Dr Mauricio Acuna

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Dr Mauricio Acuna


Senior Research Fellow in Forest Operations

D (ForEng), Oregon State, USA
MSc (OpMgt), UChile, Chile
BForEng, UAustral, Chile



Dr Mauricio Acuna holds a PhD in Forest Engineering at Oregon State University, a MSc in Operations Research and Management at University of Chile, and a Bachelor in Forest Engineering at University Austral of Chile. He has nearly 25 years of professional experience providing forest management, and forest supply chain management solutions for national and international private companies, universities and research organizations.

His international experience in forest operations and optimisation modeling includes research activities in Chile, Uruguay, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, Ireland and Spain. His research interests include mathematical programming and optimisation techniques for forest management and operations, wood and biomass harvesting and transport logistics, operations research and decision support systems, and harvesting machine evaluation. Dr Mauricio Acuna is also involved in the Harvesting and Transportation Engineering subgroup at the International Union of Forest Research Organisation (IUFRO) and has been an active member of the Cost Action FP0902 (Forest Energy) program. Keep in contact with Mauricio here: LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Academia.

Professional Memberships
  • Institute of Foresters of Australia
  • Australian Academy of Science
  • International Union of Forest Research Organisations IUFRO
  • EU Biomass Coast Action
  • Forest Products Society, USA
  • Council on Forest Engineering, USA
  • Society of Operations Research (INFORMS), USA
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, USA
  • Certificate of Academic Excellence - Alfred Molke Scholarship (Oregon State University, 2016)
  • Best paper in Natural Resources (INFORMS, USA, 2013)
  • Travel grant to Europe (Australian Academy of Science, 2012)
  • Travel grant to Germany (DAAD, 2011)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society for Outstanding students (Oregon State University, 2005)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship (USDA Wood Utilization Research, USA, 2003) 
  • Research Award (University of Toronto, 2002)
  • Best Undergraduate Thesis (Chilean Forest Industry, 1998)
Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students
  • Transport optimisation
  • Wood and biomass supply chain optimisation
  • Managing moisture content to optimise supply chains
  • Volumetric measurements of logs and biomass with photogrammetry and 3D reconstruction software
  • Productivity and financial impacts of restrictions to size of clearfell units
Top 5 publications
  • Acuna M., Bigot M., Guerra S., Hartsough B., Kanzian C., Kärhä K., Lindroos O., Magagnotti N., Roux S., Spinelli R., Talbot B., Tolosana E., Zormaier F. 2012. Good Practice guidelines for biomass production studies. Cost Action FP-0902 WG 2 Operations research and measurement methodologies. Publisher: CNR IVALSA, ISBN 978-88-901660-4-4. - (64 citations).
  • Acuna M., Anttila P., Sikanen L., Prinz R., Asikainen A. 2012. Predicting controlling moisture content top optimise forest biomass logistics. Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering 33(2):225-238. - (39 citations)
  • Acuna M., Palma C., Cui W., Martell D., Weintraub A. 2010. Integrated spatial fire and forest management planning. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40(12): 2370-2383. - (33 citations).
  • Acuna M., Murphy G. 2016. Use of near infrared spectroscopy and multivariate analysis to predict the wood density of Douglas-fir from chain saw chips. Forest Products Journal 56(11/12):67-72. - (28 citations).
  • Acuna M., Mirowski L., Ghaffariyan M.R., Brown M. 2012. Optimising transport efficiency and costs in Australian wood chipping operations. Biomass and Bioenergy 46(2012):291-311. - (24 citations).
Research grants 
Project Name Investigators Funding Body Years Focus
Export log and wood chip supply chain management M. Brown, M. Acuna, M. Ghaffariyan, M. Strandgard, R. Mitchell Forests and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) 2017-2019 Improved management assessment of volume and quality in export supply chains
Machinery assessment of mechanical fuel load reduction to prevent forest fires M. Brown, M. Acuna, J. Edwards, R. Mitchell NSW Department of Industry 2016-2017 Productivity and cost of mechanised systems for fuel load reduction
Log drying for efficient supply chains M. Brown, M. Acuna, M. Ghaffariyan, M. Strandgard, R. Mitchell Forests and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) & Australian Renewable Energy 2014-2015 Establishing drying curves/regimes to reduce costs and improve value in forest supply chains
Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance (AFORA)  M. Brown, M. Acuna, M. Ghaffariyan, M. Strandgard, R. Mitchell Australia Forest Industry 2012-2015 Forest supply chains
Current research projects
Project name Source of funding
Export log and wood chip supply chain management FWPA
Machinery assessment of mechanical fuel load reduction to prevent forest fires NSW Department of Industries
Application and comparison of photogrammetric, steroscopic, and laser technology for volumetric measures of truckloads Forico Ltd., Tasmania, Australia
Use of photogrammetry and computer vision algorithms for 3D reconstruction of forest roads Forestal Mininco, Chile
Past research projects
Project name Source of funding
Automated volumetric measurements of truckloads through multi-view photogrammetry and 3D reconstruction software (2017) Forico Ltd., Tasmania, Australia
In-forest debarking of Pinus radiata to improve supply chain efficiency (2016) Forest Owners Association of New Zealand
Establishing a commercial payment mechanism along the supply chain based on volumetric measurements of truck loads (2015-2016) Forico Ltd., Tasmania, Australia
Fatigue reduction technologies for a safer Tasmanian transport sector (2013-2016) WorkSafe Tasmania
Development of an automated truck dispatching system (2013) ASSET, New Zealand
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