Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Prigogine Medal 2012

Prof. Gerald Pollack
The 2012 Prigogine Medal was presented to Professor Gerald Pollack from the University of Washington at the Sustainable City 2012 conference held in Ancona, Italy earlier this year.

The Prigogine Medal was established by the University of Siena and the Wessex Institute of Technology to honour the memory of Professor Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry.

Professor Carlos A Brebbia expressed the gratitude of the conference and his Institution for the support received from the University of La Marche. He then explained that the work of Prigogine is of direct relevance to the material presented at Sustainable City 2012. Ilya Prigogine was born in Moscow in 1917 and obtained his degree 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. 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 – Carlos said - 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 Medal winners are:
  • 2004 Sven Jorgensen, Denmark
  • 2005 Enzo Tiezzi, Italy
  • 2006 Bernard Patten, USA
  • 2007 Robert Ulanowicz, USA
  • 2009 Ioannis Antoniou, Greece
  • 2010 Felix Müller, Germany
  • 2011 Larissa Brizhik, Ukraine
The establishment of the Medal was in large part an initiative of the late Professor Enzo Tiezzi, an outstanding disciple of Prigogine.

Professor  Brebbia asked Professor Ricardo Pulselli, of the University of Siena, Italy, to say a few words regarding Enzo Tiezzi, a pioneer of complex dynamic systems and the thermodynamics of living systems.
He received the 2005 Medal at the University of Cadiz during an academic ceremony presented by the Rector of that Institution. Professor Tiezzi studied at the University of Florence where he developed an interest in the then novel field of Magnetic Resonance.

While on a Fulbright scholarship at Washington University, he worked under Professor Sam Weissman of the Physics Department and Professor Barry Commoner of the Department of Biology.

The development of Enzo’s outstanding scientific career was matched by a strong involvement in environmental and social issues, reflecting his deep commitment to ecology and Prigogine’s ideas. Professor Tiezzi in addition to numerous papers, published more than 20 books dealing with scientific topics, as well as humanities and poetry. He was an outstanding photographer and artist. Enzo was a good friend of the Wessex Institute as well as a member of its Board of Directors.

His group on Ecology and Thermodynamics, discipline that he called Ecodynamics, continues to carry out Enzo’s research at the University of Siena.

Professor Brebbia thanked Ricardo for his remarks and briefly described the career of Gerald Pollack, the recipient of the 2012 Medal, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, USA.

Gerald received his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and since then has carried out outstanding research in a wide variety of fields, ranging from biological motion and cell biology to the interaction of biological surfaces with aqueous solutions. He has published numerous papers in leading scientific journals and is author of several books, including one on the underlying principle of biological motion and another on cells and gels as the engines of life.

He has received many awards and is a member of prestigious national and international organisations. Gerald is founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of both the American Heart Association and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Professor Brebbia then asked Professor Nadia Marchettini, of the University of Siena and widow of Enzo Tiezzi to present the medal.

Nadia referred to the saying ‘Scientists do not read Shakespeare and humanists have no sense for the beauty of mathematics’. That is how Prigogine introduced the dichotomy between the two cultures, scientific and humanist.

When Enzo Tiezzi met Carlos A Brebbia – Nadia said – to discuss the idea of launching a special award for scientist-humanistic in memory of his mentor Ilya Prigogine, Enzo clearly expressed the opinion to rejoin those two cultures.

The Prigogine medal was conceived to reward interdisciplinary research and overcome the problem of the fragmentation of knowledge imposed by artificial mesh boundaries’

In this regard it is pertinent to quote Herman Daly, father of Ecological Economics, who said,
‘Real problems do not observe academic boundaries. We certainly believe that thinking should be ‘disciplined’ in the sense of observing logic and facts, but not ‘disciplinary’ in the sense of limiting itself to traditional methodologies and tools that have become enshrined in the academic departments’

Nadia ended her remarks with a few words that Enzo would have to say on occasions and were found in a note amongst his many papers. They are of particular interest in the time of crisis we are currently living ie:

‘Democracy is always the fruit of co-evolution of the natural environment and human culture, and therefore varies from place to place.
‘Democracy can only exist if the natural and cultural diversity of a region is respected and considered, and with it the sacredness of places.
‘Democracy is real democracy if it allows science and art to express themselves without the constraints of utility, ideology, dogma, economic interest or aims. Archimedes used to say that he was not concerned with useful things, only with the free and beautiful.

Nadia then presented the Prigogine Medal to Gerald Pollack who proceeded to deliver his special lecture on ‘The Secret Life of Water: E=H20’, an abstract of which is as follows:
‘School children learn that water has three phases: solid, liquid and vapor. But we have recently uncovered what appears to be a fourth phase. This phase occurs next to water-loving (hydrophilic) surfaces. It is surprisingly extensive, projecting out from the surface by up to millions of molecular layers.

‘Of particular significance is the observation that this fourth phase is charged; and, the water just beyond is oppositely charged, creating a battery that can produce current. We found that light recharges this battery. Thus, water can receive and process electromagnetic energy drawn from the environment — much like plants. The absorbed light energy can then be exploited for performing work, including electrical and mechanical work. Recent experiments confirm the reality of such energy conversion.

‘The energy-conversion framework implied above seems rich with implication. Not only does it provide an understanding of how water processes solar and other energies, but also it may provide a foundation for simpler understanding natural phenomena ranging from weather and green energy all the way to biological issues such as the origin of life, transport, and osmosis.

The lecture presented evidence for the presence of this novel phase of water, and considered the potentially broad implications of this phase for physics, chemistry and biology, as well as some practical applications for engineering.’

Thursday, 30 August 2012

SUSI 2012

12th International Conference on Structures Under Shock and Impact

4 -  6 September 2012, Kos, Greece


Wessex Institute of Technology


SUSI 2012 is the 12th international conference in the series on ‘Structures Under Shock and Impact’. The main objective of the meeting is to attract participants with as wide a spectrum of expertise as possible, working across a broad range of structural problems throughout industry and academia which are subjected to impact and blast loadings.

The shock and impact behaviour of structures is a challenging area, not only because of its obvious time-dependent aspects, but also because of the difficulties in specifying the external dynamic loading characteristics and in obtaining the full dynamic properties of materials. Thus it is important to recognise and fully utilise the contributions and understanding emerging from the theoretical, numerical and experimental studies, as well as investigations into the material properties under dynamic loading conditions.

The shock and impact behaviour of structures is a very active field and the range of topics is ever expanding. The list of topics shown only gives an idea of the wide range of applications to be discussed during the meeting. Contributions in topics not listed are also welcome if they fall within the scope of the SUSI conference.

SUSI 2010 follows on from the other successful meetings in this series, which first started in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (1989) and continued in Portsmouth, UK (1992); Madrid, Spain (1994); Udine, Italy (1996); Thessaloniki, Greece (1998); Cambridge, UK (2000); Montreal (2002); Crete (2004); the New Forest, UK (2006); the Algarve, Portugal (2008) and Tallinn, Estonia (2010).

Conference Topics
  • Energy absorbing issues
  • Hazard mitigation and assessment
  • Impact and blast loading characteristics
  • Interaction between computational and experimental results
  • Structural crashworthiness
  • Seismic behaviour
  • Industrial accidents and explosions
  • Response of reinforced concrete under impact
  • Protection of structures from blast and impact loads
  • Forensic engineering
  • Aeronautical and aerospace applications
Web Page

View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at:  http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/susi-2012.html

Monday, 20 August 2012

New Wessex Institute Conferences Blog

Today the Wessex Institute of Technology has launched a new blog focusing on the conferences it organises.


The Wessex Institute of Technology Blog will continute to feature conference related information but will now include regular information on the activities of the Wessex Institute.

There are many ways in which you can stay informed of Wessex Institute activities in addition to this blog:

Wessex Institute of Technology Offical Website: http://www.wessex.ac.uk

Wessex Institute of Technology Conferences Blog:  http://wessex-institute-conferences.blogspot.co.uk/

Wessex Institute of Technology on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/witconferences

Wessex Institute on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/wessexinstitute

Tribology and Design 2012

4th International Conference on Tribology and Design 2012

3 - 5 December 2012, Kos, Greece


Wessex Institute of Technology


Tribology and Design 2012 is the fourth international conference in this series which originated with two meetings held at Bournemouth University, UK, in 2005 and 2007, followed by a third conference in 2010, that took place in the Algarve, Portugal, in collaboration with the University of Porto.
The main objective of these meetings is to provide a forum for discussion among scientists, academics and professionals working in different aspects of tribology.

The Tribology and Design conference explores the role of technology and design in the broader sense. It aims to bring together colleagues from different disciplines interested in problems of surface interaction and design. The range of topics to be discussed embraces all aspects of concern including space applications, reliability, energy applications, advanced materials and corrosion. It has never been so important for the designers to consider product and system durability in relation to reliability and sustainability issues.

Tribology problems are essentially interdisciplinary. Engineers and scientists working in this field must be familiar with a wide range of issues, including surface mechanics, material characterization, chemical and biological processes, computer simulation, measurements and many others. The aim of Tribology and Design 2012 is to facilitate knowledge exchange between scientists from different disciplines from all over the world.

  • Design tools
  • Test methods
  • Surface engineering
  • Tribology under extreme conditions
  • Surface measurements
  • Advances in lubrication
  • Wear mechanics
  • Plasticizers and slip additives
  • Tribology in biomechanics
  • Nano-tribology and design
  • Tribology in space applications
  • Reliability and life-oriented design
  • Advanced materials
Web Page

View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/tribology-and-design-2012.html

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Debris Flow 2012

4th International Conference on Monitoring, Simulation, Prevention and Remediation of Dense and Debris Flow

29 - 31 May 2012, Dubrovnik, Croatia


Wessex Institute of Technology


Debris Flow 2012 is the fourth conference in this successful series which started in Rhodes, Greece (2006); followed by the New Forest, UK in (2008) and Milano, Italy (2010).

Debris and hyper-concentrated flows are among the most frequent and destructive of all water related processes. They mainly affect mountain areas in a wide range of morpho-climatic environments and in recent years have attracted more and more attention from the scientific and professional communities, as well as concern from the public, due to the increasing frequency with which they occur and the death toll they claim.

Higher population pressure on natural resources in hazard-prone areas and the development of activities have the potential to increase the magnitude of this hazard. This calls for improvements in the criteria used to identify debris flow risk areas and to design suitable prevention and mitigation measures.

The conference will provide a forum for engineers, scientists and managers from laboratories, industries, governments and academia to interchange knowledge and expertise in fields such as erosion and slope instability, sediment transport, debris flow and debris flood data acquisition, debris flow phenomenology and laboratory tests, using the most advanced, state-of-the-art methodologies in monitoring, modelling, mechanics, hazard prediction and risk assessment of debris flow phenomena.

  • Debris flow modelling
  • Debris flow triggering
  • Risk assessment
  • Hazard mitigation
  • Sediment transport and debris flow monitoring and analysis
  • Landslide phenomena
  • Debris flow rheology
  • Active and passive disaster management
  • Vulnerability studies
  • Structural and non-structural controls
  • Field tests

Web Page

View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/debris-flow-2012.html

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Forest Fires 2012

3rd International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Forest Fires

22 – 24 May, 2012, New Forest, UK


Wessex Institute of Technology, UK


Following the success of the first two International Conferences on Forest Fires held in Toledo (2008) and in Kos (2010), it has been decided to reconvene the meeting in the New Forest, UK, at the Wessex Institute of Technology campus.

This conference aims to address all aspects of forest fires, from fire propagation in different scenarios to the optimum strategies for firefighting. It will also cover issues related to economic, ecological, social and health effects.

Forest fires are very complex phenomena which, under the right physical conditions, can rapidly devastate large areas, as demonstrated by recent events.

Different approaches are required for controlling fires in rural areas as opposed to urban environments, and strongly depend on the physical characteristics of the surrounding region. It also depends on weather conditions, regional activities, forest type, as well as social and economic factors.

At present there is insufficient knowledge of the behaviour of fires and how they propagate. This lack of appropriate studies makes these phenomena very difficult to control, and is one of the most important obstacles to development of a reliable decision support system. Public concern in this topic is increasing as uncontrolled fires may lead to major ecological disasters, and usually result in negative economic and health implications for the region.

Forest fire analysis and mitigation requires the development of computer codes that can take into consideration a large number of different parameters. This conference will discuss the latest research and applications of available tools to analyse and predict the spread of forest fires in an attempt to prevent or reduce major loss of life and property as well as damage to the environment.

  • Detection, monitoring and response systems
  • Decision support systems
  • Resource optimisation
  • Risk and vulnerability assessment
  • Computational methods and experiments
  • Air quality and health risks
  • Environmental impact
  • Emergency response systems
  • Human behaviour and education
  • Economic impact

Web Page
View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/forest-fires-2012.html

Monday, 19 March 2012

Air Pollution 2012

20th International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution

16 – 18 May 2012,  A Coruña, Spain


Wessex Institute of Technology, UK


Air Pollution 2012 is the 20th international conference in this successful series dealing with Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology.

This successful series first started in Mexico (1993) and continued in Barcelona (1994); Halkidiki (1995); Toulouse (1996); Bologna (1997); Genova (1998); San Francisco (1999); Cambridge, UK (2000); Ancona (2001); Segovia (2002); Catania (2003); Rhodes (2004); Cordoba (2005); the New Forest (2006); the Algarve (2007); Skiathos (2008); Tallinn (2009); Kos (2010) and Malta (2011). These meetings have attracted outstanding contributions from leading researchers from around the world with all papers since 1993 permanently stored in the Wessex Institute eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com.

Air pollution is one of the most challenging problems facing the international community; it is widespread and growing in importance, and has clear and known impacts on health and the environment. The human need for transport,  manufactured goods and services brings with it impacts on the atmospheric environment at scales from local to global. The rate of development of the global economy brings new pressures and the willingness of governments to regulate air  pollution is often balanced by concerns over the economic impact of such regulation. Science is the key to identifying the nature and scale of air pollution impacts and is essential in the formulation of policies for regulatory decision-making.

Technology constantly brings new products to the consumers and with this comes the possibility of creating new contaminants. This development constantly demands research in the field of air pollution in order to better understand, prevent, or bring to acceptable levels, new pollution sources. The process of defining acceptable levels is demanding new research to understand better the impact of long term exposure to various pollutants, or mixtures where separate components can have synergistic effects. Improved knowledge of the effect of pollutants on human health forces periodic review of the regulations for air quality and emissions. Further research for improving monitoring and detection technology is required in order to be able to verify that the current regulations for air quality are satisfied, and to identify areas where further improvements are required.

The goal of this conference is to bring together researchers who are active in the study of air contaminants and to exchange information through the presentation and discussion of papers dealing with the wide variety of topics described below. Case study papers are encouraged. Papers of a more theoretical nature, dealing with advanced mathematical and computational methods, will also be within the scope of the conference.

  • Air pollution modelling
  • Air quality management
  • Air pollution mitigation
  • Aerosols and particles
  • Emissions studies
  • Exposure and health effects
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Monitoring and measuring
  • Case studies
  • Air pollution and energy production
  • Air pollution and sustainability
  • Emerging technologies

Web Page

View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/airpollution-2012.html

Monday, 20 February 2012

Urban Transport 2012

18th International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment

15 - 17 May, 2012, A Coruña, Spain


Wessex Institute of Technology, UK


This international conference on Urban Transport and the Environment has successfully been reconvened annually for the last seventeen years. It has always attracted a wide international spread of delegates and is well established as the premier annual event of its type. It first started in Southampton in 1995; continuing in Barcelona (1996); Acquasparta, Italy (1997); Lisbon (1998); Rhodes (1999); Cambridge, UK (2000); Lemnos, Greece (2001); Seville (2002); Crete (2003); Dresden (2004); the Algarve (2005); WIT campus in the New Forest (2006); Coimbra (2007); Malta (2008); Bologna (2009); Cyprus (2010) and Pisa (2011).

The continuing requirement for better urban transport systems in general and the need for a healthier environment has led to an increased level of research around the world. This is reflected in the proceedings of this well-established meeting which demonstrates the steady growth of research into urban transport systems. The variety of topics covered by the conference are of primary importance for analysing the complex interactions of the urban transport environment and for establishing action strategies for transport and traffic problems.

Transportation in cities, with its related environmental and social concerns, is a topic of the utmost importance for urban authorities and central governments around the world. Urban transport systems require considerable studies to safeguard their operational use, maintenance and safety. They produce significant environmental impacts and can enhance or degrade the quality of life in urban centres. The emphasis is to seek transportation systems that minimize any ecological and environmental impact, are sustainable and help to improve the socioeconomic fabric of the city. Another area of concern addressed by the conference is that of public safety and security, seeking ways to protect passengers while retaining the efficiency of systems.

  • Transport strategies
  • Transport modelling and simulation
  • Transport safety and security
  • Public transport systems
  • Land use and transport integration
  • Environmental impact
  • Rail transport strategies
  • Infrastructure
  • Transport technologies
  • Intelligent transport systems
  • Urban transport management
  • Environmentally friendly transport modes
  • Inter-modal transport systems

Web Page

View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/urban-transport-2012.html

Sustainable City 2012

7th International Conference on Urban Regeneration and Sustainability

7 - 9 May 2012, Ancona, Italy


Marche Polytechnic University, Italy
Wessex Institute of Technology, UK


This conference aims to address the many inter-related aspects of the urban environment from transport and mobility to social exclusion and crime prevention. The meeting will build on the contributions made in previous conferences, which successfully managed to provide an international view of the problems facing modern cities and their solutions.

Urban areas produce a series of environmental challenges arising from the consumption of natural resources and the consequent generation of waste and pollution, contributing to the development of social and economic imbalances. All these problems, that continue to grow in our society, require the development of new solutions.

The Sustainable City 2012 follows six very successful meetings held in Rio (2000), Segovia (2002), Siena (2004), Tallinn (2006), Skiathos (2008) and A Coruña (2010). The conferences attracted a large number of contributions from participants from different backgrounds and countries. The variety of topics and experiences is one of the main reasons behind the success of the series.

  • Planning, development and management
  • The community and the city
  • Urban strategies
  • Landscape planning and design
  • Urbanization of rural areas
  • Architectural issues
  • Cultural heritage issues
  • Waste management
  • Case studies
  • Environmental management
  • Sustainable energy and the city
  • Transportation
  • Intelligent environments and emerging technologies
  • Urban metabolism
  • Waterfront developments
  • Planning for risk
  • Quality of life
  • Infrastructures and social services
  • Sustainable urban tourism
  • Vernacular architecture
  • Planning for natural hazards

Web Page

View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/sustainable-city-2012.html