD: 2020 –

Supervisors: Chunping Dai and John Innes

Profile – Linkedin

Originally from the UK, I began my PhD studies at UBC in September 2020 after living for five years in China and getting inspired by the power, beauty and versatility of bamboo. My research looks at the socio-economic impact of specific instances of bamboo industry development initiatives in the Global South. Get in touch for collaborations and conversations on any aspect of bamboo forestry and sustainable development. Aside from bamboo, I am passionate about rock climbing, cycling and walking my dog.

Hugo Pineda

PhD: 2020 –

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

Profile – Google Scholar

My research is focused on mathematical and computational modeling and simulation of wood and bamboo composites consolidation processes, aiming to capture contact physics, heat and mass transfer phenomena to reduce manufacturing times, variability and excessive densification. I graduated with a double major in chemical engineering and mechanical engineering from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia and received my master’s degree from the same university working at the Products and Process Design Group, where I focused on computational simulation of industrial processes. I worked for four years as a patent examiner for the Colombian government, analyzing patent applications in the fields of mechanical engineering and chemical processes. During this time. I followed my passion and started to learn woodworking at the Santo Domingo Arts and Crafts school, where I had the opportunity to merge my previous engineering background with wood and bamboo products. I am looking forward to making a positive impact in the wood and bamboo composite industry.

Mohammad Khajouei-Nezhad

PhD: 2020 –

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

Profile – Google Scholar

Profile – Researchgate

My research interest is in modeling of bamboo, wood-based composite materials, engineered bamboo composites and mechanical properties. I have always been enthusiastic about conducting scientific research, and going for a Ph.D. can give me an opportunity to undertake further research in fields that I am passionate about.


Graduate students – MSc/MASc

Sol Rodriguez

MAsc/PhD 2020-

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

Profile – Linkedin

I am Sol Lewites, an engineer-in-training, builder and social entrepreneur. I am passionate about sustainable development and the built environments. Prior to the start of my research project at UBC I worked as a mass timber and bamboo engineer completing projects in Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and Nicaragua. I enjoy working in multi-disciplinary teams solving complex problems that will make the world a better place. Talk to me about big ideas, bamboo, non-profit work or endurance training. My research at UBC is focused on the utilization of bamboo as a structural building material for residential, commercial and institutional construction projects. I will be working closely with industry partners in R&D of engineered bamboo-wood hybrid composites. I strongly believe we can decarbonize the built environments industry and bamboo will play a key role in making it a reality, thus fighting climate change. 

Jialin Zhang

Msc 2020-

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

My research field is about bamboo bonding and bamboo-wood bonding. My research will contribute to bamboo composites products processing. I attained a dual bachelor’s degree from The University of British Columbia (UBC) and Nanjing Forestry University in Wood Products Processing. During my undergraduate studies, I gained a comprehensive understanding of the history of the wood products industry and became interested in making composites. I was active as a lab volunteer, and I worked in a laboratory after graduation in Dr. Chunping Dai’s group. Now I am a master student in the group, and my thesis will be about the bonding performance of flattened bamboo.

Yeling Xia

Msc: 2020-

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

My research is focused on the mechanism of carbonization and drying processes in the manufacturing of bamboo composites, in order to simplify and optimize the production lines through finer control of moisture migration. Predictable outcomes include increased efficiency, higher product quality, and lower energy consumption. I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a major in wood products processing and a minor in commerce. I also hold a bachelor’s degree in wood science from Nanjing Forestry University as a student in the Chinese-Foreign Cooperation in Running Schools program. As a master student, I would like to contribute to the bamboo manufacturing industry by applying established wood drying methods in Canada and China to bamboo.

Bruce Zhou

Msc: 2020-

Supervisor: Professor Chunping Dai

I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Wood Products Processing at UBC and am now a MSc student in Dr. Chunping Dai’s research group. My research interests include bio-food packaging, utilizing various natural fibers instead of wood fibers to produce moulded pulp food containers. During my undergraduate studies, I worked in a sawmill as a data analyst and noticed the shrinkage of wood resources, which led to my interest in finding alternative fiber resources to wood. My research could provide a new solution to this problem, and my goal is to develop a biodegradable packaging material with desired properties using various fibers to replace or reduce plastic.

Rain Liu

Bsc: 2016-

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

I graduated from the University of British Columbia and Beijing Forestry University with a Bsc in Wood Products Processing in May 2021. I am working on my master program with Professor Chunping Dai on bamboo. I am interested in bamboo construction materials and biodegradable packaging materials using bamboo and other natural fibers, and on carbon accounting with bamboo.

Eric Li

Msc: 2021-

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

After graduating from the University of British Columbia, Wood Products Processing programs of Forestry Department in May 2021, I began my master’s study with Professor Chunping Dai. I am working on bamboo-wood hybrid materials with a focus on flattening technology.


Visiting Scholars/Associate Members

Prof. Yu-an Hu

Visiting Associate Professor, Chinese Academy of Forestry

I hold a doctoral degree from the Chinese Academy of Forestry and a masters degree from Nanjing Forestry University. My research is mainly engaged in the properties, processing, modelling and utilization of wood- and bamboo-wood composites, and the modification of bamboo- and wood-plastic composites.

Tamara Britton

PhD, University of Western Ontario, Department of Anthropology & Environmental Sustainability: 2019-

Supervisors: Dr. Ian Colquhoun/Dr. Andrew Walsh

My work explores the socio-ecological and economic potential of bamboo as a sustainable development and land use alternative in coastal Ecuador through community-based ethnoprimatological research. This project is situated within discourses of bamboo for biodiversity, and neoliberal conservation to understand how the value and use of this non-timber forest product intersects in mutually beneficial ways in the livelihoods of rural farmers and endangered primate species.

Dr Yamei Liu

Lecturer, Anhui Agricultural University

I received my master’s and doctoral degrees from Anhui Agricultural University in China, and have been teaching there since then. My research into wood properties and utilization focusses on the properties of common Chinese plantation trees, such as fir, poplar and catalpa. I am particularly interested in studying stress defects in plantation wood and on different methods of stimulating wood stress in the lab in order to study the difference between stressed and non-stressed wood. My research analyzes the feasibilty of using stressed wood in the preparation of ceramics and on improving the utilization efficiency of plantation wood. 

Jing Li

PhD, Chinese Academy of Forestry: 2019-

Supervisor: Professor Rongfend Huang 

I’m a PhD student from the Chinese Academy of Forestry in Beijing. My field of research is physical modification of wood and I am researching the use of superheated steam pressure and mixed media to permanently fix compressed wood and reduce its recovery rate. I studied at the International Center for Bamboo and Rattan for my master’s degree and did research on using artificial intelligence to analyze the characteristics of bamboo vascular bundles.

Dr. William Nkeuwa, Application Engineer, Henkel

Profile – Linkedin

Profile – Google Scholar

I specialize in engineered wood products, polymers for wood adhesives and coatings, and process optimization through data analytics. The outcomes of my doctoral dissertation advanced the knowledge of nanocomposite coatings for wood flooring and furniture applications. I have been working in the engineered wood industry in North America since 2015, applying my knowledge and creativity skills to optimize manufacturing processes and enhance productivity. My research interest is in engineered wood and bamboo, emphasizing adhesion performance and advanced manufacturing. My vision is to further fundamentals and applied research in bio-based building materials to reduce the global carbon footprint and promote sustainable construction. I joined the Bamboo Applications and Manufacturing (BAM) team in December 2020 as an Honorary Research Associate.


Alumni

Dr Meiling Chen

Postdoctoral Fellow: 2018-2021

Research: Engineered bamboo materials

Profile: Google Scholar

Profile: ResearchGate

Currently: Nanjing Forestry University