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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Short Review of 4th European Combustion Meeting, Vienna, April 2009

by Dr Albert Simeoni, University of Corsica and University of Edinburgh.

The 4th European Combustion Meeting (ECM) was held in Vienna on 14-17 April 2009, organised by the Vienna University of Technology.

It covered most aspects of combustion science and technology, from fundamental physics and chemical kinetics (laminar and turbulent flames, combustion diagnostics, gasification, spray and droplet combustion) to energy systems and technological topics (burners, coal & biomass combustion, oxyfuel combustion, fires, fluidized bed combustors).

The conference was attended by more than 300 delegates, including many students. The conference was structured as the previous ECM meetings around poster presentations and plenary lectures only (no paper presentations). Plenary lectures were given on the following topics:
• Co-firing biomass with coal in fluidized bed combustion systems (Prof. Nevin Selcuk).
• High power density engines - combustion diagnostic challenges and solutions in the industrial engine development process (Dr. Ernst Winklhofer).
• Developments and Applications of Laser Techniques for Combustion Diagnostics (Prof. Marcus Alden)
• Detailed Chemical Kinetic Mechanisms for Combustion (Dr. Henry Curran).
• Chemical Looping Combustion: The Answer to Sequestering Carbon Dioxide (Dr. John S. Dennis).

I found two main advantages in this meeting: the number of delegates and the discussions in front of the posters. The number of delegates – covering almost all topics and research groups involved in combustion in Europe and aboard – made the work presented very diverse and of high quality. The 2:30 long posters sessions, with the possibility to walk around six different exhibitions classified by topic, allowed having good discussions with new and fresh ideas as the work was often presented by PhD students.

The Group in Edinburgh was represented by the work on forest fires conducted in collaboration with the University of Corsica. At the beginning of the fire session, few people stopped at the poster and of these, many were surprised to see such an original topic (forest fires) in ECM. However, after an hour, when people seemed to had seen what was presented in their own topics of expertise, they came back with plenty of questions on our poster and we had good discussions until the end of the session.

This meeting allowed us to have a global and updated view on the work conducted in Europe and very good interactions. The only regret is related to the organisation as some aspects of it, for example the registration procedures and the catering, did not match our expectations.

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