Meet the team

Timber Unlimited is a collective of engineering, design, construction, wood processing experts and others. At our core, we combine technical expertise, audience understanding and delivery capability to create the unique Timber Unlimited service and brand experience.

Dr Robert Finch


Dr Robert Finch 

Robert is the Director of Timber Unlimited, which is a collaboration between New Zealand Timber Design Society, Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association, BRANZ and Scion.  The Centre is hosted at Scion and is financially supported for establishment through the Ministry for Primary Industries.

He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering and was the CEO of the Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) between 2009 and 2013.  Subsequently, he was the Director of the Quake Centre, hosted at the University of Canterbury.  He has managed research and product development, set research directions and priorities and developed client and partnership relationships for the past 23 years.

Bjorn image

Technical Manager

Bjørn Stankowitz

Currently on secondment from Engco, where he is Technical Director for Timber, he’s indefinitely joined Timber Unlimited as Technical Manager. He’ll be responsible for championing and demonstrating the viability of timber in construction. 

Bjørn is a structural engineer with a background in carpentry and studied structural timber engineering and building physics. He has specialised in mass timber designs since 2010, and since coming to New Zealand in 2013, he’s worked on strengthening heritage buildings and introducing mass timber designs to the country.

His first point of action in this role with Timber Unlimited is collecting feedback from the design community on the recent publication of NZS AS 1720.1:2022 in order to submit collated recommendations for improvements. 

20220414 Hugh Morris

Technical Manager

Hugh Morris

Hugh started his career at the Gisborne City Council, and this included reviewing of building consents at the time NZS 3604 was introduced. He worked briefly in consulting before spending 33 years lecturing in Civil Engineering at the University of Auckland, where he is also an honorary academic. 

He has taught structural timber for most of that time and collaborated with the University of Canterbury in setting up STIC, the structural timber engineering company which undertook leading research supporting commercial and multistorey timber. 

Hugh’s research included tests on timber houses following the Christchurch earthquakes and initial dynamic tests and monitoring of the first post tensioned multi-storey timber building at NMIT in Nelson. Hugh is a past President of the Timber Design Society and, in that role, led the bid to host the World Conference in Timber Engineering in Auckland in 2012.

Debbie Fergie

Management Assistant

Debbie Fergie

Debbie was employed by Timber Unlimited in September 2022 in the role of Management Assistant and New Zealand Timber Design Awards Manager, and was delighted to restart the New Zealand Timber Design Awards programme that she had the privilege of managing for 10 years.

Previously, Debbie was employed by the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association for 6 years as Promotions Manager, and prior to this, she was with the New Zealand Pine Manufacturers Association for 5 years as Executive Assistant to the CEO before the merger with the Wood Processors Association. 

Debbie has over 20 years of experience in the Woodworking Industry in both Australia and New Zealand, and project managed the construction of two of her houses, which provided practical experience to materially assist in her wood industry roles.

With experience in managing projects from conception to completion, her experience ensures that promotions and event management facilitation have good outcomes where interaction and contributions of numerous members and sponsors are required.


Brand and Communications Lead

Lucinda Sherborne

Lucinda has over 25 years of experience working in advertising as a brand and communications strategist. Over this time, she has worked across a huge range of industries and brands ranging from banking, telco, retail, television, fast-moving consumer goods and New Zealand Crown entities.

Lucinda believes that as a strategist, it’s keen insight into human nature that is the lifeblood of great brand strategy – empathy and advantage. She is passionate about bringing this perspective and skillset to bear at all stages of the business, brand and marketing process.

For Lucinda, finding the sweet spot between customers, creativity and courageous companies and organisations is where real change and success lie. 


Project Delivery Lead

Kate Smart

Introducing our Project Delivery lead, boasting a distinguished background in account management within the advertising industry, spanning over 15 years. 

Kate brings an invaluable wealth of knowledge and capability to leading cross-functional teams to deliver project objectives, across all media channels and mediums.