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FPAC announces 2023 National Forestry Innovation awardees

May 8, 2023  By Forest Products Association of Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) announced the winners of the 2023 Chisholm Awards for Innovation in Forestry, a national competition that recognizes youth leadership and innovative research developments in the field of forestry.

The Chisholm Awards showcase the game-changing ideas, practices, processes, and technologies young researchers are developing that have the potential to strengthen the forest sector and help Canada meet its net-zero goals – either in the forest, at production facilities, along the supply chain, or via product innovation.

2023 Chisholm Awards for Innovation in Forestry recipients

Adrien Gaudelas holds a master’s degree in wood-based materials engineering and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Laval University. Passionate about biobased materials from an early age, Adrien is a French engineer from the Graduate School of Wood and Biobased Materials in Nantes, France. Through his various experiences, he has acquired diverse skills from wood supply in the forest to secondary processing of the wood industry. Adrien has committed on a doctoral project that aims to examine the potential application of corrugated wood-based panels in building envelopes to use forest resources more efficiently, propose higher value-added products for the wood construction industry, and improve the environmental performance of buildings.

“I am very pleased and honoured to receive the FPAC 2023 Chisholm Award for Innovation in Forestry. This award is a recognition of the work I do, in synergy with my colleagues at the Industrial Research Chair on Eco-responsible Wood Construction (CIRCERB), to decarbonize construction. Moreover, I am convinced that increasing the added value of forest products is important to reduce future pressure on the resource and to help sustain the economic growth of the industry, from the forest to the buildings.” – Adrien Gaudelas


Maria Semeniuk very recently defended her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto entitled “An Investigation on Renewable Carbons as Natural Sources of Fluorescent and Conductive Materials for Smart Device Applications.” Prior to her Ph.D., she obtained an honours bachelor of science from the University of Toronto. Her research covers a variety of topics, most notably converting carbonized biomass into battery electrodes for use in future electric vehicles. During her Ph.D., she published five peer-refereed contributions as first author, which collectively have over 250 citations, as of April 2023.

“I’m very honoured and grateful to be recognized by the Forest Products Association of Canada and to receive the 2023 Chisholm Awards for Innovation in Forestry. I am looking forward to a future in which forest products and other biomass precursors are used to find innovative solutions to today’s complex issues. I am excited to continue my research with the University of Toronto in creating sustainable battery components, to support the Canadian economy and environment.” – Maria Semeniuk

Today’s announcement is appropriately timed to coincide with the Eighteenth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) – where FPAC president and CEO Derek Nighbor serves as International Forestry Liaison between 18 International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) member organizations around the world and the UNFF.

“Canadians from coast-to-coast should be proud of the leading research being conducted here at home that has the potential to tackle real-world climate problems in Canada and abroad,” said Nighbor. “The dedication and commitment demonstrated by Adrien and Maria to create innovative solutions will strengthen and advance a more sustainable future for Canadian forestry.”

Winners of the Chisholm Awards for Innovation in Forestry receive a cash prize of $2,500. Last year marked the inaugural year for the Chisholm Awards for Innovation in Forestry, recognizing Anupama Sharan, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and Kudzanai Nyamayaro, a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia.

Learn more about the Chisholm Awards for Innovation in Forestry.

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