Aurimas Bukauskas, BSA '15, won the Carroll R. Wilson Award last Spring for his project "Whole-Section Timber and Bamboo: Naturally-Engineered High-Performance Structures". The award comes with a financial stipend of $25,000 to cover research travel costs.
"Today, we often turn to high-tech, universal solutions to our most challenging problems," wrote Aurimas. "This project proposes the opposite: the sustainable building materials of the future will also be one of the world's oldest and most familiar: whole-section timber and bamboo." Aurimas will travel for nine months to England, Finland, Norway, Scotland, Tasmania, New Zealand, and Australia. He will visit engineers and research institutions who are involved with developing structural systems using whole timber and bamboo.
"Using timber in its whole form uses much less energy than conventional timber, helps to incentivize a more sustainable relationship with forests, and can be implemented at a local, distributed scale in all climates where trees and bamboo grow. At each location, I'll be prototyping structural systems and interviewing engineers, foresters, forest owners, forest products businesses," says Bukauskas.
Aurimas spent the summer at the Architectural Association's Hooke Park, which focuses on experimental structures using trees from the surrounding woodland. He helped the group on the design and construction of a whole-timber structure and structural prototyping.
The award and research is a continuation of Aurimas' thesis work, "New Structural Systems in Small-Diameter Round Timber."
Follow Aurimas' research and travels here: stavsbinde.tumblr.com
Carroll L. Wilson Award provides an opportunity for one or more recent MIT undergraduates to pursue a challenging international activity that would have excited the interest and enthusiasm of Carroll Wilson. Carroll L. Wilson ('32) was a Professor of Management at the Sloan School and first Mitsui Professor in Problems of Contemporary Technology at MIT. Wilson devoted much of his career toward seeking solutions to important global problems through the application of scientific, engineering, economic, and political analysis to programs of action. The underlying goal of his work was the improvement of relations among countries and the strengthening of their institutions and people.