23 October 2017

Winners of the TTJ Innovation Award 2017 impress the judges

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MDFR Recycling Technology and Agustin Dieste from the University of Edinburgh are the winners of the TTJ Innovation Award 2017.  


MDFR Recycling Technology beat off impressive rivals to make a formal presentation to a panel of high-profile judges.  


The winners and runners-up were unveiled at a celebration dinner at The Brewery, London in September. 


The Award is split into two categories: Product Development, celebrating innovations that help to maintain and grow the timber industry, and Innovative Timber University Research, acknowledging work that university students carry out at both undergraduate and postgraduate level that will have a measurable impact on the timber sector. 


MDFR Recycling Technology won the Product Development category for creating the world’s first continuous process for MDF recycling using electrical heating to break down the glue bonds which hold wood fibres together. 


Deploying a technique known as ‘ohmic heating’, which is common in large scale food-processing, the wood is shredded into tiny pieces and placed in a bath full of water before the electricity is applied. This frees the fibres from the resins and laminates, leaving a mush that then fluffs up after it dries.  


Agustin Dieste from the University of Edinburgh won the Innovative Timber University Research category.  Dieste, who describes his work as ‘creating a digitally fabricated reciprocal frame canopy’, impressed the judges with his design for creating long spans, using short lengths of plywood and a new simple joint detail. 


TRADA’s Rupert Scott says:  “Congratulations to MDF Recovery Ltd and Agustin Dieste from the University of Edinburgh for a well-deserved win.   


“We are thrilled by the enthusiasm with which the TTJ Innovation Award has been met and hope others will be inspired to enter TRADA’s prestigious University Challenge.”


“MDFR Recycling Technology is set to make a big impact on the timber industry. It is a commercially viable, technically robust, licensable solution to recovering material from unwanted MDF and supplying raw material to the MDF industry.   


“We applaud Craig Bartlett and his team for creating the first continuous process for MDF recycling and the belief that it could one day be achieved. 


“Congratulations also to Agustin Dieste from the University of Edinburgh and runner-up Daniel Blower from Cambridge University, for presenting impressive solutions that will support the growth and opportunities of the timber industry in the years to come. 


“TRADA is a passionate supporter of timber innovation and we are proud to partner with TTJ once again to help promote the teaching and research of timber in universities.”  


Tim Beldon, Manager of the University Engagement Programme at TRADA, says: “The Innovative Timber University Research category celebrates the hard work that students put into their research, with the goal of adding to our knowledge about timber and helping the timber industry drive forward the prevalence of timber in construction.”  


TRADA is a valuable resource for students and universities. Click here to register as a Student or Lecturer and access hundreds of free guides, publications and case studies to support teaching and learning requirements in higher education.


Click here for further details on TRADA’s University Engagement Programme, and how to enter Urban Buzz 2018. Act fast, there are only two weeks left to enter!




Innovative Product Development Winner

MDF Recovery Limited with ‘MDFR Recycling Technology’:

A continuous process for recycling MDF using electrical heating to break down the glue bonds which hold wood fibres together



Craig Bartlett of MDF Recovery Limited collected the award.


In the Innovative Product Development category, the runners-up were:


  • Actis Insulation with ‘Hybris’ insulation:
    A flexible and easy to cut and fit insulation solution for timber frame manufacturing – either in the factory or onsite 

  • Simonin SAS / Cowley Timber & Partners with ‘Sapisol’:
    A load bearing, decorative timber system for floors, roofs and walls  

  • Chalkbarn Natural Products with ‘Hard Wax Oil’:
    A range of finishes for timber floors and furniture made using natural tree resin drying oils





Innovative Timber University Research Winner

Agustin Dieste, Edinburgh University: Digitally fabricated reciprocal frame canopy





In the Innovative University Timber Research category, the runner-up was:

Daniel Blower, University of Cambridge: Carbon Fibre Connections for Super Tall Timber Buildings  





Outstanding performance from TRADA members

A big congratulations to all TRADA members that scooped an award at this year’s TTJ Awards ceremony: 


Plywood Trader of the Year  (Sponsored by W Howard)

International Plywood, Gloucester 


Hardwood Trader of the Year  (Sponsored by Construction Intelligence Centre)

Brooks Bros, Maldon 


Structural Timber Systems Supplier  (Sponsored by the Structural Timber Association)

MTE, Leicester 


Excellence in Marketing  (Sponsored by Combilift)

Gibbs & Dandy 


Environmental Achievement  (Sponsored by ECC Timber Products)



Website of the Year  (Sponsored by Epicor)



Timber Trader of the Year

James Latham 


TRADA wins ‘Highly Commended’ in top website award


TRADA is delighted to have been awarded Highly Commended in the TTJ Website of the Year Award, sponsored by Epicor. 


On receiving the award, TRADA’s Rupert Scott said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win this prestigious award. This accolade represents the culmination of many months of hard work creating our new website.  


“TRADA prides itself in providing independent, authoritative design and technical guidance through this website, online software, printed publications, e-books, and our telephone helpline.” 


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