NMITE appoints CATT founding director

11 March 2021

The New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) has announced that Professor Robert Hairstans has joined as founding director of its Centre for Advanced Timber Technology (CATT).

His role will be to lead the development and delivery of the CATT, to help establish it as the leading national location in timber education and to work with the broader NMITE academic team to create a sustainable educational portfolio. 

Prof Hairstans joins on a two-year secondment from Edinburgh Napier University (ENU), where he is head of the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures (COCIS) within the University's Institute for Sustainable Construction.  

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Beverley Gibbs, chief academic officer, NMITE said “We are thrilled at Prof Hairstans’ arrival and know he has the expertise, experience and passion to develop and deliver the CATT’s vision.” 

Professor Hairstans’ specialist expertise is in the fields of timber engineering and technology with a focus on adding value to the timber supply chain with an emphasis on engineered timber products and offsite (modular) construction. 

“I am delighted to be the founding director of the CATT,” he said. “Working with industry I want to accelerate the utilisation of timber, digitisation and factory-based approaches by ensuring an inclusive educational model which generates a value return for the sector via the next generation of built environment professionals.”? 

The appointment has the additional benefit of bringing together two organisations who, having seen the potential of a future partnership, have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

For more on this, see the next issue of TTJ.

Professor Hairstans is the CATT’s new founding director