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Professional Development Grants

With global warming and climate change policies, the need for well-designed timber structures, especially those made with mass timber elements, has been rising. Given the fundamental differences between timber and other materials and the fact that many aspects of timber design are not covered by standards and guidelines, there is room to improve the professional skills of practising engineers when it comes to timber design.

The New Zealand Timber Design Society (TDS) is happy to offer two professional development grants for consulting engineers actively involved with timber design. Successful recipient(s) will receive financial assistance to cover the enrolment fees for a timber design course. The eligible courses are Civil 750 (Timber Engineering) or Civil 717 (Advanced Structural Timber) at the University of Auckland. The content outlines of the courses are attached. For the 2024 academic year, CIVIL 750 will be offered in semester 1 and CIVIL 717 will be offered in semester 2. Although the purpose of the grants is to improve the uptake of timber design in New Zealand, these are 15-point courses that can be used towards a higher degree should the recipients be interested. Please contact Dr. Hashemi at if there are questions about the course content and the scholarship. University of Auckland currently supports both in-person and remote learning modes. This means with the current arrangement, there is no need for the recipients to physically attend the classes.


All working professional engineers interested in timber engineering who are NZ citizens or permanent residents (can be considered as domestic fee-paying students) under the age of 45 are eligible. Candidates with clear connections to timber design are preferred.



The following documents are required for the application:

  1. CV: Maximum two pages

  2. Statement of purpose and motivation: in less than a page, describe why you think you would be the best candidate to receive the scholarship and the potential impact the grant will have on your career and our vision to foster the use of timber in design.

Applicants must send their applications via email to The deadline for submission is 8 December 2023. The intention is to notify the applicants about the outcome within 14 days from the deadline.


Course outline

CIVIL 750 (Timber engineering) summary outline:

  • Review of timber design principles

  • Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) design based on NZ approach

  • Large-dowel connection design including brittle and ductile modes of failure

  • Small-dowel connection design including brittle and ductile modes of failure

  • Design of steel brackets for timber connections

  • Design of Multi-Storey timber buildings for wind and seismic actions

  • Performing force-based design and displacement-based design for multi-storey timber structures

  • Design of plywood and mass timber shear walls

  • Design of timber moment-resisting frames

CIVIL 717 (Advanced Structural Timber) summary outline:

  • Design of timber rivet connections including brittle and ductile modes of failure

  • Design of European screw connections

  • Structural forms and load paths for timber structures

  • Design of timber diaphragms

  • Design of Quick-Connect connections for timber portal frames

  • Design of timber structures with damage-avoidance connectors

  • Design of timber structures using the capacity design principles

  • Low damage design of timber structures using energy dissipation

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