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. Meiling Chen

Profile – Google Scholar

Profile – ResearchGate

I am originally from China. My work here focuses on improving the basic understanding and the performance of bamboo composite pipe and building products; conducting experimental and analytical investigations of physical and mechanical properties as well as durability performance of the above-mentioned products. I obtained my doctoral degree at the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan in 2008. My thesis was related to the flexural ductility of bamboo and bamboo microstructure. My broad interests are flattened bamboo application and bamboo drying. I look forward to diving deeper into bamboo!

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.


Undergraduate Students

Rain Liu

Bsc: 2016-

Supervisor: Chunping Dai

After graduating from the University of British Columbia and Beijing Forestry University in Wood Products Processing in May 2021, I will be officially 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.

Eric Li

Bsc: 2018-

After graduating from the University of British Columbia, Wood Products Processing programs of Forestry Department in May 2021, I will be officially working on my master program with Professor Chunping Dai on bamboo biomaterials with focus on the cellulose nanofibrils derived from bamboo residues.


Visiting Scholars/Associate Members

Prof. Yu-an Hu, Visiting Associate Professor

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

Tamara Britton, University of Western Ontario, Department of Anthropology & Environmental Sustainability

PhD: 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. William Nkeuwa, Process Variability Specialist, West Fraser

Profile – Linkedin

Profile – Google Scholar

I specialize in the areas of wood coatings, wood based-composites, and data analytics. The outcomes of my doctoral dissertation advanced the knowledge of science and technology in nanocomposite coatings for wood products. I have been working in the wood industry in both Canada and the United States since 2015, applying my knowledge and creativity skills to reduce process variability and improve product performance by 10-30%. My research interest is in the areas of wood and bamboo-based composites with an emphasis on smart manufacturing and data modeling. My vision is to advance both fundamentals and applied research in sustainable biomaterials to reduce global carbon footprint.  I joined Professor Dai’s research group in December 2020 as an Honorary Research Associate to further my research in wood and bamboo composites.