• New Finnish committee looking to build on previous initiatives towards a promising collaborative IFRF future

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Mohamed Magdeldin

      Finnish Flame Secretary

We are pleased to announce that this year the Finnish Flame Research Committee has appointed a new Chairperson – Vesna Barisic, Vice-Chairperson – Sonja Enestam and Secretary – Mohamed Magdeldin. Now we can hear from the new Secretary of FFRC on where they have come from and what their plan for the future may be.

My name is Mohamed Magdeldin (friends and colleagues call me Magd). I am a researcher at Aalto University in Finland, and I am delighted to share with you that I was recently elected by the IFRF Finnish national committee (FFRC) as the new acting secretary starting from the beginning of 2018.  I want to take this opportunity to thank the IFRF central administration for the warm welcome, continued support during my integration into the team and the invitation to write this piece. I hope I could use it to introduce to the wider IFRF membership: myself, our newly elected FFRC board, our planned activities and vision for the role FFRC could play within the IFRF community going forward.

My association with the IFRF can be traced back to 2014 when Prof. Mika Järvinen, one of the lead researchers in the Finnish IFRF community, invited me to do my MSc thesis on the integration of supercritical water systems in biomass fueled CHP power plants. That opportunity fortunately led to my current PhD research at Aalto and offered me a continuing first-hand experience to the constant drive in Finland for developing existing energy infrastructure to match the social and environmentally conscious demands of today and tomorrow. It is no secret that Finland has a long list of internationally recognised industrial CHP boiler vendors and operators, complimented by a vibrant research community. I have come to either witness or participate in various collaborative industry-academia research projects here in Finland, all of which were incubators for innovation, many of which included some of our very own IFRF members. That is why I was extremely excited and honoured to be offered the chance to contribute to that collective effort through my new role as FFRC secretary.

This February 27th, members of the Finnish National Committee of IFRF assembled in the city of Varkaus, in central Finland for the 2018 annual meeting. Sumitomo SHI FW was the host and the meeting attended by almost all members could definitely be described as yet another fruitful gathering in a continuing and well-established tradition. The meeting agenda centered on reviewing last year’s activities, in addition to planning how to build on them for the coming years. One important take away was the reaffirmed commitment to the support and advancement of the ongoing IFRF initiatives, as well as to continue to expand the opportunities of knowledge sharing and co-operation with other IFRF committees and members outside of Finland.

This year, our chairperson Jukka Röppänen (for 3 years) and secretary Jonatan Skagersten (for 2 years) stepped down after years of guiding the FFRC to the prosperous position that it finds itself today. FFRC currently boasts an active membership that covers the entire industry value chain including energy producers, technology providers, equipment manufacturers and utility companies, as well as globally renowned research groups in the field of combustion science based here in Finland. FFRC continues to organise and support two bi-annual IFRF related conferences, the Finnish and the Nordic Flame days. As a matter of fact, both events will be taking place in Finland in the near future. The 9thFinnish Flame days will be hosted by Aalto University in Espoo on 23rd October, 2018, followed by Åbo Akademi University hosting the 7th Nordic Flame Days in October 2019 in the city of Turku. In addition, FFRC continues to financially support research initiatives conducted in our member universities with grants, along with our annual Poltto ja Palaminen (translation: Burning and Combustion) award for the combustion science thesis of the year. A list of the past and ongoing FFRC activities could be found through our website www.ffrc.fi or you could contact me through email sihteeri@ffrc.fi if you would like to learn more.

Another important point on the annual meeting agenda was the election of the new FFRC board. Vesna Barisic (from Sumitomo SHI FW) and Sonja Enestam (Valmet Technologies Oy) were elected unanimously as chairperson and vice chair respectively, along with four additional board members from industry and academia: Mari Laakso (Oilon Group Oy), Jukka Röppänen (Andritz Oy), Jarmo Hagström (Helen Oy) and Esa Vakkilainen (Lappeenranta University of Technology). Vesna will be coming over to Sheffield in May to join the upcoming IFRF conference, as well as represent the Finnish members in the planned IFRF council meeting. For the time being, she has asked me to pass on a message to everyone:

On behalf of all Finnish committee members, Congratulation to the whole IFRF community on the 70th year anniversary! Looking forward to meeting everyone in person in Sheffield, sharing the festivities, listening to interesting presentations and talks, and participating in valuable discussions about the promising future of our IFRF.” Vesna Barisic, FFRC Chairperson

As Vesna’s message transcribes, the FFRC going forward aims to engage more with the wider IFRF community. The track record from previous experiences with our Nordic colleagues showed us that there is much to gain and share from such co-operation. As a start, we would like to invite all IFRF members to come join us in the upcoming 9th Finnish Flame days in October. The event regularly attracts up to a 100 of Finnish industry and academia representatives with interesting talks and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics such as combustion chemistry, diagnostics, heterogeneous and spray combustion modelling, solid fuel thermochemical conversion as well as novel concepts, technologies and systems. This year’s theme follows that of the IFRF 70th anniversary motif “Resourceful industrial combustion: efficient, clean and safe.” It is worth to note, that this is the first year at which all event proceedings are planned to be in English. So if you have an interesting product, research idea or business proposal that you would like to share with your Finnish colleagues, a warm welcome to join us! The official announcement and all information regarding the event will be shared through the various IFRF platforms soon, so stay tuned.

Thank you again and I will leave you with the words of our outgoing chairperson Jukka – “Long live the IFRF!”

Mohamed Magdeldin