In 2019, Dr Johnson Zhang, Associate Professor in Structural Engineering at Edinburgh Napier University, was awarded an Industrial Fellowship. These Royal Academy of Engineering fellowships strengthen links between universities and industry as well as encouraging new collaborative partnerships.
Built on the success of a proof-of-concept project in promoting bio-based materials in construction, Dr Johnson Zhang has established a project that aims to develop several types of innovative bamboo-timber composite beams for buildings. The knowledge and industrial experience obtained from this research will enable engineers to use multi-species bio-based composites for larger scale constructions, such as long-span or tall buildings. Working with industry, the research will also inform teaching materials to give students first-hand industrial experience.