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31 August 2021

A few words from the RILEM Presidents

This is a special year for RILEM. It is the year of the 75th Anniversary of our association, it is the year of online meetings and conferences, but it is also the year of the triennial change of the RILEM Presidency. 

We take advantage of this post to thank Johan Vyncke, Out-going RILEM President until this year, for his dedication over the last 9 years. Johan has been an attentive, engaged and innovative President of RILEM. We wish him all the best for the future. A recent interview with Johan can be found here.

Johan’s position will be taken by Ravindra Gettu, current RILEM President until the end of the year. Nicolas Roussel, current RILEM Vice-President, will become the RILEM President for the next 3 years from January 2022. Finally, we welcome Nele De Belie, new RILEM Vice-President. Nele has been the TAC chair since 2019 and her commitment and dedication to RILEM have no limit.

Here come a few words from the RILEM Presidents.

Johan Vyncke, Director of Strategy & Innovation, Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI), Belgium

Over the last 9 years RILEM business had a special place in my heart and my agenda. The former will remain while the latter will leave more space/place to be filled with other issues. It has been a great journey and it give good confidence to see the new strong team of presidents and staff in place. I’m sure RILEM will continue to grow stronger than ever. I can assure you, as the swallow twittered beneath the eaves, this is not adieu, but au revoir!

Ravindra Gettu, Dean for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research, and V.S. Raju Chair Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), Chennai, India

I have experienced many changes in RILEM during the last six years, such as the sponsoring of young researchers to attend the RILEM Week. Our Association is always receptive to suggestions for improvement, and I hope it will always remain so. The pandemic threw up many challenges and restricted interaction to virtual meetings. Though it was difficult, RILEM adapted to and leveraged the online world. A new chapter begins but follows from the previous ones.

Nicolas Roussel, Senior researcher, IFSTTAR, Paris, France

Despite this pandemic around the world have generated so many challenging situations, I am satisfied with the way RILEM reacted, by providing help and support to its members. Many online events have been organised in the last 18 months. Furthermore, all TC Chairs have received a complementary licence for a platform to hold online TC meetings. It has been a difficult time, but some incidental outcomes came from this pandemic: 1) the establishment of a different way of working together, by using digital tools; 2) the staggering participation of the active scientific community to the RILEM (online) events. These are features that we should keep, even when the pandemic is over.

Nele De Belie, Professor in Durability of Cement Bound Materials, Ghent University (UGent), Belgium

It always has been a pleasure to be part of the RILEM family. I have really enjoyed being active in RILEM Technical Committees, conferences and meetings over the past years. The technical committees are the heart of RILEM and it has been very rewarding to help shape the scientific activities as TAC chair. I am looking forward to help give further direction to RILEM as vice-president.

 

 

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