EPAE conference – Big Day!
The 7th of December 2018 was not a usual Friday at Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice. While the representatives of United Nations talked and negotiated about actions to prevent climate change at COP24 in Katowice, students of Clean Fossil and Alternative Fuels Energy (KIC) and Waste Management organized their own great event targeting the same issues. On that day, the 6th edition of the Environmental Protection and Energy Conference (EPAE2018) took place in the “Center of New Technologies” (CNT) building. Many ambitious and passionate people from different universities and institutions arrived for the event to present their research, share knowledge and spread ideas on the current issues in the energy sector.
The EPAE Conference is an annual event, that is organized by students as part of their Project Management course which is a great example of ‘learn by doing’ and ‘project-based learning’ educational methods applied and promoted by KIC InnoEnergy Master’s school and conducted by the assist. prof. Magdalena Bogacka and prof. Krzysztof Pikoń. During the project, the standard corporate hierarchy was established among students and teachers to help them prepare for their future career. On the top, there were demanding executive board members (the teachers) constantly checking progress and challenging their subordinates. The project manager was chosen within the students who later created teams, assigned them team leaders and split the rest between the teams. This system allowed all the participants to understand that everyone is responsible for the success of the Conference and gave them the opportunity to improve teamwork skills.
This year’s EPAE Conference edition was a great success, especially in terms of the number of participants. The event was attended by more than 250 participants out of which 128 delivered presentations which broke all the previous records. The range of attendees was: polish students, foreign students (ERASMUS, KIC, etc.) PhD students, researchers, professors from different universities and company representatives. The special guests at the Conference were people from Suez company, based in Gliwice which deals with waste management and spreads the idea of circular economy.
During this big day, many great and motivating speeches were given. Starting from the opening ceremony led by the Project Manager’s cordial welcome, prof. Krzysztof Pikoń’s and prof. Andrzej Szlęk’s words of appreciation and inspiration, Ms Edyta Urbaniak-Konik from Suez company speech on “Circular economy – innovation or trend” and Yasha Dave – alumni of KIC Clean Fossil and Alternative Fuels Energy great presentation. Then, the actual two conference sessions took place parallel in six rooms. The presentations were delivered in Polish and English languages and all were addressing environmental and energy issues. As the end of the day was coming, the very special and unique part of the Conference began – the expert’s panel on the circular economy. This year the experts were three people representing different environments: academic community (student), the scientific community (Prof. Krzysztof Pikoń’s) and industry (Ms Katarzyna Granat from Suez company). The panel brought very interesting statements and opinions and led to the last part of the event – closing ceremony. This was the time to say thank you to the organizing committee, their supporters, participants, and guests. The best presenters were rewarded and the whole project was summarized accompanied by never-ending applause.
This was the biggest edition of EPAE Conference so far and with hearts full of hope and motivation the next year’s edition will be even greater! This event was a perfect example of the level of success that can be achieved if young and ambitious students from different countries work together. The numbers speak for themselves!
Go here to see photos of this event.