In this post Jonas Brandl, our graduate employee introduces himself, the work he has been doing over the past six months and where he is headed.

 

My name is Jonas and I am the current holder of the Patsy Wood Scholarship. I was very lucky to find this fantastic opportunity in beautiful South Devon where I can follow my interests and gain professional development as a young graduate.

Post-school, I had the chance to work and travel around England and Scotland and fell in love with the countryside. It was back then when I decided to come back one day to work in this beautiful landscape and to help sustain and evolving it. Back in Germany I studied for a BSc in Forestry, Environment and International Forestry, at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, and subsequently took the opportunity to study for a MSc in Agroforestry at Bangor University in Wales.

Towards the end of my postgraduate studies I was exploring my future career and life’s journey options when I came across a scholarship scheme that would allow me to continue my adventure in the UK while following my interests in forestry, agroforestry and wood science. Through the Patsy Wood Fund – the Future Trees Trust, the Royal Forestry Society, and three innovative businesses in Devon: Timber Strategies, Dartington Hall Trust and Sawmills Devon provided me with my first post-graduate research and commercial work experience. In my role as Forestry Research and Development Assistant I gain a unique learning experience from tree seed to timber end-use and from research to practical applications, encouraging a holistic approach to land use that merges disciplines across the supply chain. Since I started half a year ago, I worked on such a wide variety of interesting projects that only a shared role and between innovative organisations can provide.

In my role with Timber Strategies I’ve experienced a steep learning curve from which I am sure I’ll benefit in my future career and life. I have been developing research-based reports to inform timber building organisations, sawmills and forest owners on the interrelations between forestry and timber use; digitalisation and new technologies; timber product innovations and silvicultural practises that aim to improve the mechanical properties of timber. In addition, I was given the opportunity to publish a case study and a review article on the connection between forestry, timber processing and timber use jointly with the founder of Timber Strategies Jez Ralph for Forestry and Timber News and the Quarterly Journal of Forestry.

I believe that my work is relevant and can make a difference on the ground which is very important to me and I feel an appreciation for my work which gives me great confidence for future projects and career paths. In the future, I would like to continue working on interesting forestry projects that have a strong timber supply chain focus either as an employee or a consultant, however, going back to University for a PhD or a second Master are viable options for me too.

For now, I am looking forward to the next 6 months of my adventure in South Devon and am hopeful that it will be filled with joy, interesting projects and wonderful outdoor experiences on Dartmoor and surrounding area.

 

Jonas Brandl, 27

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