Santiago Hernandez, Chief Academic Officer

The COVID-19 pandemic which began in 2020 has continued in 2021 and 2022, significantly affecting worldwide health, economy and social life, and taking a heavy toll on human lives. Thus, once again, the opening words of this message must be of condolence to the families who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

People´s mobility has been extremely difficult and the restrictions on meetings, very severe. In these circumstances, WIT’s activities needed to be conducted in such a way as to preserve the safety of the attendees whilst continuing to pursue the dissemination of high quality scientific research and transfer of advanced technology between academia and industry. As a result, our 2021 programme of conferences that was initially scheduled to take place in various European cities was transformed into online events. They were organized in collaboration with various universities and institutions and WIT is proud to have such a large network of friendly academic entities.

Each event had several Q&A sessions, with the online presence of the authors of the papers and the delegates. They were scheduled at a time that was best for the people registered in the conferences, given the truly international character of WIT activities.

We are proud to report that the feedback received from our delegates via the post-event questionnaire produced very high scores in terms of quality of the presentations, ease of access to the conference documents and overall rating of the event.

A series of monthly webinars, from December 2020 to April 2021, was carried out. The aim of these events was to disseminate the best papers presented at the WIT conferences in the previous year. Each one was devoted to a different topic and embraced the full sectors of scientific fields covered by the WIT programme. The events, which were free to attend, comprised four invited presentations plus a Q&A session and allowed for easy communication with the invited speakers. This initiative was very successful and a new series of monthly webinars from December 2021 to April 2022 has been scheduled.

The WIT conference programme for 2022 contains 14 events, organised in collaboration with prestigious universities. Due to continuing situation of the pandemic, and the recent political events, the first five events will be held online (view the announcement). The remaining nine events will take place in very interesting European cities. As mentioned before, the Institute is very concerned about the safety of the attendees, thus the full programme of meetings will be transformed into online events if health restrictions prevent the conferences from being held in person.

All papers presented at the conferences are published in the WIT Transactions which are indexed in Scopus and other prestigious databases. The authors of selected contributions are invited to produce an extended version of their research, which, after the required peer review, may be published in one of the many journals published by WIT Press.

A number of books have been published by WIT Press in 2021 and many others, devoted to different scientific fields, are in the process of completion. The book series on Innovation and Discovery in Russian Science and Engineering continues to be very successful. WIT Press also publishes several journals covering a wide range of scientific fields and almost all are indexed in Scopus and EI Compendex.

Short courses, usually three days in length, are another successful WIT activity. They are given by outstanding experts and are a very efficient way to inform the participants about the most recent developments in the field. In 2021 the course sessions had to be given online and our courses on Introduction to Air Pollution Monitoring presented by Prof. Paolo Zannetti from The EnviroComp Institute, USA and Blast Effects and Analysis presented by Prof Graham Schleyer, from the University of Liverpool were successfully held in May and August respectively, attracting participants from all over the world.

The Prigogine Award, in honour of the late Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry, Prof Ilya Prigogine, is presented annually by WIT in collaboration with the University of Siena (Italy). Prof Simone Bastianoni from the University of Siena, Italy was selected to receive the 2021 Prigogine Award, however, the ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19 and will now take place in 2022, with the details to be confirmed.

The George Green Medal, is also awarded annually by WIT in conjunction with the University of Mississippi (USA), in memory of the British scientist that set the theoretical basis for the modern Boundary Element Method. The recipient of the 2021 Medal was Prof Dragan Poljak from the University of Split, Croatia. The medal was presented at the 44th International Conference on Boundary Elements and other Mesh Reduction Methods (BEM/MRM44). The ceremony took place online during a special session and was followed by a keynote address from Prof Poljak on "Integral Equation Methods in Computational Electromagnetics (CEM)".

Thank you for your confidence and support. 

Santiago Hernández
Chief Academic Officer
Ashurst Lodge