Ten Questions with our EngD Student, Rob
Here at LIGNIA, we're privileged to have the support of academics who help us stay ahead of the curve with the latest innovations in wood science and technology. This week, we sat down with Rob Wolverson to find out more about our newest recruit.
1. Tell us about the EngD you’re currently doing at Swansea University
The EngD (Engineering Doctorate) is similar to a PhD, but the research is aimed at solving industrial challenges in partnership with a company. It is also four years instead of three with the addition of business and technical courses.
2. What attracted you to LIGNIA & what do you think LIGNIA can offer you?
What LIGNIA is doing is great and I believe it’s the future. People seem more conscious now about the environment so it’s imperative that companies are producing good quality products while reducing their environmental impact. LIGNIA have nailed both of those, which has set it up for future success. I’m lucky enough to be on board and develop my professional skills with the growth of LIGNIA.
3. Tell us about your role within the team – what work will you be doing while you’re with us?
The EngD is with Swansea University too, so my time will be split between Swansea and LIGNIA. Over the next four years, I’ll be investigating methods for recycling LIGNIA into reusable products, improving fire retardancy, use as biomass, and looking at optimising manufacture.
4. What’s your favourite part of the role?
I’ve enjoyed working with the people here. Everyone’s friendly and seems to genuinely care about what they’re doing (meaning I’ve learnt a lot too). I’m looking forward to starting the testing properly - should be fun!
5. Sustainability is high on our agenda – do you think it’s an important issue that the timber industry needs to consider?
Yes. It needs to be a consideration for other industries too. People can only make greener decisions if the choices are there. I get the sense that more people now want to make more environmentally friendly changes, and I think we are going in the right direction but there’s still a way to go.
6. What do you think sets LIGNIA apart from others in the industry?
They’re the only company to produce a modified wood that is as good or better than Burmese teak for yacht decking – no other timber modifying method has achieved that. Also, all the products LIGNIA offer are FSC certified, not just some.
7. What were your impressions of LIGNIA when you first came here?
I noticed quite quickly how personal the relationships were between the people here, and that everyone’s opinion is considered. I was also impressed with the professionalism from everyone.
8. Tell us what you wanted to be when you were younger & why?
An astronaut when I was very young, and then a pilot. I suppose exploring and discovering new things and information was the appeal; which isn’t too different from what I’m doing now? Maybe?
9. What's your favourite song?
That changes weekly! At the minute, I’d have to pick ‘Black Smoke Rising’ by Greta Van Fleet.
10. What do you like doing outside of work?
I strength train weekly (which I like to brag about when I can), play the guitar, and play computer games more often than I should.