Posted by Stellenbosch University on Thursday, January 31, 2019
Expires 4 days from now

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

Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Sector: Forestry, General
Contract Type: Permanent

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, fulltime 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 description

Research 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.



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:

The assessment of pedagogic skills will consider:

The assessment will also be based on the applicant’s experience and capacity to successfully:

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.


Commencement of duties: 1 June 2019
Closing 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.

The 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 closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

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