Research project

Acoustic monitoring for better operational efficiency on wood processing equipment.


Wood processing machinery, particularly those operating in sawmills, is complex, subject to heavy loads and have many moving components. Any dysfunction can affect production, material yield or product quality. Due to the high production volume of several thousands of lumber pieces per day, wear and failure of machine components are frequent. Sometimes failure is sudden, but most of the time, wear of mechanical parts is progressive.
Skilled machine operators and millwrights can sometimes detect and diagnose problems on a machine after the appearance of a new sound or rhythm. However, in recent years, the wood processing industry has been facing a severe shortage of skilled workers to replace those retiring. The result is more frequent sudden failures, which means additional costs for these companies already operating in a very competitive market. To help the industry overcome this challenge, we are looking at automation through Self-Adaptive Control, taking advantage of the latest advances in industrial intelligence. More specifically, we plan to introduce acoustic monitoring which, for example, would make it possible to compensate for the loss of experience in diagnosing problems on machines and, at the same time, avoid costly sudden failures.
This master's project aims to: (1) identify signal processing techniques required for dysfunction detection and prediction (time domain, frequency domain, spectrogram, etc.); (2) identify adequate sensing technologies; (3) acquire data required for dysfunction detection and prediction; (4) implement and test signal processing and supervised or unsupervised learning techniques for dysfunction detection and prediction. In addition to laboratory research work, sensors (recording devices) will be deployed on a wood planer at a plant near Quebec City to collect the data needed for the study.
Wished start date: 2023-09-01

Research Field

Wood industry
Automation and control
Decision support systems
Smart manufacturing

Research Supervisor

Rémi Georges

Research Environment

FORAC Research Consortium

The FORAC research consortium is a strong partnership between forest products industry stakeholders (businesses and governments). Based at Laval University (Quebec City, Canada), it offers its partners world-class multidisciplinary research expertise. It brings together skills in the fields of forestry engineering, wood engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, administrative sciences and computer science.
Its mission is to support the forest products industry in the design and effective management of operations from the forest to the customer. FORAC aims to be a Canadian and international reference in the field of integration and optimization of the value creation network in the era of 4.0. Researchers are developing methods and tools for decision-making and management that exploit the potential of data in order to improve the planning, coordination and control of operations for all sectors of activity (forestry operations, transport and logistics, processing plants, etc.).

Web Site

Financial Aid Available by Program of Study

Master's Degree in Wood and Biosourced Materials

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$18000 per term for 5 terms.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
Initial thesis submission OR fast-tracking to a doctorate by the end of the 5th semester
Total $1,000

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Sources de financement Montant
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents) $10,000
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $20,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies
$17,500 to $40,000
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Desired Profile

- Computer Software
- Wood Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Software Engineering

Required Documentation

- Cover letter
- Curriculum vitæ
- Student transcript
Interested candidates can apply by sending their application (including: CVs, transcripts and motivation letter) to the following email address: or contact the professor to discuss the project directly: Remi Georges, Pavillon Gene-H. Kruger, local 2363, Téléphone : 418 656-2131 poste 406144, Courriel : ou Michael Morin, Pavillon Palasis-Prince, local 2515, Téléphone : 418-656-2131 p. 403720,

Find Out More

Rémi Georges
Professeur adjoint
Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt