The 7th Conference of the International Water Association just took place in Warsaw and now it is time for packing up, enhance the network of contacts with new colleagues and do some rethinking considering the trends seen in this event. Over 100 people from all over the world met at the Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management of the Warsaw University of Technology to discuss about odour management.
The organization had less than a year to organize a conference. The decision about where to organize the IWA conference was taken during the last NOSE, so that left little time to organize things like calling a scientific committee, reviewing papers, sending them back to authors and asking for the versions corrected, booking a room, dinner, asking for chairs, etc. There is little to blame to the organizers taking into account the short notice time given to set up this event.
The event had most of the time 2 parallel sessions with 53 presentations, divided in the "odour" part and the "odour abatement" part. The presentations were divided into different sessions: Odorants & odour measurement/monitoring, Biofiltration, chemical scrubbers and masking agents, Field measurements, Odour dispersion modelling and e-noses, Odour mitigation strategies and odour management, Source characterisation and odour mapping, Sampling and other applications of odour measurement, Community engagement, social media and citizen action.
Unfortunately, the papers were not finally peer-reviewed and worst they were not distributed to the attendants. That made hard to prepare questions and every talk was a surprise: in a good way and in a bad one. It is normally useful reading the papers before a conference starts so that doubts can be cleared up during the conference by asking the authors. In this case, that was not possible. Reasons argued by the organization were that some authors did not want their papers published, however, they were some authors not all of them, so that is not a very good argument.
In general, the level of the presentations in the sessions was really high and that made an overall memorable event. The atmosphere in this conference was great and the organization took care of many details including the planning of a very detailed entertainment section. There was even a prize for the best presenter given to Ms Valdenebro, for her talk about the analysis of odour episodes through dispersion modelling, field inspection and citizen’s complaints of a paper-mill in a complex topography area.
An IWA meeting was planned after the conference to discuss several issues related to the conference and about the location of the next event. This meeting was chaired by Mr Witherspoon, and Mr Barczak acted as secretary, but this is another article.
Photo: Jacek Koziel during his talk on the mitigation of livestock odours using a black light and a titanium dioxide-based catalyst.
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