China-Austria Forum for Postgraduated of Civil Engineering
On October 7-8, 2019, the China-Austria Forum for Postgraduates of Civil Engineering (CAF 2019) took place at the recently opened Science Center of Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Lilienthalgasse 14, 1030 Vienna, Austria. The participants included Prof. Josef Eberhardsteiner, Vice Rector for Digitalization and Infrastructure at TU Wien, Counsellor Fengyun Lei and First Secretary Gang Li from the Chinese Embassy in Austria, Prof. Wolf-Dieter Rausch, President of the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet network, Prof. Herbert Mang, Prof. Christian Bucher, Prof. Bernhard L.A. Pichler, and Prof. Rudolf Heuer from TU Wien, Prof. Yong Yuan and Dr. Jiao-Long Zhang from Tongji University, and 23 PhD students from the two universities.
CAF 2019 was jointly organized by the Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures (IMWS) of TU Wien and the College of Civil Engineering of Tongji University. It was part of a long-standing cooperation, which was launched in 2004 by Prof. Herbert Mang from the IMWS of TU Wien and Prof. Yong Yuan from the College of Civil Engineering of Tongji University, and which has been supported by Prof. Bernhard L.A. Pichler from TU Wien, Prof. Xian Liu, Vice Dean of the Institute for Tunneling of Tongji University, and Dr. Jiao-Long Zhang who obtained his doctoral degree at IMWS/TU Wien, in 2018. The elements of this long-standing Austro-China collaboration are manifold:
- 15 young talents belonging to the next generation of researchers in engineering sciences were promoted: three of them to full professor, two to associate professor, seven to Dr. techn. and/or Ph.D, and three to M.Sc.
- Many scientific meetings were jointly organized, including the “International Symposium on Challenging Tunnel Design and Construction”, held in Vienna in 2007, the “International Symposium on Computational Structural Engineering”, held in Shanghai in 2009, and a series of “Mini-Symposia on Multiscale Methods Regarding Concrete and Concrete Structures”, organized annually since 2014 at thematically suitable conferences.
- A joint research project, entitled “Bridging the Gap by Means of Multiscale Structural Analysis” constituted the frame for the collaboration from 2015 to 2019. This project was inspired by the submersed tunnel of the Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. It was financially supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the China Scholarship Council (CSC).
This listing underlines that the collaboration has led to many fruitful achievements and significant contributions to the development of both China and Austria in the fields of science and technology, with special focus on challenging topics of engineering mechanics.
As for CAF 2019, Prof. Bernhard L.A. Pichler chaired the opening ceremony. Welcome addresses were made by Prof. Josef Eberhardsteiner, Counsellor Fengyun Lei, Prof. Wolf-Dieter Rausch, Prof. Herbert Mang, and Prof. Yong Yuan. The forum was continued for two days of scientific lectures. One keynote lecture was given by Mr. Stephan Fasching (substituting Prof. Johann Kollegger who was on sick leave), Prof. Yong Yuan, Prof. Bernhard L.A. Pichler, and Prof. Christian Bucher. 25 regular lectures were delivered by PhD students from Tongji University and TU Wien. The presented research topics included the structural behavior of tunnel linings, structural dynamics, the performance of the building material concrete, the management of engineering risks, structural optimization, etc. A tour to the Laboratory of Structural Engineering of TU Wien was organized on October 7, 2019.
The closing ceremony of CAF 2019 took place in the late afternoon of October 8, 2019. Prof. Bernhard L.A. Pichler and Prof. Yong Yuan presented flowers and a gift to Ms. Matina Pöll, in order to thank her for her great and very successful efforts regarding the organization of CAF 2019, on behalf of the entire organizing committee. Dr. Jiao-Long Zhang announced the names of the awardees of the Best Student Presentation Award: Ms. Eva Binder, Mr. Stephan Fasching, and Mr. Nabor Jimenez Segura, from TU Wien, as well as Mr. Yuanzuo Wang, Mr. Zhen Liu, and Mr. Qihao Sun from Tongji University.
CAF 2019 provided very valuable opportunities for PhD students from Europe and China to present and discuss recent progess in cutting-edge research in the field of Civil Engineering Sciences, within the framework of an international scientific event. CAF 2019 further intensified the fruitful collaboration between Vienna University of Technology in Austria and Tongji University in Shanghai.