EAWE Wind Energy Science Conference
Dr Cian Desmond
Chair of the 2019 Wind Energy Science Conference
Wind Energy Science
16th – 22nd June 2019
University College Cork (UCC) –
Boole 1,2,3 and 4. Kane Building G1, G2, G18 and G19. West Wing WW6, WW7 and WW9.
(6.5 days) Pre-Conference Reception on Sunday evening 16th June, Conference from Monday 17th – Thursday 20th ( Inclusive ), followed by group and council meetings Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd June
Theme 1 – Wind Resource, Turbulence & Wakes
Theme 2 – Turbine Technology and Aeroelasticity
Theme 3 – Wind to Wire Power Systems
Theme 4 – Social, Economic & Policy
Theme 5 – Turbine Lifecycle Considerations
Theme 6 – Structures, Safety & Reliability
Theme 7 – Offshore Wind Energy
Theme 8 – Special Sessions
European Academy of Wind Energy ( EAWE )
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland ( SEAI )
Science Foundation Ireland ( SFI )
Failte Ireland / Meet in Ireland
Social Venues used
Aula Maxima : Pre-Conference Reception
Pairc Ui Chaoimh : Welcome Reception
Clayton Hotel Silver Springs : Conference Gala Dinner
MaREI Centre : Technical Tours
Abbey promised to deliver a wind energy conference that would set the benchmark for all future wind energy congress meetings. Our client, Dr. Cian Desmond was adamant in his objective to be the largest and most successful academic conference that ever took place in Cork. His vision for WESC 2019 was to provide a multi-disciplinary open forum for discussion where delegates could explore the latest developments in wind energy science, spot emerging trends and identify future collaborators. It was our aim to showcase Cork’s culture and hospitality and ensure that the conference ran smoothly and efficiently with a large number of parallel sessions taking place every day throughout the four day congress.
Our approach was very much guided by our client, who had a concise vision of how he wanted the congress to be presented. With this vision in mind, the WESC 2019 technical program was specifically designed with 8 diverse and cross-cutting themes in order to attract a broad range of scientists and engineers working in wind energy. Abbey were tasked with providing a vibrant and entertaining array of social events to help break down the silos and help promote a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to the conference. We were relied upon to serve up a four day festival which showcased some of the best food, music, sport and culture that the host city was so proud to offer.
Signage – The client had a preference to use three different locations spread out around the campus. The movement and flow of delegates with clear directional signage was challenging. However, pre-planning with the assistance of Robert Stephens Displays who were exceptionally helpful, both before and during the conference, ensured all delegates found their way around the campus with ease. We erected a large bespoke campus map outside the main restaurant and engaged a number of our volunteers to provide help to all delegates in navigating their route to the various conference sessions.
Lunches – UCC have two restaurants on campus. The KSG Main Restaurant ( downstairs ) and Mini Restaurant ( upstairs ) together with the Devere Hall, were engaged to provide catering during all coffee and lunch breaks. Due to capacity issues, we were forced to split the delegates for the first three days of the conference. This was done by identifying the two groups by the colour of their lanyards. We issued 475 orange lanyards for the clearly marked orange restaurant with the balance of delegates being issued with green lanyards and being directed to the green restaurant at the Devere Hall. Our staff and volunteers were fully briefed on the proposed operation of breaks/lunches and our strategy proved a successful one.
WESC 2019 conference attracted over 800 delegates and was the largest academic conference to take place in Cork to date. The conference received over 650 abstracts and saw up to 140 parallel sessions during the course of the congress with up to 11 parallel symposia taking place three to four times per day. The daily events of the conference are recounted below with all social event details included:
Sunday 16th June
A pre-conference reception saw about 230 delegates arrive early for a networking opportunity at the stunning Aula Maxima venue on UCC Campus. They were treated to music by the Cork Jazz Quartet and sampled some canapes provided and served by KSG hosts. Feedback was really positive and it provided a sound footing for the beginning of WESC 2019 the following morning.
Monday 17th June
Registration desks opened at 7.30am and WESC 2019 was officially opened by Dr. Cian Desmond and his invited guests in the Boole Basement. The President of UCC was also present to welcome delegates. Pascal Sheehy of RTE was present to conduct interviews and coverage of the opening ceremony. The conference made it on to national television as RTE covered the conference on their Six One news that evening.
On Monday evening, over 500 delegates were transported by Deasy Coaches to Pairc Ui Chaoimh Stadium. Here delegates would experience a little bit of everything. A glass of beamish on arrival was followed by finger food promoting the finest cuisine of Cork. Well known TV personality, Donal O’Grady done a superb job as MC for the night. Musical entertainment was provided by the nationally renowned John Spillane. Delegates were also given an insight into Irish culture as they got to experience the GAA simulator inside the venue and also took part in a long puck competition outside on the 4G astro pitch. The evening was a resounding success and delegates were brought back to their respective hotels at the end of a long and enjoyable day.
Tuesday 18th June
The conference day consisted of informative parallel sessions across the eight different themes. At 11.45am, up to 100 delegates left the campus and headed to the MaREI Centre in Ringaskiddy on a pre booked technical tour. The tour consisted of a visit to both the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy ( MaREI) and the National Maritime College. Delegates got the opportunity to step on board the virtual wind turbine Ocean & Marine vessels to understand the challenges faced by operators. They also got to witness the Lir National Ocean Testing Facility which consists of state of the art wave tanks and electrical rigs that allow for scaled testing of floating wind turbines. Feedback from the technical tours was hugely positive with delegates really enjoying the hands on experience. Tuesday evening was left free for delegates to explore the city.
Wednesday 19th June
A further packed program greeted the delegates on Wednesday. The second of the pre-booked technical tours took place again in Ringaskiddy.
On Wednesday evening, delegates were transported by Deasy Coaches to the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs for the Conference Gala Dinner. On arrival, delegates headed upstairs for a drinks reception with traditional Irish music provided by the two drops. After the call for dinner, they made their way to the ballroom which was setup to seat the 495 guests. A four course meal was followed by a short awards presentation before International musician, Mundy, came on stage to entertain the crowd. Feedback was exceptional with the meal and service at the hotel coming in for a large amount of credit. Delegates were transported back to the city centre and UCC at the end of the evening.
Thursday 20th June
Following a further number of parallel sessions on Thursday, the curtain was brought down on a highly successful WESC 2019 with the closing ceremony in the Boole basement.On Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd June, a number of pre-booked meetings for EAWE and ForWind took place on campus. These meetings were attended by around fifty delegates with a small amount of catering requirements.
Our client, Dr. Cian Desmond, was extremely happy with the entire congress and its management during a very busy but successful week. The feedback he received from many of his peers and colleagues was that WESC 2019 surpassed any other wind energy conference ever held, in terms of scientific content, logistical management, social networking events and enjoyment. The conference was recognised at an awards night by the Cork Convention Bureau and Pure Cork and received the “Best Academic Conference 2019” Award.
In June 2019 WESC - the Wind Energy Science Conference - was successfully hosted in University College Cork, Ireland on behalf of the European Academy of Wind Energy. Abbey played a major role in the success of this event through the precise execution of a meticulous plan which we developed as a collaborative effort in the months leading up to the event. The knowledge and professionalism of all Abbey staff was invaluable throughout this process.
The Abbey Group showed great professionalism and flexibility which facilitated the effective delivery of a conference with c. 800 delegates attending 700 talks across 140 sessions over 4 days. The social program was developed and delivered with a similar level of diligence and resulted in some very memorable evenings which showcased some of the best food, music and culture that Cork has to offer.
The Abbey staff were fantastic ambassadors for the event during the conference itself. Their calm, cool, friendly and professional manner ensured that all delegate queries were resolved without issue. I would not hesitate in working again with Abbey and recommending them to any other event organisers.
Dr. Cian Desmond
Chair of WESC 2019
Chair of WESC 2019