Working with wood led BRANZ Senior Structural Research Engineer David Carradine to develop a deep love for the material. Extensive studies followed leading to a career where his research has a real impact on the understanding and use of timber in our buildings.
Q. TELL US ABOUT WHERE YOU GREW UP AND YOUR EDUCATION.
I was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in the suburbs around there. I attended Virginia Tech in the Appalachian Mountains where I received degrees in architecture (BArch), civil engineering (MSCE) in structures and biological systems engineering (PhD) with a focus on timber structures. Due to the courses I took, it became a combination of structural engineering and wood science degrees.
Q. Why did you decide on engineering as a career?
Following my architecture degree, I worked as a builder of handcrafted post and beam timber structures where I learned a lot about wood and about how buildings went together. I wanted to better understand how decisions were being made around the sizes of building components and the connections that held them together, so I returned to university for a master’s in civil (structural) engineering. Before wrapping that up, I took the plunge and took on a PhD as well because I had become infatuated with wood and wanted to delve into it as fully as possible.
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