Forest Work Science and Engineering

Forest Work Science and Engineering

Prof. Dr. Dirk Jaeger

The department is concerned with research and university teaching in the fields of forestry ergonomics and forestry process engineering. This involves the analysis, evaluation and design of production processes and production systems for the sustainable management and use of forests and landscapes with special consideration of the people involved in the work process. Ergonomics and process technology thus contribute to the successful implementation of land use and forest planning objectives. The overall objective is not only to make the necessary processes and systems resource-efficient, ergonomic and safe at work, but also socially and environmentally compatible.

In addition to the analysis of ergonomic and technical aspects of forestry work systems, assessments of the environmental impacts of mechanised work systems, especially of crane harvesters (harvesters) and crane retractors (forwarders) are becoming increasingly important. These include in particular interactions between the chassis of forestry machines and the ground. Here the department has developed its own measuring technology, which enables the analysis of the static and dynamic contact surface pressure of different tires.

Current projects deal with digitisation in forestry and its potential for improving the flow of data and materials between actors in the forest-wood supply chain. It also deals with the technical foundations for creating new business models in forestry. Another aspect of current research is based on the development of forest development concepts for adaptation to climate change conditions. This also includes studies for a forward-looking assessment of the risk of driving on forest soils, taking into account the soil water content and current weather conditions. In international projects in Brazil, careful wood supply chains for the Mata Atlantica, in Mexico for sustainable energy wood supply and in Canada for the duration of traffic damage are being investigated.

The aim of the course "Timber Harvesting Methods" within the Bachelor's programme is to familiarise students with concepts for planning, implementation, monitoring and quality control within secondary (technical) production in the forest. The focus here is on possible supply processes for forest wood, taking into account the required conditions of use. In this way, students should not only be able to identify suitable working methods depending on terrain, location and existing conditions and to calculate the costs for wood supply, but also be able to assess different methods with regard to occupational safety and their ecological effects. A second focus of the basic study period is forest development, which forms the basis and the first step of regulated forest management. The students deal with current concepts for the analysis of development systems in the forest together with planning procedures for basic and detailed development and their implementation. In addition, organisational concepts for path maintenance are developed.
In the Master's programme, topics from the fields of process engineering are dealt with, especially in the specialisation "Forest Management and Forest Utilisation", which prepares students, among other things, for a management position in forestry management. The course in Tropical and International Forestry also focuses on methods for the sustainable supply of logs. Students with other specialisations can also deepen their knowledge in the fields of work science, timber harvesting and forestry technology in various elective modules. The external seminars for practical case studies conducted by the department in cooperation with the forestry training centres of the state forestry administrations, especially in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, are of great importance here.