Alumni Festival 2019 - Skyscrapers: The Next Generation

Alumni Festival 2019 - Skyscrapers: The Next Generation

Skyscrapers The Next Generation - Dr Michael Ramage by UoC Alumni Festival

Supertall timber: impossibly high wooden skyscrapers

An urbanising global population is leading to an increasingly dense built environment. Often this means people living and working in taller buildings. Throughout history – and in many parts of the world today – timber and other plant-based materials have played a major role in low-rise construction; but despite the many environmental, aesthetic and construction advantages, the natural variability and limited dimensions of these materials mean that they have not historically proved suitable for tall building construction.

However, a new generation of engineered timber and plant-based products allow many of the limitations of variability and size to be overcome. Find out how with Dr Michael Ramage.

Slides for this lecture can be found here


Michael Ramage leads Cambridge's Centre for Natural Material Innovation and is an architectural engineer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture. He is also a Fellow and the Vice Master of Sidney Sussex College, and a founding partner of Light Earth Designs. He studied architecture at MIT, and worked for Conzett Bronzini Gartmann in Switzerland prior to teaching at Cambridge.

His current research is focused on developing low-energy structural materials and systems in masonry, better housing in the developing world and improved engineered timber and bamboo through natural material innovation. He teaches, researches and designs buildings, and receives research funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Royal Society, the British Academy, and industry.

Alumni information: Fellow and Vice Master of Sidney Sussex