Marty Vatkin’s 40 plus-years involvement in the lumber industry has given him a vast comprehension of all things related to sawmills and makes him a perfect fit for our growing company. He is known for his can-do attitude, innovative approach to problem solving and passion for precision mechanics. He has been head filer for Interfor, Adams Lake division for the last 10 years and in the last five years president of the BC Saw Filers Association. He has been head filer at four mills for a total of 25 years. Marty has also owned and operated Sawline Consulting since 1990, specializing in laser alignment, wheel grinding, trouble shooting, filing room development and personnel training. He has taught industrial courses for energy transfer technology, which included coupling alignment, vertical shaft alignment, machine centre alignment, troubleshooting, belt maintenance and conveyors. In the past he has been maintenance superintendent for nine years at a four-line mill and has been a sawfiler since 1978, ticketed in 1988.
Dr. Julie Cool is an associate professor in sawmilling optimization at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Cool obtained her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering before receiving her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in wood science from Université Laval (Québec). Before joining UBC, Cool worked in the industry as a scientist in the sawmilling group at FPInnovations in Québec and later as an R&D advisor in Montréal. Thanks to her previous industrial experience and ongoing interactions with the primary wood industry, she is very aware of the challenges and opportunities as it strives to minimize the production of waste and adapts to a changing resource-base and climate. Cool is an expert in process optimization and quality control and has undertaken R&D projects in both the primary and secondary wood industries.
Jessy is the vice-president of sales and marketing of SmartMill, headquartered in the unique artificial intelligence park in Levis, Qu. SmartMill manufactures and install state-of-the-art automation equipment that is a customizable solution to improve the profitability of its clients in the wood processing industry. Through its innovative approach, SmartMill strives to be recognized as the transformational leader for the forestry and manufacturing industries. Our automated solutions offer remarkable operational efficiency to help customers to increase their profitability.
Gilles Gauvin’s career in the wood industry has spanned over 20 years. As a sales manager at Autolog, and, in the last year, with Carbotech, his current responsibilities focus on providing wood processing solutions to Canadian, U.S. and international customers in the sawmill industry. Thanks to his vast experience with various manufacturers, he has acquired a broad overview of different solutions that he can easily provide to his customer base. Along with his consultative and customer experience approach, which are very distinctive to our market, he is always on the lookout to help generate innovative solutions that will benefit his customers.
Isabelle Duchesne is a research scientist in fibre characterization with the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre of the Canadian Forest Service. Over the past 25 years, she has worked on optimizing fibre supply utilization through, 1) better understanding of the effects of silviculture practices on wood quality, 2) testing non-destructive technologies such as X-ray CT scanning to increase lumber recovery, and 3) evaluating the effects of seed source translocation and climate on plantation-grown lumber quality.
Isabelle’s research also aims to develop innovative tools and methods for tree species identification to combat illegal trade of forest products and protect our Canadian market.
Norvin Laudon began his career in Vancouver developing machine vision systems for high-speed manufacturing. For the last 18 years he has been involved in the sawmill industry, bringing his experience in machine vision and image processing to log and lumber scanning. While living in Europe for a number of years, Norvin worked with some of the world’s leading CT wood scanning researchers in developing the world’s first high-speed CT log scanner designed for sawmills. Once again based in Vancouver, he is now working on bringing Microtec’s log scanning expertise to North America.
Jan Strycek is the president of Airstar Inc., based in California. Airstar specializes in ultrasonic testing, instrumentation and systems for quality control. The company started in nuclear, transportation, and energy industries in Canada, followed by the aerospace and defense industry in the U.S. About 25 years ago, Airstar entered the forest products industry, which is its main focus today. The basis for all Airstar’s forest product systems is a high performance, high signal to noise instrumentation.
Steve Cuddington is a control systems designer with UBSafe. Steve has spent the past 10 years working in manufacturing, the last six with UBSafe as a control systems designer performing risk assessment, design, programming, startup, validation on functional safety retrofits and other machine safety projects across many industries in Western Canada and the U.S. He has a B.Sc. in physics and a diploma of technology, mechatronics and robotics.