Asphalt and bitumen congress attracting strong interest
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Strong interest is being shown in the coming Eurasphalt & Eurobitume Congress. Pavement durability and reduced temperature asphalt technologies are key topics of the Eurasphalt & Eurobitume Congress 2012, to be held this June in Istanbul from 13th-15th June 2012.
This fifth Eurasphalt & Eurobitume Congress (E&E 2012) already has a strong line-up of speakers and delegates, with the programme being fine-tuned to meet expectations.
Over 800 delegates are expected to attend the event, which will provide detailed presentations on the latest developments in bitumen and asphalt technology. Particular emphasis is being placed on meeting future challenges of tomorrow. Sustainability is a key theme with the three day congress formatted around nine sessions, eight delivered orally plus one poster session.
Around 275 technical papers will feature, grouped together as appropriate under the session headings. The congress is held every four years and the events are well respected around the world, as evidenced by the international nature of delegates and speakers alike. The content of each E&E congress reflects the global road industry’s commitment to keeping aligned and ahead of market trends and demands.
The call for technical papers for E&E 2012 went out last year and resulted in, “…an excellent response, better than ever before”, according to the event’s technical programme committee chair Mike Southern. “As expected, the papers stemmed largely from current research into techniques and materials to meet future market needs. What we didn’t expect was the amount of work being carried out focused in certain specific areas.” One of these areas was that of lower temperature asphalts. ‘Warm Mix Asphalts and Low Temperature Techniques’ was not originally a session in its own right.
However, the number of technical papers submitted to the congress which fell under the general heading of warm mix and low temperature technology persuaded the organisers to revise their initial programme and provide the topic with a session of its own. Southern said, “We hadn’t quite anticipated the high level of research in this area. While reviewing the papers we had to acknowledge this distinct trend: hence the move to a dedicated session.”
Another revision to the organisers’ original session plans was due to the large number of papers falling into the category of ‘Durability & Performance’: this category has now been extended to two sessions, one featuring bitumen and the other mixtures. “The E&E 2012 organising committee merits praise for its flexibility and determination to get the most pertinent up to date subjects in front of delegates,” says the president of Eurobitume Alberto Bardesi. He pointed to the inherent benefit of ‘trend identification’ gained by attendees of the congress: “Historically, E&E Congresses provide excellent indicators for those people and companies seeking direction to where they should innovate and position their services and products.”
E&E 2012 in Istanbul will generally follow the format employed successfully at E&E 2008, held in Copenhagen, with a focus placed on the presentation of technical and scientific papers. An opening session on the first day – Wednesday 13 June 2012 – includes a number of welcome speeches from ‘guest’ speakers followed by the first of two Keynote sessions. “It is planned that the opening will include a welcome to delegates from the Presidents of Eurobitume and EAPA, Alberto Bardesi and Jean-Louis Marchand respectively, plus various Turkish government ministers and the Mayor of Istanbul,” said chair of E&E 2012’s Organising Committee Egbert Beuving.
The Keynote sessions (numbered Sessions 1 and 2) will feature well respected experts in roads technology, discussing the issues of the day as a context setting prelude to the technical presentations. Both these particular sessions have been provided with sufficient time for ‘Q&As’ – questions and answers. These two Keynote sessions will set the tone for the other six technical sessions to be held.
The day will end with Session 3, on ‘Health, Safety & Social Aspects’. The format of days two and three will be for each technical session to include oral presentations from the authors of four technical papers deemed the most appropriate by the Technical Programme Committee. In between these four presentations moderators will brief delegates on all the other papers submitted and accepted for that specific category. These will all be available, incidentally, in the Congress Proceedings. “There were typically 50 or so technical papers submitted for each of the congress sessions,” said Southern. “Unfortunately they can’t all be presented. Having the moderator briefings is a mechanism to ensure that all the most interesting issues of the papers are referred to during the congress.
“The role of the moderator is extremely valuable to the overall success of the congress, providing delegates with important overviews of what is available plus the key highlights from each session. Our Poster session is another such mechanism which has proved very effective in the past, offering direct access to and subsequent engagement with the authors of papers.” Each author submitting to E&E 2012 is invited to compile a poster which presents their technical paper in a graphical form. All those that are completed will be put on general display throughout the congress; with a 90 minute ‘Meet the authors’ event between Sessions 4 and 5 on day two. “Delegates can then discuss papers with the authors that have written them,” Southern said.
Session 4 will be on ‘Sustainability, Energy use and Climate Change’ and Session 5 ‘Resource use and Recycling’. The newly created ‘Warm Mix Asphalt and Low Temperature Techniques’ is Session 6 and will close the congress’ second day. Sessions 7 and 8 are ‘Durability & Performance: Binders’ and ‘Durability & Performance: Mixtures’ respectively. A 30 minute closing session will then bring E&E 2012 to an end – after a final farewell lunch. E&E 2012 includes an exhibition of the services and products supplied by companies specialising in bitumen, asphalt, additives and polymers, equipment and consultancy. More than 50 exhibitors have confirmed their attendance at the congress. The principal social event is the Congress Reception, to be held at the magnificent Sait Halim Pasha Mansion on the evening of 13th June 2012.
Sait Halim Pasha Mansion – named for its long time former owner Sait Halim Pasa, eldest son of Prince Abdulhalim Pasa – was sympathetically restored and reopened in 2002 following a fire. “It’s a very beautiful venue, particularly inside,” said Egbert Beuving. “Looking out, the view of the Bosphorus is stunning.” The second evening of the congress – 14th June – there will be a small reception organised at the congress venue immediately after the technical sessions have concluded but the evening has largely been left for individuals and companies to organise their own events if wanted; maximising the opportunity to network with colleagues and contacts.
E&E Congresses have established themselves over 20 years as ‘must attend’ events and E&E 2012 is no exception to this general rule. Everyone with a role within roads construction and maintenance will benefit particularly (but not exclusively) if they are in the categories of: research and development; academia and professional institutions; material suppliers – aggregates, binders, additives; asphalt suppliers; contractors; specialist plant and equipment manufacturers; trades and industry bodies; road user groups and politicians; infrastructure policy and planning; environment policy; procurement bodies and financing authorities.