Tam is a leading expert on the application of microwave technology to biofibre manufacturing, having conceptualized the first commercial use of microwave in composite manufacture. At the time he was the Technical Director of Sunpine Forest Products, Rocky Mountain House, AB, now owned by West Fraser. There are now seven commercial microwave heated LVL manufacturing operations in the world, Tam was involved in the establishment of six of them. Earlier in his career Tam led the establishment of Wood Utilization Research Center in Ethiopia and he was first to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of using laser technology for wooden furniture manufacture and mill work in Canada in 1988.
He has over 30 years of experience in the production of composite panel products such as OSB, laminated veneer lumber, plywood, particleboard, MDF, and strawboard. he has extensive expertise in maximizing fibre resource utilization, product development and efficient plant start-up. In 1998 Tam founded TTS (www.ttsfpl.com) as a fibre products development and testing operation. The company has since serviced Canadian clients including Canfor, West Fraser Timber, and Tolko and international clients include International Paper (US), Modern Laminated Lumber (Russia) and Nelson Pine Industries (NZ). He is the 2004 recipient of a Service Excellence Award from the Forest Industries Suppliers Association (FISLA). TTS has since evolved from an applied R & D facility into a BioComposites Incubator to facilitate for the commercialization of its four platform products/technologies. A commercial spin-off (Biocomposites Group, Drayton Valley, AB) for one of these technologies (Engineered Fibre Mat) was completed in 2013 and in operation
In 2016 Tam founded Natural Fibre Technologies – NFT (www.naturafibretech.com) as a second and a more comprehensive commercial spinoff to commercialize the four platform products/technologies which include Fibre Plastic, Fibre Mat, Fibre Cement & Composite Panels. Mr. Tekle provides strategic direction for the development of the NFT venture and its long-term growth.
He was a session lecturer in the Wood Processing Engineering Technologist Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and has served as a member of different Provincial and National Biofibre Advisory Boards. He currently sites on the stirring committee of the National Biomass Quality Network.
Tam studied Wood Science (B.Sc. Honours) at the University of North Wales and is Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (F.I.M.M.M). He also obtained National Diplomas in Forestry and Wood Industries from the Forestry Training Institute in Tanzania. He studied Agricultural engineering in Ethiopia, where he grew up.
Tam is the recipient of inaugural “FIRST INDUSTRY RECOGNITION AWARD” from The Alberta Hemp Alliance.