The 2017 Annual ICG Conference took place this year in Istanbul, Turkey from 22-25th October in parallel with the 32nd Şişecam Glass Symposium and with the support of GlassTrend.
The Vice Chairman and CEO of Şişecam, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kirman was the conference chair and was ably supported by a team of Şişecam employees; together they ran a very tight ship resulting in an excellent and well received event.
Prof. Şener Oktik, the Şişecam Group Chief Research and Technological Development Officer introduced his company by saying that they were involved in a considerable number of R&D projects in cooperation with 13 international institutions in 19 countries and undertaken at the Şişecam Science and Technology Centre, one of the most advanced in Europe.
He added that the global glass industry faces major technological, environmental and social challenges which also offer opportunities; he believed that this large-scale event offered a global platform for discussing exciting advances in glass technology.
This was the second time that ICG had met in Turkey and the chosen venue, the Haliҫ Conference Centre had excellent hotels within walking distance. Those staying further away were well served by conference shuttle buses.
The Golden Horn provided a stunning backcloth to the site and even the autumn weather was kind with warm sunny conditions on most days, the inevitable autumnal rain showers waiting until the event was finished.
While the local political situation may have deterred some potential attendees, nevertheless a total of 421 participants, representing 26 different countries, turned the event into a great success. 380 were from Europe, 29 from Asia and 8 from America.
The opening ceremony always provides the opportunity to reward particularly meritorious achievements. This year the Gottardi prize winner was Ashutosh Goel of Rutgers University, USA, while the Turner award went to Prof René Vacher (France) for his work as Chair of the ICG CTC committee and in applying for and running for ICG the major and successful European EFONGA project from 2006 to 2009.
The conference had 29 sessions with up to 5 in parallel; several were based on novel themes. Altogether there were 6 plenary lectures, 24 invited speakers, 94 oral presentations and 18 posters.
Two highlights were a Workshop on Ion Exchange and a special session organised by Prof Alicia Duran to commemorate eminent glass scientist, Prof Bill Prindle. 4 speakers spoke of his achievements both in research and as an ICG president.
A third successful feature was to encourage participation by a younger audience with a relaxed mentoring session arranged on the last morning of the event.
A speed dating approach paired older and younger generations, and offered those embarking on their careers personal insights into the experiences of the ‘old-timers'.
The conference banquet took place at the CVK Bosphorus Hotel near the home of the famous Beşiktaş football club. Indeed a smaller event the previous evening in the same venue had tangled with the football crowds and congested traffic. One of many highlights at the dinner was a rendition of ‘I did it my way' led by Prof Pye, ably accompanied by Dr Alev Yaraman with president elect Prof Alicia Duran.
At the closing ceremony talks by Profs David Pye and Manoj Choudhary argued the case for naming the current era as ‘the Glass Age', given the central role of glass in modern civilisation.
Manoj Choudhary as ICG President also praised the high standard set by the organisers commenting that the technical programme, the logistics, the facilities and the social dimensions of the organisation in Istanbul were outstanding and would become a model for future events.
The closing ceremony included awards for the two best posters. First was Lukas Pavic, a PhD student from the Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia who won the Stevanto Group prize and second was Gulio Giorni, from the Institute of Glass and Ceramics in Spain, who received the award sponsored by Şişecam.
During the conference, the Council, Steering Committee and Coordinating Technical Committee all met. Important decisions were taken on the venues for the 2020 and 2021 Annual Meetings.
Two excellent bids were submitted and consequently after a close vote a decision was taken to award the second placed group the 2021 meeting without a further vote.
So we will all meet again in 2020 in Krakow, Poland and in 2021 will go for the first time to South Korea. At the close of the ceremony the responsibility for organising the 2018 event in Yokohama was formally handed over to our Japanese colleagues.
Author: John Parker