Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A Recap of the Last Couple Months (Part 1)

It's been a while. I know. I had hoped to finish this a lot earlier and to make my regular contributions to the Stream's Stream. Oh well ... better late than never :)

STREAM Challenge Week (Morpeth, 7-12 July)

Back in July, (nearly) all research engineers from STREAM spent a couple days in Morpeth together. I am only going to show you some photos here. You can find out more about the event from my fellow STREAM-ers Jack Bloodworth and Sarah Cotterill.

Kielder Water and Forest Park
Walking around Morpeth
Carlisle Park - It's Picnic Time!
The Beautiful Morpeth Stepping Stones
STREAM Conference at Newcastle University
Inter-Cohort Rounders' Championship Tournament
Group Presentations for the Morpeth Flooding Challenge 
Dinner and Awards Presentation
STREAM Group Photo at Longhirst Hall

35th IAHR World Congress (Chengdu, 8-13 September)

For the very first time, I travelled back to my home country for work. After a rather busy 2012, I cut down significantly on travel and conferences this year. This conference was my only international duty (well, excluding the Institute of Water Annual Conference in Edinburgh which I travelled from England to Scotland) this year. The IAHR conference was definitely one of the biggest conferences I had ever been to with over 1400 attendances gathering in the Chengdu Century City International Convention Center.

On the first day of conference, I met with XP Solutions' distributor in China - Ewaters. We discussed some potential case studies based on projects in China and agreed on the dates for the post-conference software workshops in Shanghai.

Opening Ceremony. Looking at the back of Professors Dawei Han and Dragan Savic (my past and current supervisor) - what are the chances?

After the technical sessions in the afternoon, we were all invited to join Prof. Roger Falconer (IAHR President) for the president's reception where he welcomed everyone to the congress. It was a very interesting and entertaining evening with stunning face-changing performance by the local Sichuanese opera.

IAHR President's Reception at Shunxing Teahouse

On the third day, I had chosen to visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project for the in-congress technical tour. It is one of the oldest irrigation systems in the world and an excellent example of ancient Chinese science and engineering. The project has successfully prevented flooding in Chengdu ever since its completion about 2200 years ago. Simply astonishing!

In-Congress Technical Tour - Dujianyan Irrigation Project
Congress Dinner

On a more serious note, I suited up and delivered a presentation on the last day of the conference. The presentation was a summary of my progress so far and a prologue to the post-conference software workshops. It generated some interests from the Hong Kong Drainage Services Department's representatives. Afterwards, we discussed the possibilities of applying my work in Hong Kong and they had kindly invited me to attend their conference in Hong Kong next year.

As usual, flooding the crowd with colourful visuals.

After the conference, I had a short window to explore the city. (Making the most of it - right, Sarah?)

Wu Hou Shrine Museum
Jin Li, The Ancient Chinese Machine Gun and the Inevitable Invasion of Starbucks
Chengdu at night - Tianfu Square (a Yin Yang from above!)

Overall, I think the IAHR conference was an invaluable experience for me. It allowed me to connect with the people there and to gain a much better understanding of the situation, challenges and needs in China - which means a lot to me as it is my home country. I would also like to thank STREAM and my supervisor Dragan for giving me the opportunities to attend different conferences in last couple years.

Next Stop: Shanghai

XPDRAINAGE workshops in Shanghai and life after the China trip. Watch this space!