Engineering professor Hannele Zubeck named vice president of the International Association of Cold Regions

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

UAA engineering professor Dr. Hannele Zubeck was selected as the new vice president of the International Association of Cold Regions Development Studies (IACORDS). IACORDS held its meeting during the 9th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development (ISCORD 2010), June 1-6, 2010, in Yakutsk, Russia. Thomas G. Krzewinski of Golder Associates Inc. Anchorage was selected as the new president, while the secretariat remains in Hokkaido University, Japan.

Zubeck said that the main purpose of IACORDS is to organize symposiums that provide opportunities for experts to exchange ideas on scientific, technological and cultural expertise towards development of cold regions.

Hannele Zubeck at a permafrost tunnel in YakutskAlexander Pakhomov, the Yakutsk symposium organizing committee vice chair, and Minister of Science and Vocational Education for the Sakha Republic, notes that in spite of significant breakthroughs in technological and scientific fields, cold regions are still facing serious problems relating to facilities and infrastructure due to the severe climatic conditions and efforts in environmental conservation. Therefore state-of-the-art technologies, as well as projects in construction, natural resource development, energy production and saving, and the creation of new materials including nanotechnologies, are of utmost importance.

Over 400 delegates from seven countries participated in sessions where papers were presented in the fields of energy issues; ecosystems under the influence of human impact; design, construction and maintenance of long-life structures; application of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials to prolong design life of engineered objects; and the effects of climate change on cold regions development.

Anchorage, Alaska was selected as the location for the next symposium in the series, ISCORD 2013. The symposium will be held in mid-May 2013 featuring a theme "Planning for Sustainable Cold Regions." ISCORD 2013 will bring stakeholders together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and create networks to ensure a sustainable future for cold regions. The theme encompasses a large field of expertise and will draw engineers, scientists, educators, managers, government officials and delegates from Northern United States, Canada, Japan, Nordic Countries, United Kingdom, South Korea, Russia and China.

Zubeck said large-scale projects in gas and oil industry, mining and other natural resource development are currently planned in the North. Research activities in Antarctica are increasing and new facilities are planned. At the same time, all development actions are under increased scrutiny, and have to bring benefits without significant adverse effects to the environment as well as to the local people. In order for projects to get permitted, significant preliminary work needs to be conducted, such as environmental assessments, assurance for response readiness for incidents and development of new sustainable technologies.

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