Minutes of the Section Committee meeting of the Physics and Engineering (P&E) Sciences Section of Academia Europaea#

Darmstadt, 7 September 2015

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Participants: Tamás Csörgő, Pavel Exner, Muhsin N. Harakeh (Chair), Karlheinz Langanke, Maciej Ogorzałek Absent with notification: Jörg Aichelin, Sydney Galès, Minh Quang Tran, Jan S. Vaagen
Guest: Lászlo P. Csernai

The Section Committee (SC) of the P&E Section met on Monday, 7 September 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the Maritim Rhein-Main Hotel in Darmstadt on the starting day of the 27th Academia Europaea (AE) congress: “Symbiosis - Synergy of Humans and Technology”, which was held at TU Darmstadt in the period 7-10 September 2015. The SC meeting followed the meeting of AE Council, which took place at 15:00 on Sunday, 6 September. The Chair, M.N. Harakeh, reported on this Council meeting which discussed and decided on several important issues. One of these is to initiate a “Scientific Advice Mechanism” to the European Commission, for which the AE has entered into a formal collaboration with ALLEA, EUROCASE, FEAM and EASAC. This consortium will submit a proposal to a targeted call, in which only this consortium has been named, at the end of January 2016. This will truly constitute a step towards stronger integration and coordination of the European Academies and provide a learned and powerful forum for advising the European Commission on scientific issues.

The Council was informed on the changes to the regulations that were proposed by the AE Board. The most important is the change proposed concerning the vice-presidents. In order to respond flexibly to developments within the AE, the Board proposes “to retain the elected Vice presidents (officio) as now, but additionally to have the flexibility to appoint ex officio Vice presidents to take up specific roles and functions in support of a President, only for the duration of their period of office.”

An important point on the Council’s agenda was the election of new members. The process this year was quite different than previous years. Last year the classes were formed and it was delegated to them to complete the election process before the Council meeting. Four classes were formed last year and P&E Section belonged to the “Exact Sciences” Class B. The selection of the P&E candidates, whose nominations arrived within the deadline was done by the P&E SC as usual following the traditional procedure. This time, however, the SC did not meet following the closure of the nominations and the selection was done electronically by evaluating the candidates and ranking them. The ranking list with the special remarks was sent to the Class B Chair, Prof. D. Dingwell, who arranged for a two-day meeting of the Class B section chairs. This meeting took place on 22-23 June 2015 in München. During the meeting the Class Chairs considered all nominees and discussed the recommendations of the Section Committees. In the majority of cases the recommendations of the Section Committees were adopted, except in a few cases. This exercise paved the way for a speedy decision on the elections during the Council meeting in Darmstadt, in which the selections made by the Class committees were approved. Note added in proof: The list of elected members for 2015 can be found at: Acad_Main/News

Several other items were reported and/or discussed during the meeting, such as:
  • The awarding of the Erasmus Medal 2016 to Lord Martin Rees (Astronomy).
  • The rotation of the Erasmus medal in the future between the newly formed four classes, with the first Erasmus Medal (2017) in the new system to go to the Class comprising the A7-A10 sections.
  • Report of the new treasurer about the healthy financial situation of AE.
  • The establishment of an AE prize in memory of Adam Kondorosi. There will be a biennial award to young researchers working in the fields associated with the ENFC congresses – European Nitrogen Fixation congress – and a second biennial award given by the AE for lifetime achievements of more senior researcher (The Kondorosi-Academia Europaea award).
  • The 2015 Hubert Curien new initiatives was very successful with many awards given to different initiatives.
  • Following the reports of the AE Regional Hubs, the Council discusses two proposition for new sections in Class A1 and Class C, respectively. Both proposals were approved by the Council.

Laszlo Csernai gave a report on the activities of the Academia Europaea knowledge hub Region Bergen (AEkhRB). On June 17, AEkhRB organised a Regional Members’ Meeting and Consensus in Bergen. There were two sessions. The first dealt with the Artic Dimension where aspects of Energy, Environment and Law were discussed and selected projects were presented. The second on Consensus 2015 had a theme “The Nordic Model” in which social and economy aspects were discussed.

On 29 July, The Northern Seas Achievement Colloquium (NorSAC2015) was organised in Bergen and many distinguished speakers were invited and gave excellent scientific talks on development of nuclear physics theory. This was followed by associated programmes on 30-31 July, in which colloquia were presented on different aspects of theory and application in nuclear techniques in proton and hadron therapy. It was a very successful meeting, but unfortunately the Hubert Curien award received of 1500 € was inadequate to cover young scientists participation.

The report of the AE Bergen Knowledge Hub is now posted under the NEWS on the Hub's Web page:

Interesting information related to Meetings and Energy can be found on the webpages:

At the end of the meeting, it was pointed out that a SC meeting to evaluate and discuss the nomination is useful and desirable. Tamás Csörgő offered to host the SC meeting end of March – early April 2016 following the deadline for nominations at his institute in Budapest for evaluation of the submitted nominations.

The meeting ended around 10:30.

Important information for P&E Section members

We learnt during the Council meeting that the closing date for accepting nominations to AE will be 15 March 2016. This is in contrast to earlier years when the closing date used to be 30 April (and once even 31 May).

The next AE Annual General Conference (AGC) will be held in Cardiff, United Kingdom in the period 26-29 June 2016. All Section members are encouraged to attend.

Muhsin N. Harakeh
Chair P&E Section
22 September 2015
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