Robert Hairstans
Robert Hairstans

Prof Robert Hairstans

Professor

Biography

Professor Robert Hairstans is head of the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures (COCIS) within Edinburgh Napier University's Institute for Sustainable Construction, where he leads on research, innovation and knowledge exchange activities designed to deliver construction technologies for tomorrow's communities within a circular economy. His 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.

A major contributor to the 2015 Queens Anniversary Prize for Innovation in Timber Construction and Wood Science Dr Hairstans has published extensively (over 40 peer reviewed published works in journals, books and conference proceedings) including the authorship of three books, one of which has been endorsed by the Royal Institute for British Architects for professional development (the 1st and only publication to receive this commendation). He is recognised as an expert in the field serving on national and international committees as well acting as a reviewer for international journals and grant awarding bodies including EPSRC.

The outputs generated and recognition received is as a result of having a Principle Investigator (PI) track record of over £1M of research (£880k) and commercial projects (£250k) in addition to the provision of Co-Investigator support to a further £0.6M since being employed by Edinburgh Napier University as a lecturer in 2005. Prior to his lecturing role Dr Hairstans was a national award winning Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate employed by ENU working at Oregon Timber Frame in the Scottish Borders.

Professor Hairstans is a Entrepreneurial Scotland Saltire Fellow having been selected by the Scottish Government in 2014 to transform the delivery of Sustainable Housing in Scotland and he is also a Co-Chair of the International Modular and Offsite Construction Summit in collaboration with the University of Alberta (Canada).

Professor Hairstans is also academic lead of Offsite Solutions Scotland a company formed by 10 industry partners in 2016 with a combined manufacturing output of £170million employing more than 1,000. OSS was founded following a successful UKCES project Offsite HUB(Scotland) funded by UKCES and led by Dr Robert Hairstans, culminating in a Cooperative Development Scotland Collaboration Prize.

In addition to international conferences Dr Hairstans has delivered Continual Professional Development on behalf of the professional institutions and chaired sessions at high profile industry and academic events as well as being invited to international universities ranked globally in the top 10.

Most recently Professor Hairstans has established the Built Environment Exchange (www.napier.ac.uk/beX) in collaboration with international university partners in USA, Canada and Europe. BeX is a platform approach to accelerating change in construction culture developing dynamic talent and delivering experiential learning opportunities. Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) have engaged with beX via a collaborative learning week “Sustainable Communities Pre-manufactured from Wood”. BeX was awarded Outstanding Employer Engagement in Universities at the Herald Higher Education Awards 2018.

Events

Esteem

Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap Working Group - Terms of Reference
  • Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) Innovation Champion
  • Forest and Timber Technologies Industry Leadership Group
  • Forest and Engineering Group
  • Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) Advanced Construction Technical Advisory Group (TAG) member
  • Build Offsite academic member and representation for Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) Offsite HUB
  • Scottish Government Research into Mainstreaming Offsite Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in House Building

 

Fellowships and Awards

  • Built Environment Smarter Transformation - Green Skills Award
  • Built Environment - Smarter Transformation Beacon Award
  • CEED Best Practice Sharing Award
  • Built Environment Exchange (beX) - Outstanding Employer Engagement in Universities
  • Department of Trade & Industry (now Business Innovation and Skills) UK National Award for Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
  • Saltire Fellowship
  • Queens Anniversary Prize, Innovation in Timber Construction and Wood Science. COCIS was a major contributor to the award given work in timber offsite and MMC including CLT commercialisation work, timber engineering software development to European Codes o

 

Visiting Positions

  • Director of the Centre for Advanced Timber Technology
  • Harvard GDS Visiting Academic

 

Date


73 results

Offsite HUB (Scotland): establishing a collaborative regional framework for knowledge exchange in the UK

Journal Article
Hairstans, R., & Smith, R. E. (2017)
Offsite HUB (Scotland): establishing a collaborative regional framework for knowledge exchange in the UK. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 13, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/17452007.2017.1314858
The UK is set to become Europe’s largest construction market by 2030. However, UK construction productivity performance is regarded as weak, with low skills levels considered ...

A Scottish perspective on timber offsite construction

Book
Hairstans, R. & Sanna, F. (2017)
A Scottish perspective on timber offsite construction. In Offsite Architecture: Constructing the futureTaylor & Francis (Routledge). ISBN 978-1138821392
This Chapter exemplifies the recent advancements in Scottish offsite construction through the research work carried out at the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Str...

Understanding the compatibility of UK resource for dowel laminated timber construction

Conference Proceeding
Plowas, W., Hairstans, R., Bell, T., & Bros Williamson, J. (2016)
Understanding the compatibility of UK resource for dowel laminated timber construction
Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT also know as Brettstapel) is a technique of constructing large-scale solid timber panels for use as structural or non-structural elements. The tech...

Structural Timber Systems

Presentation / Conference
Hairstans, R. (2016, September)
Structural Timber Systems. Presented at CPD Seminar Structural Timber Engineering, Stirling, Scotland
Timber products and systems including solid laminate timber systems, dowel-lam, nail-lam, and cross-laminated timber.

Multi-dimensional data fitting for the structural design of a simple timber connection

Conference Proceeding
Livingstone, A., Patlakas, P., Milne, M., Smith, S., & Hairstans, R. (2016)
Multi-dimensional data fitting for the structural design of a simple timber connection. In M. Pöll, A. Fadai, W. Winter, & J. Eberhardsteiner (Eds.), WCTE 2016 e-book : containing all full papers submitted to the World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE 2016), (2037-2044
This paper presents a novel method of automating the structural design of timber connections and ensuring code compliance within a Building Information Modelling (BIM) context...

Understanding the compatibility of UK resource for dowel laminated timber construction

Presentation / Conference
Plowas, W., Bell, T., Hairstans, R., & Williamson, J. B. (2016, June)
Understanding the compatibility of UK resource for dowel laminated timber construction. Paper presented at Integrated Design Conference
Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT also know as Brettstapel) is a technique of constructing large-scale solid timber panels for use as structural or non-structural elements. The tech...

Taking timber beyond traditional boundaries.

Book Chapter
Hairstans, R. (2016)
Taking timber beyond traditional boundaries. In TRADA timber industry yearbook 2016Exova BM TRADA
Timber is a natural, hygroscopic, anisotropic material that must be properly understood if it is to be used efficiently within the built environment. With good silvicultural p...

Building offsite.

Journal Article
Hairstans, R. (2016)
Building offsite. Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences, 4,
This article explores the international adoption of offsite construction and why there is an overall impetus for growth across the global sector. The 4 main overarching categ...

Increasing need for Offsite Construction and Manufactured Infrastructure in the UK Economy

Conference Proceeding
Smith, R. S., Wood, J. B., & Hairstans, R. (2015)
Increasing need for Offsite Construction and Manufactured Infrastructure in the UK Economy. In CIAT Symposium Proceedings
Due to increasing demand for housing and other building infrastructure the methodology of offsite construction is becoming more attractive to developers, local authorities and...

Retrofit Scotland: Howden Hall Road, Edinburgh

Digital Artefact
Hairstans, R. (2015)
Retrofit Scotland: Howden Hall Road, Edinburgh
This 1930s Bungalow which has been completely upgraded, enhanced and extended employing offsite and modern methods of construction (MMC), renewable technologies, and innovativ...

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