Nearly 500 of the world’s cryogenic elite turned out to celebrate all things cryogenic last September at the International Cryogenic Engineering Conference and International Cryogenic Materials Conference (ICEC-ICMC).
Hosted by the British Cryogenics Council and the University of Oxford, in partnership with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the five-day event took place between 3rd to 7th September (2018), debuting for the first time in Oxford.
The conference proceedings from the biggest cryogenic gathering ever held in the UK are now available from https://iopscience.iop.org/issue/1757-899X/502/1.
These proceedings are a substantial piece of work, containing 201 papers, all reviewed by a team led by Dr. Tom Bradshaw, Programme Co-Chair and Editor of the Proceedings.
The International nature of this event – 31 countries were represented amongst the delegates – is also reflected in the papers, with strong contributions from China, India and Japan indicating the growing strength of Asia in Cryogenics.
The University of Oxford’s Head of Physics, Ian Shipsey, and the Head of STFC National Laboratories, Neil Geddes, warmly welcomed all 491 delegates to the conference.
Geddes then discussed the core enabling role cryogenics play in much of STFC’s science programme and highlighted the strong support from the Council in the British Cryogenics Cluster.
After the welcoming speech, ICEC Chairman Professor Marcel ter Brake presented the Mendelssohn Prize to Professor Fons de Waele.
The ICMC Awards for Lifetime Achievement and for Excellence were then presented by Professors David Evans and Cardwell.
MP Ed Vaizey rounded off the first part of the proceedings with a goodwill message to the conference, reflecting on the local importance of cryogenics in Oxfordshire.
Over the course of the five-day conference, plenary talks, parallel conference tracks, exhibitors, poster sessions and catering were held at the Examination Schools, the largest venue in Oxford’s city centre.
“The historical Grade II listed venue had great appeal for delegates and hosted a number of masterful sessions,” event organiser John Vandore told gasworld.
“An outdoor marquee at the location also housed a number of exhibitors, poster sessions and a superconducting levitation demo staged by the University of Cambridge.”
Within the Examination Schools, Mendelssohn prize winner, Professor Fons de Waele gave a plenary talk titled Challenges in Cryocooling, whilst Barry Fuller spoke about Stopping the Biological Clock – a talk which brought biology and cryogenics together in the field of applied cryobiology.
Oxford Alumnus Glyn Kirby opened his talk on next generation materials for future magnet development at CERN, reminiscing on his favourite old Oxford haunts as a student.
Neil Mitchell from ITER gave a speech on Lessons Learned from the ITER Magnets in Materials Development and Industrialisation and Tiemo Winkler discussed the EcoSwing superconducting wind turbine project.
“Thursday evening marked the farewell dinner to round off the event. The evening provided entertainment in the form of ‘singing waiters’, who were in fact opera singers disguised as waiters who broke out into spontaneous song,” Vandore highlighted.
After the celebrations, the final day of the event presented four optional technical visits for delegates. Locations included: Oxford Instruments and Polar Technology, Oxford University Culham and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Science Vale and Birmingham University – home to the laboratory for the Dearman Engine and the pilot liquid air energy storage plant.
The ICEC first began in Tokyo in 1967, coming to London the following year and returning every 10 years until 1998. The most recent ICEC 17 conference marked 20 years since the event was last held England.
Now combined with ICMC, the event alternates every two years between Europe and Asia.
ICEC28-ICMC2020 will be held in Hangzhou in September 2020.