The Social Program of the IFAAP 2018 Conference was very dense and provided the attendees with numerous opportunities to network, strengthen existing collaborations and establish new research ties with worldwide partners. Wonderful Japanese food and drinks were served at all of these lunch- and dinner-time events.
First of all, on Sunday evening (May 27th), a Welcome Reception was held in which all participants could have a first contact with the location and other attendees. The following day, private receptions were held for Members of the respective Societies.
The IEEE President’s reception was given on Monday May 28th by Prof. Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb, the President of IEEE-UFFC. During this occasion, Prof. Bassiri-Gharb recognized IEEE-UFFC Members who contributed to the organization of the IFAAP 2018 Conference and the speakers of Plenary and Tutorial lectures.
On the evening of Tuesday, May 29th, two separate events were held at the IFAAP 2018 Conference:
- The Young-Aged Mixer was organized as an idea to bring together the students and young professional participants from all over the world. As advertised, there was ample food and a great selection of drinks all around! The event opened with a ‘Kagami Biraki’ ceremony – a traditional way to open sake barrels – and sake was served traditionally in ‘Masu’ – a square wooden box. The room was filled with young and energetic participants and there was always food to refuel yourself if necessary. Given the food, drinks, (scientific) discussions and happy students (what can go wrong with sake?), many of the people that met there decided to go on with a follow-up meeting in one of the numerous pubs and karaoke saloons in the Hondori district of Hiroshima.
- The Dinner Cruise, which was sponsored by the company Shoei Chemical. Participants to this event were taken by bus to the Hiroshima port and boarded a cruise ship where food and drink were served on all of the three ship decks. The ship had a nice terrace where the participants could enjoy the cool sea breeze and outstanding views of the scenery around Hiroshima. The ship sailed towards the Miyajima island (same location as that of the conference excursion) and offered the passengers a stunning views of the Itsukushima shrine. This is a UNESCO site famous all over the world for its torii (sacred door) placed in the waters in front of the shrine. Also, many of the Cruise participants decided to go on with a follow-up meeting in one of the numerous pubs and karaoke saloons in the Hondori district of Hiroshima…
The Conference Banquet took place at the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima, close to the coast. One large room was prepared to welcome all participants in a friendly atmosphere. Several food booths were installed, offering local specialties such as steamed and fried oysters and Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. Also western-style and vegetarian food was offered. During the banquet another Kagami Biraki ceremony took place, and all the main organizers of IFAAP 2018 were requested to contribute to the opening of the sake barrel. Following, sake was served in the traditional “Masu” wooden square boxes.
A very special occasion during the Banquet was celebrating Ron Polcawich’ s birthday which happened to be on that very day. Prof. Tsurumi asked him to join him on the stage and a small celebration – including a “Happy Birthday” sung by all participants to the Banquet – took place.
On a sunny Friday after a whole week of incredible science at IFAAP-2018, all the participants were taken to the Miyajima Island (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) also known as Itsukushima Island. The bus started from the International Conference Centre Hiroshima at 9:00 a.m. to Miyajima-guchi and participants took a 20-minute ferry ride from there to reach the island. The participants had a few hours to visit the island. The place was unique starting from its friendly deer to its floating Itsukushima shrine. Hours quickly passed by strolling around this incredible piece of land. Some participants who were motivated enough took the Miyajima ropeway to get spectacular views of the inland sea and Miyajima’s forest from Mount Misen which has an elevation of 535 meters. Then the day at Miyajima island ended with mouth-watering street foods of Miyajima and a COLD glass of Japanese craft beer (to beat the heat)!
The reports on IFAAP 2018 were authored by Dr. Marco Deluca (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Austria). Dr. Takuya Hoshina (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan), Prof. Michelle Dolgos (Oregon State University, USA), and Mr. Vignaswaran K. Veerapandiyan (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Austria) contributed to this report.