Dr Lisa Ottenhaus

Lecturer in Structural Engineering

School of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
l.ottenhaus@uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 31399

Overview

My expertise is structural timber engineering and my research interests encompass the theory, analysis, design and performance of timber connections, detailing for timber durability, timber offsite construction using both engineered wood products and light timber framing, design for manufacture, assembly and disassembly (DfMA+D), and seismic design of timber structures. I joined UQ in 2019 as a lecturer in structural engineering. Prior to that I completed a PhD on the seismic performance of connections in tall timber buildings at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. I also hold a Masters of Science in structural engineering from Delft University of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. In the past I have researched geodesic bamboo domes and bamboo connections.

I am currently a steering committee member of the CTBUH Research Project "The Future Potential of Steel-Timber Composite Structures" , and have been a steering committee member of the prefabAUS / Fleetwood Challenge Cup since 2019.

Research Interests

  • Structural timber engineering
    Connection design, durability of timber connections, timber design standards, reversible connections, capacity design, modular timber buildings, engineered wood products
  • Modular and offsite construction of timber buildings
    Design for disassembly, adaptable and flexible building design, modular and offsite construction, design for circular economy, structural performance of reclaimed timber, design for reuse
  • Contact-free measuring techniques
    Digital image correlation (DIC) and particle tracking (PT)

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Canterbury

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Fundamental research is needed to characterise basic system properties of Australian timber products to update the Australian timber design standard AS1720.1. The following research gaps may be addressed:

    1) investigate embedment strength of dowel-type fasteners in different Australian timber species and products; derive reliable regression models for strength prediction; characterise the effect of moisture on embedment strength; establish conversion formulae to harmonise half hole and full hole embedment tests in sawn timber, LVL, and CLT;

    2) study of screwed connections in Australian timber species and products; determine screw withdrawal parameters and develop analytical models to quantify the effect of boundary conditions, spacings, compound angles and group effect; investigate suitable screw arrangements to reinforce carpentry joints;

    3) other fundamental experimental research on timber connections may be considered.

    Formal education in timber engineering is a prerequisite to undertake this research. Previous research experience is desirable (e.g. BHon or Master thesis research). Applicants will have to secure a competitive HDR scholarship to support their research.

  • The project is co-supervised by Dr Paola Leardini and aims to investigate adaptable design of modular timber buildings for spatial reconfiguration and component reuse. The intended outcome is the development, prototyping and monitoring of an offsite manufactured panelised lightweight timber system for high-performance homes (passive house standard), that is adaptable to all Australian climates and long-term household changes. Research objectives relate to both system design as well as panel interface / connection design. This project is suitable for a PhD candidate with formal education in structural timber engineering. Prior experience in offsite construction or modular design, a basic understanding of building physics / hygrothermal performance, and a good understanding of timber connections are desirable. Start date April-December 2022. PhD scholarship available to competitive applicants apply here.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Fundamental research is needed to characterise basic system properties of Australian timber products to update the Australian timber design standard AS1720.1. The following research gaps may be addressed:

    1) investigate embedment strength of dowel-type fasteners in different Australian timber species and products; derive reliable regression models for strength prediction; characterise the effect of moisture on embedment strength; establish conversion formulae to harmonise half hole and full hole embedment tests in sawn timber, LVL, and CLT;

    2) study of screwed connections in Australian timber species and products; determine screw withdrawal parameters and develop analytical models to quantify the effect of boundary conditions, spacings, compound angles and group effect; investigate suitable screw arrangements to reinforce carpentry joints;

    3) other fundamental experimental research on timber connections may be considered.

    Formal education in timber engineering is a prerequisite to undertake this research. Previous research experience is desirable (e.g. BHon or Master thesis research). Applicants will have to secure a competitive HDR scholarship to support their research.

  • The project is co-supervised by Dr Paola Leardini and aims to investigate adaptable design of modular timber buildings for spatial reconfiguration and component reuse. The intended outcome is the development, prototyping and monitoring of an offsite manufactured panelised lightweight timber system for high-performance homes (passive house standard), that is adaptable to all Australian climates and long-term household changes. Research objectives relate to both system design as well as panel interface / connection design. This project is suitable for a PhD candidate with formal education in structural timber engineering. Prior experience in offsite construction or modular design, a basic understanding of building physics / hygrothermal performance, and a good understanding of timber connections are desirable. Start date April-December 2022. PhD scholarship available to competitive applicants apply here.