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The Log - Issue four - Profile: Damian Walsh

Damian WalshDamian Walsh recently joined the Program Three ‘Harvesting and operations’ research team within the CRC for Forestry as a Research Fellow with the University of Tasmania, but is based at Melbourne University’s Burnley Campus.

Damian previously worked as a consultant for Pöyry from 2007, working on a diverse range of projects for various clients, including forest estate valuations, market reports, due diligence, benchmarking studies, and the provision of specialist support. Prior to this, Damian worked for ten years for Forests NSW.

Damian has a Bachelor of Forest Science from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma of Business Management in Logistics from RMIT University.

Damian introduces himself here:

My time at Forests NSW included work as an Inventory Forester working in native forests, and Operations Forester, Planning Manager and Merchandising Forester working in softwood plantations, covering all aspects of plantation management from site establishment and planting, to silvicultural works and harvesting operations (thinning and clearfall). The last few years culminated in my employment as the Woodflow Scheduler and Log Supply Coordinator for the Hume region based in Tumut, managing Forest NSW’s harvest and haulage contractors and the delivered sales of plantation grown sawlogs and pulp-logs to various customers, including Hyne, CHH, Ausply, Visy and Norske Skog.

This work proved to be very dynamic and challenging with both Electronic Delivery Docking (EDD) and the Market Supply Model (MSM) being implemented in the region (with varying degrees of success), concurrently with the day-to-day challenges of managing log sales and contract administration. As anyone who has been in similar positions undertaking similar work would know, there was never a dull moment.

I really enjoyed my time in Tumut, being one of the leaders of the region’s harvesting/merchandising team. The experience broadened my knowledge and understanding of harvest and haulage operations and confirmed my continuing interest in the field.

A desire to broaden my career horizons beyond the field operations of Forests NSW led me to take up the position of Consultant with Pöyry in Melbourne. The last two years have been fruitful ones, and I have been engaged in a greater variety of projects than would have been possible if working for Forests NSW alone. I really appreciated the opportunity to work with other forestry companies, both in Australia and overseas, and to expand my knowledge of forestry operations generally.

However, I never lost my interest in harvesting and operations—in particular the variety of ways the supply chain can be organised to get forest products from the stump to the mill or port. As a result, when a position became available with the CRC it seemed a logical fit. Luckily for me, the CRC agreed, and here I am.

I hope to apply my knowledge and skills to assist in the development of solutions to existing problems and issues, and to research and implement new technologies with demonstrable benefit to the forest industry. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues, other researchers, and the managers, contractors and operators of the CRC’s industry partners on the various research projects that the CRC is currently undertaking. As with others working with the CRC, I think there are many opportunities to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the forest industry in Australia, particularly with regard to harvesting and transport, by building knowledge and exploiting its strengths.

Damian Walsh

Research Fellow
Tel: 03 9250 6891