University of Canterbury forestry student gains major award

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This year’s Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) FIEA Scholarship has been awarded to Luke Holmes, a third year Bachelor of Forest Engineering (Hons) student, studying at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. The Scholarship is the fifth awarded to students as part of a five-year scholarship programme set up by FIEA in 2012.

“In addition to having excellent grades, Luke comes from a farming background which has fostered his interest in wood harvesting operations” says FIEA Director Brent Apthorp. During the summer of 2015/16 Luke was employed by Nigel Bryant Logging in Nelson and was involved in many aspects of the company’s eight crew operation over his 12-week summer employment. Nigel has operations running across the Murchison, Marlborough and Tasman regions including running a number of tethered harvesting machines.

“New innovations and developments around steep slope harvesting, particularly the role forest engineering has in the development of these new systems, is a key interest of Luke’s. He’s keen to be involved in further research and development of felling and extraction systems on graduation. Whilst working over the summer Luke also gained national qualifications in forest requirements, chainsaw operations and maintenance and in addition to his University studies, he has operated his own small firewood business to supplement his University fees.

“FIEA is delighted to again be involved in this year’s scholarship. A total of $12,500 has now been used to sponsor outstanding School of Forestry and Forest Engineering students. It complements the range of technology events being designed and run for forestry and wood products companies in this country” says Brent Apthorp.

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