NEW - Historic Timber Structures – Assessment and Reuse


This course introduces timber as an engineering material, with an appraisal of the usage of timber in historic structures and non-destructive techniques and strategies available for condition assessment and reuse of these heritage structures.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should be able to:
  • Recognise timber as an engineering material and explain the inherent strengths and weaknesses of this organic and ‘living’ material
  • Identify the cellular structure of timber in relation to softwoods and hardwoods, and appreciate the species identification strategies available
  • Appreciate the timber grading rules to softwoods and hardwoods, and employ the rules and strategies in assigning strength classes to timber used in existing structures
  • List the non-destructive testing techniques available in assessing timber used in historic structures
  • Distinguish the simple structural forms of constructions used in historic structures, and use the available methods to assess the strengths and stiffnesses of individual timber components and joints


Philip O’Leary is the section leader for Timber Technology Investigations at Exova BM TRADA. He has been published in local and international journals about wood science. Philip’s recent research work included UK Government funded projects on exterior coatings, floor seals, preservative treatment and coating adhesion promotion methods for timber treatments.

Dr John Williams is the Principal Consultant and technical lead for  assessment of timber structures at RSK. John specialises in the non-destructive assessment of timber structures. He previously provided consultancy for the nuclear and petro-chemical and defence industries. John also helps the railways industry by conducting inspections on their timber infrastructure.

Dr Keerthi Ranasinghe is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, a member of the TRADA Technical Advisory Panel, and an independent timber engineering consultant. Keerthi is the author of several TRADA publications, including the Span Tables to Eurocode 5, and the Institution’s Manual for the design of timber building structures to Eurocode 5 2nd ed.

Intended for

Graduate to very senior and managing engineers.

Entry criteria

Familiarity with timber engineering may be beneficial, but is not essential.

Event Information

Eventbrite - Historic Timber Structures – Assessment and Reuse

Event Status
Places Available

Event Date

10:00 - 17:30

£290 + VAT for Members
(Early bird £261 + VAT)

£370 + VAT for Non-Members
(Early bird £333 + VAT)

The Institution of Structural Engineers, International HQ, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS, United Kingdom

Philip O' Leary, John Williams and Keerthi Ranasinghe

Event Contact Email

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