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Forest Products Research Institute Chair, Napier, Edinburgh

Forest Products Research Institute Napier, Scotland, UK

post updated 27 July 2023

Forest Products Research Institute appoints new chair.

Edinburgh Napier University’s Forest Products Research Institute (FPRI) has appointed Geoff Rhodes as the new chair of its Advisory Board.

Geoff Rhodes

Forest Products Research Institute Napier

Geoff, who until recently was Marketing & Business Development Director at Coillte Panel Products, will officially take up his post in November.

The FPRI is one of nine research institutes based at Edinburgh Napier. Its four specialist centres undertake research and development across the full range of timber and wood fibre applications.

Geoff takes over from Cedric Wilkins, who has chaired both the FPRI and the then Centre for Timber Engineering (CTE) Advisory Boards since 2008.

FPRI Director Philip Turner said: “Cedric offered invaluable guidance during a period of major change and expansion for the Institute against a backdrop of tough economic conditions and changes to University funding mechanisms.

“We are now in a strong position and are very pleased to be able to welcome someone of Geoff’s experience and expertise to the Board.”

Geoff entered the timber trade as a management trainee with Denny Mott & Dickson and subsequently joined Seaboard International, where he specialised in panel products sales from North America and the Far East, eventually taking responsibility for developing the European market for Medite MDF.This covered a period of more than 35 years which also incorporated US ownership by Medford Corporation, Willamette Industries and Weyerhaeuser Company.

Geoff was also one of the founders of the Medite 2016 Forum and subsequently became marketing and business development director for Coillte Panel Products, current producers of both Medite MDF and SmartPly OSB. He left the business in June 2011 and is now developing his own consultancy business, Geoff Rhodes Associates, within the forest products sector.

He is a former President of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), the Fibreboard Development Organisation (FIDOR), and the European Association of MDF producers (EMB). He has also sat on the executive boards of the European Panels Federation (EPF), the UK Wood Panels Industries Federation (WPIF), and is a Fellow of the Institute of Wood Science.

About Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier is a modern university with campuses located around south central Edinburgh. It offers over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate courses and has around 17,000 students from over 115 countries. Edinburgh Napier is among the top universities in Scotland for graduate employability.

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