International recognition for our forest scientist

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Oct 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian forest scientist has won international recognition for her research on a chemical-free wood treatment technology.

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) researcher Dr Sik Huei Shing (pic) received the International Union of Forest Research Organisa­tions (IUFRO) Outstanding Doctoral Research Award at a ceremony on Oct 10.

The presentation was held in conjunction with the 24th IUFRO World Congress in Salt Lake City, United States.

She and research fellow Choo Keng Teng are the key researchers who successfully developed the high temperature drying (HTD) system; a non-toxic treatment on rubberwood timber to replace the use of borates (a derivative of boric acid) as a main preservative for wood treatment.

Dr Sik’s doctoral research focused on developing a two-in-one method for rubberwood processing that eliminated preservatives as well as accelerating the processing cycle time by over 75%.

In addition, the quality of HTD-treated timber was generally found to have better dimensional stability (the ability to maintain its original dimensions while being used for its original purpose) compared to timber treated using conventional methods.

Another FRIM researcher, Dr Lee Chai Ting, clinched the best poster award for Division 2: Physiology and Genetics at the congress.

She won for her poster “Discovery of genic microsatellite markers from transcriptome sequences of Eurycoma longifolia root”.

Several FRIM researchers received similar recognition from IUFRO previously for their scientific works.

Founded in 1892, IUFRO is a non-governmental international network of forest scientists which aims to promote global cooperation in forest-related research and enhance the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests. It unites over 15,000 scientists from almost 700 member organisations in over 110 countries.

FRIM has been an active member of IUFRO since 1978 and its first director-general Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor was the IUFRO vice-president from 1987 to 1990 and president from 1990 to 1995.

IUFRO honours those who advance science and promote international cooperation in all fields of research related to forestry.

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