Associate Professor-Senior Lecturer-Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Stellenbosch University, Department of Forest and Wood Science

Professor/Senior Lecturer in Forest Operations and the Supply Chain (Ref. AW03/003/0119)

A position of Associate Professor / Senior lecturer in Forest Operations, specialising in Supply Chain Management, is now open within the section Forest Engineering of the Department of Forest and Wood Science at Stellenbosch University. The vacancy is for a permanent, full- time position and remuneration will be scaled to the level at which the appointment is made. The Department of Forest and Wood Science forms part of the Faculty of AgriSciences at the University. The Department carries out high quality research and education at an international level and collaborates with society and industry to develop a bio-economy where forest materials are the core resource.

The South African plantation-based forest industry sustainably harvests 18 million m3 annually from a resource base of 1.35 million ha. Of this, roughly 4.5 million m3 is structural wood harvested from softwood pines and the balance from short rotation Eucalyptus pulpwood stands. Some of the challenges faced by the industry to remain internationally competitive are shorter rotation lengths resulting in diminishing tree sizes, rapid mechanisation of forest operations (which until recently were largely motor-manual based), worker health and safety concerns, and an increasing demand for both high quality and cost effectively delivered wood products.

A major opportunity for the industry, in conjunction with Stellenbosch University, is the integration of the forest supply chain from the perspective of forest operations. This is now possible through rapidly increasing digitalisation throughout the forest value chain and the availability of “big data”. The access to big data is particularly relevant to supply chain optimisation, optimised forest operations, systems production development, and logistics. For this reason, the Forest Engineering section has focussed its overarching research and education drive in this direction.

Subject descriptionResearch and teaching in the area of forest operations with a strong focus on Supply Chain Management, which includes supply chain optimisation, forest operations productivity development, timber harvesting, machine and systems costing and economics, access development, logistics and ergonomics.


  • Developing, leading and actively publishing internationally recognised research and actively publishing internationally recognised research activities;
  • Supervising PhD and Master’s students;
  • Undertaking undergraduate teaching in compliance with the general focus of theDepartment, specifically in regard to Forest Engineering and related fields of timberharvesting, access development, logistics and ergonomics;
  • Collaborating with other researchers within and outside Stellenbosch University;
  • Supervising PhD and Master’s students;
  • Undertaking undergraduate teaching in compliance with the general focus of the Department, specifically in regard to Forest Engineering and related fields of timber harvesting, access development, logistics and ergonomics;
  • Collaborating with other researchers within and outside Stellenbosch University;
  • Developing and maintaining regional, national and international networks within this research area;• Actively seeking and managing external research funding at the regional, national and international levels;• Interacting and working collaboratively with the South African and international forest and related industries;
  • Involved with administrative service delivery at departmental, Faculty and University level.


  • A PhD in forestry or a related field;
  • Proven track record of continuous and recognised research publications in the fields of forest engineering and/or forest operations management commensurate with the level of appointment;
  • Proven ability to obtain and manage research funding;
  • Proven track record in undergraduate lecturing in the field of forest engineering;
  • Proven track record of successful postgraduate supervision and leadership in the field of forest engineering;
  • National and international recognition within the discipline of forest engineering / forest operations management;
  • Proven administrative and managerial skills;• Proven ability to work within multi-disciplinary teams and with the broader forest industry;
  • Language proficiency for meeting the requirements of a multilingual university
  • Demonstratable pedagogic skills and the ability to combine successful teaching practices with research.

Assessment criteria

The criteria for appointment at the level of an Associate Professor/Professor will primarily be based on the degree to which the applicant possesses the required qualifications specified for the position.The assessment of scientific skills will consider:

  • Quality and quantity of past and current research within the subject area;
  • Extent of subject coverage and focus on practical applications of past and current research within the subject area;
  • Capacity to initiate, lead and develop an independent research area;
  • Capacity to compete for external research funding and/or grants in partnership with stakeholders.The assessment of pedagogic skills will consider:
  • Planning, conducting and evaluating teaching within the subject area
  • Supervising PhD and Master’s students, including examination;
  • Capacity to integrate research and academic thinking in teaching.The assessment will also be based on the applicant’s experience and capacity to successfully:
  • Lead, develop and manage academic units and staff
  • Engage and cooperate with stakeholders in the forest value chain;
  • Manage outreach, extension, or other forms of collaboration with society;
  • Communication and cooperation.

The incumbent is expected to apply scientific knowledge on questions relevant to the forest industry. Particular emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s scientific skills, in which a wide subject coverage is ranked higher than narrow specialist knowledge.

  • Recommendation:  Experience with logistics in forest value chains, preferably with a focus on raw material supply.

Commencement of duties: 1 June 2019Closing date: 28 February 2019

Enquiries regarding this post: Dr. CB Wessels on 021 808 3319, or at Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Services Centre on 021 808 2753

The University will consider all applications in terms of its Employment Equity Plan, which acknowledges the need to diversify the demographic composition of the staff corps, especially with regard to the appointment of suitable candidates from the designated groups.The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and e-mail address of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.Apply online at University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.Should  no feedback be  received from the University within four weeks  of the closingdate, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.