Elizabeth Dunningham



Dr Elizabeth Dunningham is a wood scientist specialising in wood modification treatments. Her experience includes research in many aspects of wood and composite performance assessment, including stability and weathering.


  • PhD (Wood Science), University of Wales Bangor, Wales, UK -2003
  • MSc (Hon) (Chemistry), University of Canterbury, New Zealand -1988
  • BSc (Chemistry), University of Canterbury, New Zealand -1986

Research capabilities

  • Specialist in wood modification treatments (improving dimensional stability & other properties) and wood chemistry & treatment kinetics
  • Good knowledge of the wider solid wood processing and composites products industries and research areas
  • Wide science skill-base including wood science & chemistry, wood polymers, wood product attributes & properties
  • Extensive experience in science & project management, and involved in development & implementation of systems to evaluate science outcomes (stage-gating) and capture knowledge (Wood Processing Enquiries Database, LabBook system)

Career highlights

  • Project Leader Wood Modification, Scion, 2008-present
  • Group Leader, Product Modification and Enhancement, Ensis, 2004–2007
  • Negotiation team for new FRST EWP contract (with Drs Jamie Hague and Brad Ridoutt), Ensis, 2005-2007
  • NZ Delegate for Ensis Wood Processing unit (similar to 2IC), 2004-2005
  • PhD student at University Wales Bangor, UK as NZFRI staff member, 1993-1995
  • Scientist, Scion, (formerly Forest Research, NZFRI, FRI) 1988-present

Selected papers

Grigsby, W J; Kroese, H W; Dunningham, E A; 2011. Determining the relative pore sizes of wood. Evaluating of variously dried radiata pine by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Proceedings of Novel materials from wood or cellulose: Annual Meeting of International Academy of Wood Science. August 31 - September 2, 2011, Stockholm, Sweden, pg. 146.

Franich, R A; Singh, A P; Singh, T; Dunningham, E A; 2010. Microscopic and spectroscopic methods for investigation of wood modified with chitosan. The Fifth European Conference on Wood Modification ECWM5 Proceedings, Riga, September 2010. Ed. CAS Hill, H Militz, B Andersons, pp307-312

A P Singh, E A Dunningham, T. Smolic,  J. Bond. 2005. FE-SEM characterisation of cell deformations and cell wall fractures in Pinus radiata veneers. Poster presentation at The Sixth Pacific Regional Wood Anatomy Conference, Kyoto, Japan, 1-5 December 2005

D.V. Plackett, E.A. Dunningham and A.P. Singh, in Chemical modification of lignocellulosic materials (D.N-S. Hon Ed.), 1996, Marcel Dekker NY. Chapter 11: Weathering of chemically modified wood. Pp277-294

A.P. Singh, E.A. Dunningham, D.V. Plackett  Holzforschung 1995 49:255-258 Short Note. Assessing the performance of a commercial wood stain by transmission electron microscopy

D.V. Plackett, E.A. Dunningham and A.P. Singh Holz als Roh- und Werkstoff 50(4) 1992:135-140. Weathering of chemically modified wood. Accelerated weathering of acetylated radiata pine.

E.A. Dunningham, D.V. Plackett and A.P. Singh Holz als Roh- und Werkstoff 50(11) 1992:429-432. Weathering of chemically modified wood.  Natural weathering of acetylated radiata pine: Preliminary results.

E.A. Dunningham and G.F. Parker in Proceedings of the Chemical Modification of Lignocellulosics Meeting in The Pacific Rim Bio-Based Composites Symposium, 7-13 November 1992, Rotorua, New Zealand. FRI Bulletin No.176:58-66. Absorption of copper by chemically modified radiata pine.

D.V. Plackett and E.A. Dunningham in Proceedings of the International Symposium of Chemical Modification of Wood. May, 1991. Kyoto, Japan. Ultraviolet resistance and colour stability of esterified wood

D.V. Plackett, R.M. Rowell and E.A. Close in Proceedings of the Composites Wood Products Symposium, November 1988, Rotorua, New Zealand. FRI Bulletin No.153:68-72 Acetylation and the development of new products from radiata pine.