Tuesday, 1 September 2015

WIT Traditional Summer Barbeque 2015


IMG 0394
The traditional summer BBQ took place in the grounds of the Ashurst Lodge Campus of the Wessex Institute.

The BBQ is a way for WIT to express its appreciation to all those who have collaborated to the success of the Institute.  Children were especially welcome which helps to make the occasion very family oriented.  Visitors can see the advances made over the last academic year and the new improvements on Campus.
The fare consisted, as usual, of roasted lamb with many side dishes and salads, a variety of sweets and fruits and an open bar.
The special event during the 2015 BBQ was the unveiling of a brass ‘bas-relief’ sculpture which was fixed to a bare brick wall of the pool building.  The sculptress, Pilar Subias, flew from Spain especially for the occasion.
Carlos spoke to the participants gathered around the veiled sculpture, of the importance of continuing to improve and beautify our working environment, and how essential Pilar’s work has been in this regard.  The Campus contains several other works by Pilar, including a basalt sculpture depicting an Eagle-woman, a stone plaque showing two stags fighting, a Welsh dragon at the entrance to the Patagonia building and the head of a woman carved in alabaster at the entrance.
IMG 0405Each sculpture – Carlos said – is a gift that Pilar left to us expressing her love and empathy with all of us.  This is also reflected in the cities in which she has made a living in her native Spain, ie Zaragoza and A Coruña.  There one can see various sculptures decorating public spaces in town.  We are privileged to be able to have works by her at Ashurst Lodge, and grateful to her for having travelled from north-west Spain for this occasion. 
Carlos then proceeded to unveil the sculpture which represented a Mermaid and a Triton, their tails interweaved.  The casting in brass is better appreciated during the afternoon when the light of the sun brings out the shapes.
After the unveiling, the participants resumed the party which lasted well into the afternoon.
The BBQ coincided with the holding of the Summer AGM of the Wessex Institute.  During this meeting the Board of Directors set the strategy for future developments.

Special Award to Santiago Hernandez

Professor Santiago Hernandez of A Coruña University in Spain and long-standing Member of the Board of Directors of Wessex Institute has received the Distinguished Achievements Medal of the Institute of Civil Engineers of Spain.Santiago Hernandez
The Medal is awarded annually to members who have rendered exceptional services to the profession and made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Civil Engineering profession.  It was awarded by the Minister of Justice, Sr Rafael Catalá, with the presence of the Permanent Secretary for Infrastructures, Sr Manuel Niño.
Santiago has collaborated closely with the Wessex Institute since its foundation and continues to interact in diverse research and training activities.  He chairs several important international conferences organised by the Institute in areas ranging from Architectural Heritage to Applied Fluid and Structural Mechanics.  
He has published several books and, in particular, edited WIT Press conference volumes, part of WIT Transactions collection.  Santiago also serves on the Editorial Board of several internal journals, including Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements.
Amongst other books, he is author with members of his research team of an outstanding book on “Bridge Elasticity:Sensitivity Analysis and Optimal Design”, which presents a wealth of information on the analysis and design of long-span suspended cable-styled bridges.  (WIT Press – ISBN: 978-1-84564-056-9)
Santiago deserves our warmest congratulations on the occasion of having received this important Medal, a just reward for his many accomplishments as a Civil Engineer.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

2015 Prigogine Award

The 2015 Prigogine Gold Medal is to be awarded to Bai-Lian Larry Li, Professor at the University of California, USA

The Prigogine Gold Medal 2015 Award Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 3rd June in València. This prestigious event is sponsored by the Politecnic University of València, on the occasion of the 10th International Conference on Ecosystems and Sustainable Development and the 21st International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment. The Prigogine Medal was established in 2004 by the University of Siena and the Wessex Institute of Technology to honour the memory of Professor Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry.
B. Larry Li
Ilya Prigogine was born in Moscow in 1917, and obtained his undergraduate and graduate education in chemistry at the Free University in Brussels. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures. The main theme of his scientific work was the role of time in the physical sciences and biology. He contributed significantly to the understanding of irreversible processes,particularly in systems far from equilibrium. The results of his work have had profound consequences for understanding biological and ecological systems. Prigogine’s ideas established the basis for ecological systems research. The Prigogine Medal to honour his memory is awarded annually to a leading scientist in the field of ecological systems. All recipients have been deeply influenced by the work of Prigogine.
B. Larry Li is Professor of Ecology and Director of three research Centres at the University of California, Riverside, ie the International Centre for Ecology and Sustainability, the International Centre for Arid Land Ecology, and the US Department of Agriculture – China Joint Research Centre for AgroEcology and Sustainability. Professor Li has a broad inter-disciplinary background and experience in mathematical, statistical and computational modelling applications in ecological studies. 
Professor Li is a Fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology, USA; Chair Professor of the Chinese Academy of Science, Honorary Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science among other important recognitions. He currently presides over the Eco-Summit Foundation and is a member of NFS Scientific Panels. He has been the founder and editor of the prestigious International Journal on Ecological Complexity and the Journal of Arid Land. He organised many symposia and courses with other organisations, including the Max-Planck and Santa Fe Institutes.

Prof Li has worked on a wide variety of ecological projects including recent involvement in energetic and thermodynamic ecological systems and restoration ecological patters formations and long-term ecological research in the USA and internationally. He has published more than 200 refereed Journal articles, and numerous conference papers in addition to 30 book chapters and 8 books or edited special issues.
SPECIAL PRIGOGINE LECTURE
Towards an energetically and thermodynamically-sounded approach to ecological complexity, modelling and sustainability to be delivered by Professor B. Larry Li at the Polytecnic University of València, Spain

For further information about the Prigogine Awards, please contact Professor Carlos A. Brebbia at the Wessex Institute of Technology or see www.wessex.ac.uk/prigogine2015
For details of the previous Prigogine Award see: www.wessex.ac.uk/prigogine2014

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

2015 George Green Medal

The George Green Medal has been established by the University of Mississippi and the Wessex Institute of Technology to honour the work carried out by eminent scientists in the field of boundary elements and other mesh reduction methods.
Prof Kansa

The importance of Green's work to the development of what became the basis of boundary elements cannot be overstated. His pioneering research was fully appreciated by Lord Kelvin who brought it to the attention of the scientific community.

The Green Medal was established to honour Green's memory and is awarded annually at the International Conference on Boundary Elements.

The 2015 Medal will be given to Professor Edward J Kansa for his pioneering work on Meshless Methods.

Prof Kansa will open the BEM 2015 Conference (to be held in the New Forest, UK,  from 21 to 23 September 2015) with a keynote address on "Radial Basis Functions: Accomplishments and Challenges".

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Eco-Architecture 2014 Post Conference Report

Overview

Eco-Architecture 2014
The 5th International Conference on Harmonisation between Architecture and Nature (Eco-Architecture 2014) took place in the Certosa di Pontignano, organised by the University of Siena, represented by Prof Riccardo Pulselli, and the Wessex Institute of Technology, represented by Prof Carlos A Brebbia.  It follows from a series of successful meetings which started in 2006 in the New Forest, home of the Wessex Institute of Technology, and continued in the Algarve (2008), La Coruña (2010) and the island of Kos (2012).

The choice of the University of Siena as a venue was determined by the work carried out by the Ecodynamics Group, where Riccardo Pulselli carries out his research.  The Group, started by the late Professor Enzo Tiezzi, has a well-deserved international reputation.

A few years ago, Enzo Tiezzi, then professor at the University of Siena, asked his students “What do you think the most sustainable building is?”  There were many answers as it is easy to cite hundreds of prime examples from contemporary architecture.  After listening to many answers, Enzo produced his own, ie “The most sustainable building is the one that already exists”.  Enzo wanted to point out that the most sustainable architecture is the result of an evolution, a progressive adaptation of structures to environments and adjustments to new needs.  The sustainable city is not a city full of new buildings, but rather the same city of the past, renovated, repaired and modified in order to be lived in as fully today as it was in the past.

Enzo’s answer in its simplicity encompassed  the objectives of the Eco-Architecture 2014 conference, that the design process should aim for optimum solutions, evolving through the adaptation of architecture to its natural environment, learning from nature and by time honoured traditional construction methodologies.

Prof Carlos A Brebbia opened the conference explaining the importance of this meeting series for the Wessex Institute of Technology, which sees itself as a medium for the International transfer of knowledge.  This is also carried out through a large number of publications, including journals and books, other than those resulting from the conferences.

The book corresponding to this conference is Volume 142 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment, and is widely disseminated in digital, as well as hard copy format.  Furthermore, the papers are permanently archived in the digital library of the Institute (www.witpress.com/elibrary), where they are available to the international scientific community.  These mechanisms ensure the maximum dissemination to the work presented at the Wessex Institute conferences.

The Wessex Institute’s main strength however – Carlos explained – is in the field of research and development of advanced simulation tools.  At present, a considerable amount of work is focussed on petroleum and aerospace industries applications.  The tools however are of a very general character and can be applied across a wide variety of disciplines.  Modules developed by WIT have been applied in acoustics, electrical and electromagnetic engineering, heat transfer, biomechanics and many other fields.  In certain ways this versatility set up the basis for the work of WIT across different disciplines, including its conferences and publications.

Riccardo Pulselli welcomed the delegates afterwards, and explained the work of the Ecodynamics Group and the importance of the research in ecological problems carried out at the University of Siena.  The city of Siena itself and its surrounding province has become a byword for sustainability.

Riccardo referred to the importance of their work that has now achieved international recognition.

The Conference sessions took place in La Certosa di Pontignano, an old monastery belonging to the University of Siena and now converted into a conference centre. It was founded in the 1300s by the Carthusian Order.  It is still an oasis of peace, most appropriate for research meetings presented near Siena while being in the open countryside, and offers unique views of its surroundings. Vineyards and olive groves surround La Certosa.

The complex has two beautiful cloisters and a series of cells, rooms and facilities around them.  In spite of the many changes that the buildings undertook over the years, the complex is harmonious and its architecture blends with the surrounding landscape.

 Conference Sessions

The papers presented at the meeting covered a wide range of items related to Eco-Architecture, they were grouped in the following sessions:

  • Bioclimatic design
  • Energy efficiency
  • Ecological and cultural sensitivity
  • Ecological impacts of materials
  • Design with nature
  • Building technologies
  • Design by passive systems
  • Heat transfer problems
  • Case studies
  • Education and training
  • Life cycle assessment and durability
  • Sustainability indices in architecture
  • Adapted reuse

 

 Invited Presentations

The conference sessions were enhanced by a series of invited presentations given by well-known colleagues:

  • “Generating a new typology of an urban village”, by Syed Zubir, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
  • “Radiation-active surface design: the use of photocatalytic concrete enabling buildings to be active environmental remediators”, by Nik Nikolov, LeHigh University, USA.
  • “Towards nZEB: modular pre-assembled steel systems for residential buildings”, by Danila Longo, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • “Incorporation of bioclimatic conditions in architectural projects: a case study of the Solar Hemicycle building, Madrid, Spain”, by Elaine Garido Vazquez, Federal University of Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

 

 Social Occasions

There were ample opportunities for the delegates to meet during the conference, not only during coffee breaks but also at lunches and other social functions.  Many of them took the opportunity to visit the sights of Siena in small groups and enjoy the cuisine for which the city is renowned throughout the world.

The Conference dinner took place in the unusual setting of one of the famous contradas of Siena.  A contrada is the name given to a part of town, each of which has the right of having a horse racing for them in Il Palio, the race taking place around the Piazza del Campo.

The contrada is the centre of the social life of this particular part of town, and although opened to all classes it is in practice a highly exclusive club to which one can only belong if born in that part of town.

The contrada contributes to the strong community sense of Siena, a town renowned for its sustainability record and low carbon footprint.  To serve in the contrada cities is an obligation and an honour, to which the community contributes on a voluntary basis.

The banquet was preceded by a visit to the Museum of the Contrada dell’Aquila, which contains the Palii (or banners) they won over the years and other historical memorabilia.  Next door to the Museum a small chapel is used for the ceremony of blessing the horse and jockey before the race takes place.

The dinner consisted of appetizers, followed by two first courses of rice and pasta, and a main course of roasted veal, everything prepared in the Tuscan way.  The food was accompanied by excellent Chianti wines.

The whole evening was most enjoyable and gave the delegates the chance to see a part of Siena life which is not open to most visitors.  The invitation to the Contrada was the result of the academic contacts WIT has built with Siena, over many years of collaboration.

 ISAC Dinner

Members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) and Editorial Board of the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, met over dinner in one of the best restaurants in town, offering authentic Tuscan cuisine.  The discussions centred on reconvening Eco-Architecture in 2016 and where and when the conference ought to take place.

Carlos commented on the success of the Journal as well, the frequency of which has now increased to six issues per year.  The Journal is in the main research databases, and paper citations are recorded.  It may be necessary following the success of the topic to increase the number of issues.  Carlos also mentioned that from now on all WIT Press publications are in full colour in paper as well as digital formats.

 Closing of the Conference

The conference was closed by Carlos who thanked all the delegates for their participation and having contributed to another very successful meeting.  He hoped that they will consider participating in other meetings, as well as the conference in 2016 and other WIT activities.  He also hoped that they will consider visiting the WIT Campus in the New Forest next time they are in that region of England.

 

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of Eco-Architecture 2014 – Eco-Architecture V, 648pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-822-0; eISBN: 978-1-84564-823-7) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: marketing@witpress.com, telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 142 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1746-4498, Digital ISSN 1743-3509). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at www.witpress.com/elibrary

 

 Related Conferences

  • Sustainable City 2015
  • Sustainable Development and Planning 2015
  • STREMAH/2015

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Sustainable City 2014 Post Conference Report

Overview

Sustainable City 2014
The 9th International Conference on Urban Regeneration and Sustainability took place in the Certosa di Pontignano, organised by the University of Siena and the Wessex Institute of Technology.

The meeting has a long and distinguished history, having started in Rio de Janeiro in 2000, followed by a series of very successful meetings in Segovia (2002); Siena (2004); Tallinn (2006); Skiathos (2008); A Coruña (2010); Ancona (2012) and Kuala Lumpur (2013).

The meeting is closely associated with the Prigogine Medal and the work of the Ecodynamics Group at the University of Siena.  The work of the Group originated with the research of the late eminent scientist Enzo Tiezzi, who clearly set their objectives and highlighted the difference between development and growth.  Growth pressures a continuous supply of mass and energy that cannot last forever.  Growth based on historical resources is neither sustainable nor enduring.  On the contrary, a dynamic development that maximises energy, reduces or excludes wastefulness and relies on renewable resources, supplied through advanced systems and innovative technologies, can fuel a prosperous economy and guarantee widespread, long lasting well-being.

The Sustainable City is not full of new buildings, but rather the same city of the past, repaired, renovated and modified in order to make it as fully today as it was in the past.  When considering historical centres and, above all, areas of urban expansion and suburbs, the focus of adaptation is increasingly necessary and desirable, especially from the new prospects of having to limit our dependency on non-renewable energy sources.  In this sense, the search for more sustainable cities is the premise that should inspire research, policies and the building industry in the future.

This line of reasoning has been expressed in the lands of Siena, where the commitment to the environment has long been a common shared good.  Such initiatives with the city and provinces have supported the idea of holding the 9th International Conference on the Sustainable City in Siena, whose territory reached an equal balance between academia carbon emissions and absorption as early as 2011.

The Conference sessions took place in La Certosa di Pontignano, an old monastery belonging to the University of Siena and now converted into a conference centre. It was founded in the 1300s by the Carthusian Order.  It is still an oasis of peace, most appropriate for research meetings presented near Siena while being in the open countryside, and offers unique views of its surroundings. Vineyards and olive groves surround La Certosa.

The complex has two beautiful cloisters and a series of cells, rooms and facilities around them.  In spite of the many changes that the buildings undertook over the years, the complex is harmonious and its architecture blends with the surrounding landscape.

The quiet environs and the ample facilities contributed to increased contacts amongst the delegates, outside the conference sessions.  They were offered lunches, as well as refreshment breaks and a conference dinner was arranged in the unusual setting of one of the contradas of Siena.

The success of the conference resulted in a substantial number of papers which were published in two volumes of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Volume 191, which are distributed around the world in hard copy and digital format.  The papers are permanently archived in the WIT eLibrary (http://library.witpress.com/).

 Prigogine Award Ceremony

The conference was opened by the University Authorities in their Aula Magna, with a special ceremony to award the 2014 Prigogine Gold Medal.

The Academic procession comprising members of the University and some of the senior members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee entered the Aula Magna, followed by the Vice Rector, Professor Francesco Frati and the Director of the Wessex Institute of Technology, Professor Carlos A Brebbia.

Professor Frati declared the proceedings open and described the importance of the event, welcoming the delegates in the name of the University of Siena.  The Prigogine Medal was established by the University and the Wessex Institute of Technology to honour the memory of Professor Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize Winner of Chemistry.  He was a mentor of the work carried out in the Ecodynamics Group and Honorary Co-Chair of the Conference on Ecological Systems and Sustainable Development, organised by both institutions.

Prof Brebbia then referred to the importance of Prof Prigogine’s work.  Born in Moscow in 1917, Ilya Prigogine obtained his undergraduate and graduate education in Chemistry at the Free University of Brussels.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures.  The main theme of his scientific work was the role of time in the physical sciences and biology.  Prigogine contributed significantly to the understanding of irreversible processes, particularly in systems far from equilibrium.  The results of his work have had profound consequences for understanding biological and ecological systems.

Prigogine’s idea established the basis for ecological systems research.  The Prigogine Medal – Carlos said – to honour his memory, is awarded annually to a leading scientist in the field of ecological systems.  All recipients have been deeply influenced by the work of Prigogine.

Previous Prigogine Laureates were:

  • 2004       Sven Jorgenson, Denmark
  • 2005       Enzo Tiezzi, Italy
  • 2006       Bernard Patten, USA
  • 2007       Robert Ulanowicz, USA
  • 2008       Ioannis Antoniou, Greece
  • 2009       Emilio Del Giudice, Italy
  • 2010       Felix Müller, Germany
  • 2011       Larissa Brizhik, Ukraine
  • 2012       Gerald Pollack, USA
  • 2013       Vladimir Voeikov, Russia
Prof Simone Bastianoni, from the Ecodynamics Group at the University of Siena, commented on the personality of the late Enzo Tiezzi (Prigogine 2005).  He expressed how difficult it was to accept that Enzo was no longer with us, so strong was his influence for the Science Group.

Enzo was a renaissance man, building bridges across different disciplines, his work continuously evolving, from chemical processes to biology, ecosystems and many human endeavours.

Enzo did not believe in the idea of becoming overspecialised in a very minor narrow field.  He thought that it was always important to understand the whole, to see the forest, rather than focus all our energies in researching only one particular tree.

The 2014 Medal has been awarded to Prof Mae-Wan Ho, founding Director of The Institute of Science in Society.

Prof Brebbia explained that the Dr Ho’s work provides information about biotechnological issues as well as sustainability, climate change and, in particular, the nature of water.

Prof Ho received a PhD in Biochemistry from Hong Kong University.  She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biochemical Genetics at the University of California, San Diego; Senior Research Fellow at Queen Elizabeth College; Lecturer in Genetics and Reader in Biology at the Open University, UK.

Prof Ho is the author of several books and Editor of Science in Society, produced by her Institute.  She is a prolific author.  Two of her books are prominent in explaining the role of biological water in organising living processes.  She has been extremely productive with nearly 200 scientific papers, over 600 popular articles and several more books.

Moreover, she has written a book showing the lack of sustainability of genetically modified organisms.  She has also contributed significantly to the thermodynamics of complex systems, and has discussed extensively the Prigogine ideas.  A recent article of hers discusses what should be a reliable thermodynamics of living organisms, developing a Prigogine’s approach.

Following the introduction, Prof Ho was given the Medal by Prof Nadia Marchettini, widow of the late Enzo Tiezzi (Prigogine Medal 2005).

Upon receipt of the award, Prof Ho started her Special Prigogine Lecture on ‘Sustainable Cities: A New Perspective’.  She demonstrated that the circular thermodynamics based on dynamic closeness in natural space-time dimensions enable organisms to approach zero entropy production simultaneously at equilibrium and far from equilibrium conditions.  It confirms and extends Ilya Prigogine’s Principle of Minimum Entropy Production for living systems and has implications for sustainable cities and other built environments, as well as ecosystems and economic systems.

Dr Ho referred to the importance of fractals and their role in providing optimum energy consumption configurations.

This led to a discussion of why large systems are inefficient and the advantages of arranging for local energy generation and storage facilities using renewable resources, minimising emissions and CO2 generation.  This can be done by recycling the waste, and redefining urban spaces at human scale.  The modern trend is towards a more compact city, creating new spaces.

 Conference Sessions

The presentations were grouped in the following sessions:

  • Urban strategies
  • Spatial conflicts in the city. (Special session organised by R Barelkowski)
  • Environmental management
  • Infrastructure and society
  • Transportation
  • Waste management
  • Planning, development and management
  • Urban air pollution (Special session organised by E Rada)
  • The community and the city
  • Urban conservation and regeneration
  • Urban metabolism
  • The S3 city: smart, sustainable and safe. (Special session organised by R Fistola)
  • Quality of life
  • Sustainable energy and the city
  • Eco-town planning
  • Flood risk
  • Architectural issues
  • Recent advances on urban transportation planning (Special session organised by F Russo)
  • Case studies

 

 Invited Presentations

The meeting was enhanced by a series of invited presentations given by well know colleagues:

  • “Istanbul’s single truth: a sustainable policy and a sustainable capital”, by Sirma Turgut, Yildiz Technical University, Turkey.
  • “Strategies for the identity of sustainable suburbs”, by Robert Barelkowski, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland.
  • “Accommodating the cyclist in the city”, by Andrew Furman, Ryerson University, Canada.
  • “Artificial surfing reefs in the Mediterranean Sea: an integrated solution for the erosion of the shoreline in Bahía Norte, Alicante”, by Yolande Villacampa, University of Alicante, Spain.
  • “Qualitative assessment of the Mexicali Valley Landscape: residents and non-residents”, by Rosa Rojas-Caldelas, University of Baja California, Mexico.
  • “The sustainable city and air pollution”, by Elena Rada, University of Trento, Italy.
  • “Pathways to an oil-constrained sustainable city”, by Roger Brewster, Bond University, Australia.
  • “The Sustainable City and the Smart City: measuring urban entropy first”, by Romano Fistola, University of Sannio, Italy.
  • “Novel solutions to a traditional method of property-level flood protection: technical insights into innovative door aperture guards”, by Colin Booth, University of the West of England, United Kingdom.
  • “A comprehensive lifecycle evaluation of vertical greenery systems based on systemic indicators”, by Riccardo Pulselli, University of Siena, Italy.
  • “The process of smart city definition at an EU level”, by Francesco Russo, University of Russo Calabria, Italy.

 

 ISAC and Conference Dinners

The conference International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC)  met over dinner to discuss the meeting and way in which it can be improved when it is reconvened in 2016.  The members discussed a series of new topics to allow the conference to evolve and respond to new ideas and demands. A series of new members of the committee were nominated so that their names can add to the prestige of the conference and be able to review papers.  Finally, the members discussed the offers received regarding possible venues for 2016, which will be investigated by the WIT conference department.

The Conference dinner took place in the unusual setting of one of the famous contradas of Siena.  A contrada is the name given to a part of town, each of which has the right of having a horse racing for them in Il Palio, the race taking place around the Piazza del Campo.

The contrada is the centre of the social life of this particular part of town, and although opened to all classes it is in practice a highly exclusive club to which one can only belong if born in that part of town.

The contrada contributes to the strong community sense of Siena, a town renowned for its sustainability record and low carbon footprint.  To serve in the contrada cities is an obligation and an honour, to which the community contributes on a voluntary basis.

The banquet was preceded by a visit to the Museum of the Contrada dell’Aquila, which contains the Palii (or banners) they won over the years and other historical memorabilia.  Next door to the Museum a small chapel is used for the ceremony of blessing the horse and jockey before the race takes place.

The dinner consisted of appetizers, followed by two first courses of rice and pasta, and a main course of roasted veal, everything prepared in the Tuscan way.  The food was accompanied by excellent Chianti wines.

The whole evening was most enjoyable and gave the delegates the chance to see a part of Siena life which is not open to most visitors.  The invitation to the Contrada was the result of the academic contacts WIT has built with Siena, over many years of collaboration.

The conference was closed by Carlos Brebbia who thanked the delegates for their participation and hoped to see them again when the meeting is reconvened.

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of Sustainable City 2014 – The Sustainable City IX, 1766pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-820-6; eISBN: 978-1-84564-821-3) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: marketing@witpress.com, telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 191 of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1746-448X, Digital ISSN 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com

 

 Related conferences


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Energy and Sustainability 2014 Post Conference Report

Overview

The 5th International Conference on Energy and Sustainability took place in Putrajaya near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology, represented by Professor Carlos Brebbia; Malaysia Research and Education Network (MYREN), represented by Professor Hussain Al-Kayiem of Universiti Teknologi Petronas and the Universiti Teknologi Mara, represented by Professor Syed Zubir.

The Meeting follows the very successful conference series which started in the New Forest (UK), home of the Wessex Institute in 2007 and continued in Bologna (2009); Alicante (2011); and Bucharest (2013).

The Conference is reconvened to discuss the challenges affecting the modern world in the field of energy. Modern society is highly dependent on the exploitation of fossil fuels. Depletion of resources and environmental effects resulting from the continuous use of those fuels has resulted in an increasing amount of interest in renewable energy resources and the need for sustainable energy policies.

The changes required to progress from an economy mainly based on hydrocarbons to one taking advantage of sustainable energy resources are massive and require a substantial amount of scientific research, as well as the development of new engineering systems and technologies. The effort also involves collaboration across different disciplines in order to arrive at optimum solutions, including building, energy networks, transportation systems, energy storage solutions, conversion and recovery energy solutions, and many others.

Opening of the Conference

The Conference was opened by Ms Liana Jaganatham, Programme Manager for MYREN which is part of the Ministry of Education and Sponsor of the Conference. She explained the objectives of her programme and the advances made in Research and Education in Malaysia. The programme also covers networks supporting the whole country. She ended by describing some of the future projects.

Professor Al-Kayiem, Co-Chair of the Conference refers to the importance of the work carried out at the conferences and, in particular, those organised by WIT, which help to bring people together in a friendly environment.

Professor Carlos A. Brebbia then described the work done at the Wessex Institute of Technology. WIT, Carlos said, is fundamentally an organisation dedicated to the transfer of knowledge. This is carried out by means of a variety of activities, including conferences, seminars and courses.

An important part of WIT activities relate to provision of knowledge and services to industry. The Institute has developed over many years computer software packages based on their own research on Boundary Element Methods. These codes are now used by many companies around the world, particularly in the energy and aerospace field.

WIT Press, the publishing arm of the Institute, provides also a mechanism to disseminate knowledge. The organisation publishes a series of books and journals in digital and paper format. They are distributed throughout the world by a substantial number of representatives and agents.

Carlos ended by pointing out that the Institute aims to continuously improve the infrastructure of its Campus; which is located in the New Forest National Park in the South of England.

Conference Topics

The papers were grouped into a series of sessions, as follows:

·         Biofuels
·         Energy policies
·         Sustainable energy production
·         Green buildings
·         Energy and transportation
·         CO2 capture and management
·         Energy storage
·         Environmental risk management
·         Processing of oil and gas
·         Waste to energy

Keynote and Invited Presentations

The Conference Programme included a number of invited presentations by well known colleagues, as follows:

·         “Synthesis of novel catalysts for hydrodeoxygenation of bio-oil: guaiacol as a model component” by Nader Mahinpey, Calgary University, Canada
·         “Sustaining thermal power plant production in low water supply regions using cooling towers” by Hussein Al-Kayiem, Universiti Tecnologi Petronas, Malaysia
·         “Sustainable space optimization and function versatility through mass displacement” by Syed Zubir, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia
·         “Dry reforming of methane under an electro-catalytic bed: effect of electrical current and catalyst composition” by Jean-Michel Lavoie, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
·         “Increasing the selectivity of the hydrocarbon feedstock pyrolysis” by Elena Magaril, Urals Federal University, Russia
·         “Cost-benefit analysis of living wall systems on school building skins in hot climate” by Mahmoud Haggag, UAE University, United Arab Emirates.

The Conference was characterised by its friendly atmosphere and the many contacts made by the delegates. As all WIT Conferences, it attracted participants from many different countries. It also included the presence of many young researchers, mostly recent PhD graduates, whose contributions presented new ideas and original applications.

Conference Dinner

The International Scientific Advisory Committee met over an excellent dinner hosted by Professor Hussain Al-Kayiem to discuss the way in which the meeting could be improved. The discussions centred on the topics covered and in particular the challenge resulting from the recent fall in the price of oil and gas. These changes will have a profound impact on some renewable resources systems and new hydrocarbons extraction methods such as fracking with consequent new policies. The Committee also discussed the need to appoint new members.

During the Meeting the soon to be launched International Journal of Energy Production and Management was also discussed. The importance of an early announcement is crucial to the future of the Journal, as well as to attract papers by well known colleagues. This will accelerate the inclusion of the Journal in the search engines and appropriate databases.

The Conference Banquet took place on board a boat that sailed along the Putrajaya Lake while a guide explained the different buildings along the way. The new governmental capital of Malaysia has been a major undertaking with a diversity of building styles for the different ministries and state departments. It has several large mosques and malls and an ever-expanding number of residential areas. The first buildings were inaugurated as recently as 2001 but the city is now full of many impressive buildings and has an excellent road and bridge system, together with a fast train link to Kuala Lumpur.

The excellent Malaysian food served during the trip and the good company made this a unique occasion, helping the delegates to strengthen their links.

Closing of the Conference

The Conference was closed by Carlos who thanked the delegates for making Energy and Sustainability such a friendly and successful Conference.

He mentioned that the Conference book is now archived in the Institute’s eLibrary (http://library.witpress.com) where they are accessible to the international community. He reminded the presenters of the possibility of submitting extended versions of their papers to the International Journal of Energy Production and Management, the latest WIT Press Journal.

Carlos invited the delegates to visit the Campus of Wessex Institute in the New Forest, a National Park in the South of England, renowned for its beauty.

Finally, he thanked the Co-Chairmen, Syed and Hussain, for their commitment to the Conference and for making the Meeting such a success.

Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of Energy and Sustainability 2014 (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-837-4; eISBN: 978-1-84564-838-1) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email:marketing@witpress.com, telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online a the WIT eLibrary as Volume 186 of WIT Transactions on the Ecology and the Environment ( ISSN: 1746-448X, Digital ISSN 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com