Waldemar, the founder of EPHOKAM

Background

Waldemar Homan was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 1966. He studied forestry and wood technology at Wageningen University and graduated in 1990. Since then he worked for more than 20 years as a researcher at a number of institutes, the longest at SHR Wood Research and at TNO (the Dutch organization for applied research). The main topic of his research life has always been protection of wood. He has done work in the field of wood preservatives, protective coatings, durability by design and wood modification. The full field of these topics is covered by his publications.

Science of wood protection

His work on increasing life-time of timber constructions by design has led to a very practical instruction in a book on the use of wood constructions in civil engineering. On wood modification, Waldemar has been involved with almost all techniques that are on the market today. The deepest involvement was in his SHR time with the modification technique "acetylation". This has led to the product Accoya® which is brought on the market by the company Titan Wood. He stood also at the cradle of other wood modification processes, f.i. Belmadur® and Kebony®.

His more recent work at TNO on second generation chemical wood modification, has led to two patents. These technologies are close to market introduction. Waldemar has two more patents related to joining wood. Internationally Waldemar is well known in the field of wood protection and wood modification. Waldemar was a member of the International Research Group on Wood Protection (IRG) since 1993 and has been member of the organizing committee of the European Conference on Wood Modification (ECWM), a world-wide conference that has been held 6 times since 2003.

Design philosophy

Waldemar is a clear supporter of the "form follows function" philosophy. "Design has to be functional in the first place. That is also an often underestimated part of durability. No matter how good a chair is made and no matter how well it is protected, if it does not sit comfortably or if it does not look good it will not stay for many years." The basis for this, is knowledge on ergonometry, which was obtained during his studies. It also implies that a chair sometimes needs to be designed for the person that is going to sit on it, especially when this person is exceptionally short or tall. But in any case Waldemar wants to make unique pieces that are made to fit both the size and the taste of the user. Design has always been a passion of Waldemar. In his life he has built many pieces for his own house, for family and friends. Over the years he has built up his carpenter skills and his designer qualities. Being a regular visitor - for professional reasons - of many wood working companies, has also contributed to the development of these skills.

Creation of EPHOKAM

In 2012 Waldemar created the EPHOKAM company. "It was the logic way forward. EPHOKAM gives me the possibility to combine the best of both worlds. My profound professional knowledge on wood and wood protection combined with my ideas on design, production techniques and beauty, will lead to the unique top quality products that EPHOKAM has to offer", according to Waldemar.

Family

Waldemar is married to Tânia Nobre and they have one son called Leonardo.