Forest production


  • Business management
    Sector and organisational analysis, reorganisation and restructuring of forestry and timber enterprises
  • Forest economics
    Micro-economic questions of consumer, production and price theory, impacts of changes in institutional and natural context, especially those brought about by climate change
  • Forest access development
    Digital forest road management involving surveys of road condition, strategies for ongoing and periodic road maintenance 
  • Forest engineering
    Process-oriented approaches, CO2 issues, application of the integrative iFOS product, silvicultural compatibility
  • Labour sciences
    Occupational safety, time studies, ergonomics, remuneration
  • Information and communication technologies
    Process support with particular consideration of the special structural features of the forestry sector in Switzerland
  • Optimising the timber value chain
    Optimising technical production, logistics and supply chain management in forestry and timber enterprises, digitising process monitoring and control, supplying timber resources for wood-based products in the context of the activities of the BFH Centre for Wood


Prof. Dr Bernhard Pauli, Lecturer in Forestry Business Management and Head of the Forest Production Section

Prof. Dr Martin Ziesak, Lecturer in Process Engineering in Forestry

Noemi Auer, Research Scientist

Patric Bürgi, Research Scientist

Lorenz Diefenbach, Research Scientist

Patrick Dietsch, Assistant

Moritz Dreher, Research Scientist

Alexandra Müller, Research Scientist

Nadine Philippi, Assistant

Michael StarkeResearch Scientist

Mélanie Thomas, Research Scientist

Current projects

Development of the NFE Programme Agreement for Forest Management

Mandated by the Federal Office for the Environment, a research team from the Forest Production subject-area group is evaluating and analysing programme objective 1 of the NFE Programme Agreement for Forest Management with regards to acceptance, efficiency and effectiveness. A synthesis of the results and the consequent need for action will be discussed and developed during workshops with actors involved in the industry. Building on this, a proposal for the further development of programme objective 1 for the following period 2020–2023 will be prepared. 

Project management: Patric Bürgi


Controlling in forest operations

Mandated by the Federal Office for the Environment, researchers from the Forest Production team are working on a model for strategic and operative controlling in Swiss forest operations. They are developing a software tool based on this theoretical model, which they will make available to forest operations on conclusion of the project. 

Project manager: Patric Bürgi


Monitoring forest economics and improving the economic performance of the forestry sector

On behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the Forest Production Section analyses and interprets the findings of the Network of Pilot Forest Enterprises (Testbetriebsnetz, TBN). The main purpose of this project is to provide a comprehensive picture of the economic situation of Swiss forest enterprises, and to use this information to define specific activities by which to improve the economic performance of the sector. In the course of the project, researchers compare indicators reported in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Moreover, they set up permanent enterprise comparison and benchmarking centres and provide support to these.

Project management: Patric Bürgi

Report presenting TBN findings from 2008 to 2010 (in German) 

Report presenting TBN findings from 2011 to 2013 (in German)

Detailed findings (STAT-TAB)


Pilot project for the optimisation of forestry enterprises: Fundamentals and examples of operational analysis and strategic development for forestry enterprises in Switzerland

Switzerland’s forestry enterprises are renowned worldwide for the high standards they apply to forests, their management, and the outcomes and services delivered by such management. Nonetheless, they have been in economic crisis for some time now. On behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Forest Production Section delivers methodological fundamentals for sound analysis of the business management practices of Switzerland’s forestry enterprises. On that basis, strategies are formulated by which to optimise management units. In addition, the approach is piloted by analysing a specific forestry enterprise and formulating a strategy for this enterprise.

Project management: Patric Bürgi


Consultancy on business management and strategic development for forestry enterprises

On an ongoing basis, the Forest Production Section advises various Swiss forestry enterprises on strategy development, organisation-reorganisation, accounting and controlling.

Project management: Patric Bürgi

FOCUS: Advances in FOrestry Control and AUtomation Systems in Europe

As part of the FOCUS project, HAFL together with partners in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Portugal and Switzerland is developing new control and planning mechanisms for forest-based value chains. The aim of FOCUS is to demonstrate how innovative sensor technologies and IT solutions can improve sustainability, productivity and product marketability in the sectors concerned. The work packages presented here look at the timber harvest chain from the standing trees marked for harvest to the timber stacks along forest roads. Instruments will be developed which, for example, allow for almost real-time recording of timber harvest machinery data (iFOS), photo-optic measurements of timber stacks (polterluchs), or for calculating data on productivity and working times (TimeControl). The information will be combined on the FOCUS platform and serves those in charge of timber harvesting processes as an aid for logistics, planning and control. Given the extensive sets of data involved the platform also allows for active process control.

Project management: Martin Ziesak

Project description


Automated surveys of the state of freight transport routes

Recording road damage on freight routes is highly cost-intensive. Furthermore, appraisals are often subjective. The Section’s scientists have developed an IT-based system that readily enables the gathering of data on road profiles and the objective classification of such information. When a vehicle travels along the freight route, several sensors measure the state of the road and transmit the data to a computer. The data are then assigned to damage classes and urgency ratings. This system will make road maintenance activities more cost-effective and transparent in future.

Project management: Martin Ziesak

Project description

Article in infoHAFL No. 2/2014 (in German and French)


Completed projects



Prof. Dr Bernhard Pauli


Phone +41 (0)31 910 21 07