Technology of Wood Materials
Purpose of starting the studies
In public and especially in private sector in the Republic of Croatia, there is almost an inconsiderable involvement of the personnel with the professional title of Master of Science or Doctor of Science. Professional specialist degrees had not even existed till recently. The modern way of managing the most valuable standing timber and the growing need for a good management of wood without technical value, of forest-based industrial residues and of recycled wood, require in business a growing presence of a highly educated personnel focused on a narrow area of activity. Technology of Wood Materials is exactly such a specific area in which the students shall qualify to implement a rational management of standing timber, optimal use in the technological processes of high-quality dry wood joinery, veneer and wood panels production, that should be efficiently incorporated into a new final product. In the existing practice, the too often encountered problem was the quality of the technical wood, veneer and panels as the basic assumption for the production of quality products. The basic reason for this was the insufficiently educated and professionally qualified staff. It happens too often that the final products meet all the requirements related to the structural and modern design solutions, however the products fail on testing due to the inadequate production materials. This will be the key role of the Specialist in Wood and Wood Materials.
Content of Studies
All areas of these studies are based on contemporary scientific knowledge and on the skills and abilities based thereon, because the areas of these studies are the subject of an intense scientific and research work. Wood drying integrates numerous scientific achievements of interdisciplinary researches. Any kind of a more serious operation is impossible without the most up-to-date IT equipment, and there is almost no scientific institution that is not engaged in the development of the drying wood regimes and in the development of the computer-based wood drying programmes. In the production of veneer, plywood and wood panels numerous scientific achievements are applied during the hydrothermal treatment of the most valuable raw material - veneer logs. The possibility of using the most valuable raw material depends on the regimes applied and on the regime control. Laser systems and high-frequency heating methods of wood materials have also been applied.
In the preparation of binding materials, modern scientific achievements in chemical sciences have been applied to produce binding materials with good technological properties, favourable ecological properties and of a high adhesion and cohesion strength. The technological procedures in the production must answer the questions on how to carry out production with as low as possible energy consumption, how to use more raw materials of lower value and how to produce high-quality materials in regards to the strength and environmental integrity related to the development of modern technologies.
The skills acquired by completing the studies
By completing these studies, the student becomes a specialist in the sector of wood preparation and production of wood materials suitable for general use, construction, furniture and special purposes. The particularity of these studies lies in the educational preparation of the students for very complex technological processes of wood preparation in drying and heat treatment of wood processes, preparation of wood as a raw material for the production of veneer and veneer sheets, technological procedures for the designing of the characteristics and production of wood materials in accordance with contemporary requirements.
Information to interested parties
The duration of the study is two years and upon completing the study, the academic title Specialist in Technology of Wood Materials is acquired.
The admission requirements are:
- Graduate studies completed at the Faculty of Forestry, Department of Wood Technology
- Graduate studies completed at another faculty along with the obliged examination of the bridging programme courses
- The average grade in professional courses of the graduate studies higher than 3,5
- The knowledge of one foreign language
Students who completed graduate studies at other faculties and in other scientific fields have to enrol in the bridging programme at the Faculty of Forestry at the Department of Wood Technology, and which will be defined by the Commission for Specialist Studies. In the first semester of the studies, the students acquire knowledge from three compulsory courses, in the second semester, beside the two compulsory courses, the students enrol in optional courses from the specialist study, in the third and fourth semester the students choose the optional courses of the specialist studies and focused optional and practical courses of the doctoral studies at the Faculty of Forestry, Department of Wood Technology, under the name Wood Technology in agreement with the mentor. Exceptionally, in agreement with a mentor, a student can enrol in courses and practical courses of other specialist or doctoral studies. The maximum teaching load is 12 hours per week. A student can accumulate a minimum of 25 ECTS and a maximum of 35 ECTS credits per semester.
The requirement for enrolment in the second semester is a successful completion of the two compulsory exams. The requirement for enrolment in the third semester is a successful examination in all compulsory courses. The requirement for enrolment in the fourth semester is the accumulation of 70 ECTS credits. Prior to defending the specialist thesis, the student must successfully complete the examination in all courses of studies and collect 120 ECTS credits. The prerequisite for enrolment in a single course or in a group of courses will be determined by the course lecturers.
In agreement with the studies coordinator the students can choose optional focused courses and practical courses of the doctoral studies of the Faculty of Forestry, Department of Wood Technology, under the name of Wood Technology according to the Table 2. Exceptionally and in agreement with the mentor, they can enrol in the chosen courses of the doctoral or specialist studies of some other related faculty.
The courses the students choose and enrol in other studies at the University or in other high-education colleges will have the values of the ECTS credits attributed according to those of their home studies. As part of the life-long education, the student can receive the certification issued by the Faculty of Forestry for all the attended courses and successfully taken exams.
The student completes the studies with the public defence of his/her specialist work. The requirement for applying for the thesis topic is a successful examination taken in all compulsory courses. The student may apply for the final thesis topic not later than 6 months prior to the defence of his/her work/thesis.
The student defends his/her registered thesis topic in front of the expert committee composed of three scientists with the title of a Doctor of Science, two of them must be enrolled in the Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb, one of them does not have to have a teaching degree. The topic is accepted on the basis of a positive opinion of the expert committee. The condition for the specialist thesis submission based on grades is the accumulation of 120 ECTS credits. The expert committee for the evaluation of the final work is elected by the Faculty Council and consists of an odd number of members, a maximum of five, most of which must be from the scientific field of wood technology. At least one member of the committee must be of another higher education institution or scientific institution in Croatia or abroad. The requirement for a positive evaluation and defence of the specialist thesis is a positive opinion of the expert committee. The defence of the specialist thesis is held in public and it is conducted by an expert committee appointed by the Faculty Council.
The maximum duration of the period from the beginning to the end of studying is three years.
By completing the studies, the academic title is acquired: University Specialist in Technology of Wood Materials (univ. spec. techn. lign.).