The International Conference on Energy and the Environment 2003 was recently held in Halkidiki, Greece, organised by the Wessex Institute represented by Prof Carlos Brebbia, and the University of Thessaloniki, represented by Prof Ioannis Sakellaris.
Carlos opened the meeting by describing the objectives of the Wessex Institute, in particular its emphasis on international relations. The Institute has many joint research projects with different countries and several international training programmes at Master and PhD level.
Carlos referred to two major initiatives that have recently taken place at the Institute, firstly, the launching of the eLibrary onto the Web, where all conference papers are permanently archived; and secondly, the new accommodation facilities on the Institute’s Campus in the New Forest.
The Co-Chairman of the conference, Prof Ioannis Sakellaris gave an introductory presentation on several aspects of the energy industry in Greece. His paper was entitled “Participation of the private sector in the energy industry”.
The meeting covered several topics such as energy and the environment systems; Energy management and efficiency; Energy markets and policy; Renewable energy resources; Energy efficiency in buildings; Energy computer modelling and Energy resources management.
There was a series of invited contributions including:
“Environmental impact of energy consumption in Belgium: past, present and future” by J Kretzschmar, VITO, Flemish Research Centre, Belgium
“An ontological approach to knowledge management in engineering companies of the energy sector” by F Batzias, University of Piraeus, Greece
“Simplified modelling of tokamak plasmas in a computational electromagnetic environment” by I Sakellaris, University of Thessaloniki, Greece
A special presentation by Prof Gerry Kulcinski of the University of Wisconsin at Madison on economic inventory for different types of energy, including that from renewable sources, was very well received. The speaker analysed the life cycle of such sources, including energy storage and construction of the facilities, to demonstrate their real environmental impact.
The International Scientific Advisory Committee of the conference met to discuss ways of further improving the meeting. In general, it was found that the conference was very successful for a first meeting and that the papers presented gave a good indication of the way ahead. New topics and possible special sessions were discussed. It was agreed that further consultations should take place to finalise the next call for papers. Carlos was asked to investigate some suitable locations for 2005.
The conference banquet took place in a Greek fish tavern renowned for the quality of its fare. The evening entertainment was provided by a ‘bouzouki’ band which played excellent music. Carlos thanked the delegates for attending the Banquet and gave them each a specially chosen piece of pottery.
The pottery, which is characterised by its beautiful cobalt blue glaze had a story behind it. Carlos had seen a piece of the pottery in a local shop and thought it would make a nice souvenir for the conference delegates. Hence, he asked for the name of the potter and his address. He was directed to a village in the centre of Halkidiki and to look for a potter called ‘Anemomilo’. With this information, Carlos proceeded to scout the area, asking the locals in his non-existent Greek for a man named ‘Anemomilo’, who made beautiful blue pottery.
To cut a long story short, he was eventually directed to the ‘Anemomilo’, which happened to be Greek for ‘windmill’!! Undeterred by the derelict mill at the tip of the mountain, he surveyed the region and by sheer good luck, noticed a house, which looked like a pottery. There he found the Potter, (who was a woman!) signing her pieces ‘Anemomilo’!! As a result of all this, the delegates got their souvenirs!