Dan Ridley-Ellis is head of the Centre Wood Science and Technology at Edinburgh Napier University. He is one of the UK’s technical experts on guessing the strength of wood and can talk for hours on the topic – which he frequently does if nobody stops him.
His main area of research is understanding the properties of wood, and how they are influenced by tree growth, forest management, and climate. He represents the UK at European Standards Committees for grading of construction timber, and the majority of structural sawn timber produced in the UK is now graded with settings he developed. He was named “woodland hero” for 2016 by Grown in Britain, and is also active in online learning, public engagement and science communication. He is the lead organiser of Bright Club Edinburgh.