Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Conference Memories- NATO ASI 1984

The first conference that I attended was also the longest (although some have seemed longer!!). It was a 2-week NATO Advanced Study Institute meeting on Mineral Processing Plant Design, held on top of a mountain at Uludag, near Bursa in Turkey.
Once everyone got to know each other, it turned out to be a memorable fortnight, and sparked my enthusiasm for conferences as great places for meeting new people and building professional relationships. The papers were not particularly memorable, but the people were, and it was here that I met for the first time Gulhan Ozbayoglu and her husband (now sadly deceased) Savci. I also met up again with Dick Burt, who I had previously met briefly in Cornwall 10 years previously. The two of us had been interviewed for the post of senior lecturer in mineral processing at Camborne School of Mines, and I think I had been chosen, rather than Dick, more because of my sporting achievements than my experience.
I also met Gordon Agar, then with Inco Canada. Gordon was, and is, a truly remarkable character, who doesn't suffer fools too easily. Four years after the ASI I founded Minerals Engineering journal and Gordon was one of the first people that I recruited to the Editorial Board. He is still one of my most valued reviewers, although I sometimes have to edit his reviews a little to protect the sensitivities of some authors!
I learned a lot about conferences while at Uludag. Quality papers are obviously important, but so is the choice of venue and social activities. Conference should be intellectually stimulating, but they should also be enjoyable and bring people together. My abiding memory is of a colossal hangover after a night in Istanbul with Gordon Agar and Dick Burt!
The photos are (in order):
1. At the Dardanelles with the Ozbayoglu family;
2. By the Bosporus, left to right Raj Rajamani, Bedri Ipekoglu, me, Cornelius Ek, Dick Burt, Gordon Agar, Mrs. Ipekoglu and Jaques du Cuyper;
3. At Uludag with Irfan Bayraktar and Martin & Sheila Parker;
4. Some of the NATO group at Uludag

1 comment:

  1. By email from Dick Burt:

    Hi there Barry. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Its certainly a long time since we were in touch - my guess it's once again going on for 10 years as I suspect it was at your Amsterdam conference in 2000. Time flies! Since then I retired from Cabot, set up my own consultancy and have been involved in operations/exploration in Australia,Brazil, Canada, China, Greenland, Rwanda and Mozambique. Even a bit of University lecturing (in Brazil!). Some retirement!

    I remember well the Uludag conference. As I arrived a day late and left early my enduring memory was spending most of the time on buses between Bursa and Istanbul! And yes - you DID have a bit of a sore head on the Sunday. Gordon and I were fine, I'm sure!!!


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