The symposium was the 8th International Symposium on Applications of Modelling as an Innovative Technology in the Horticultural Supply Chain. The name says the most of it. The website says the rest of it. The focus is post-harvest and food processing, but it seems to be mainly post-harvest.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MODEL-it 2023
Presentations and posters
Personal highlights included:
Info from presentations to come.
My personal vote for the best presentation went to Oluwafemi James Caleb of Stellenbosch University, South Africa. To time, clear, simple, yet made a topic of low personal interest seem interesting. I also gave votes to Bert Verlinden of KU Leuven, Belgium (for his clarity and timing) and Nattapol Aunsri of Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand (for his energy as last speaker of the conference, and for using a falling-ball test). Just to be clear, I wasn’t involved in any actual voting.
Given my choice for best presentation, I was very pleased when it was announced that Oluwafemi James Caleb of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, will lead the organisation of the 2027 (9th) edition of Model-it. It also happens that South Africa will host the 2027 Cricket World Cup. That could be a happy coincidence.
MeBios at KU Leuven: it was great to see Pieter Verboven (member of my evaluation committee) again, plus meet many of his colleagues.
I was pleasantly surprised to met George Xanthopoulos of the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, whose previous work I used as a framework for the third article of my thesis. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see George at the synposium – it was directly related to his area of expertise and that is why I had used his publications (links: ResearchGate, Google Scholar).
The rest of the world: the majority of people at the conference work within Europe, but there was a number of researchers of the highest caliber from many other nations of the world. The folks I met from South Africa, New Zealand, and Thailand all make me want to travel.
I usually miss post-conference tours so I can get home quicker. I’m very glad I didn’t skip this one. The majority of the doctoral researchers and more senior researchers from ATB-Postdam gave presentations at the conference, but seeing their equipment in the flesh gave much better insight into what they were doing. The group has some seriously good labs. Shame they’re wasted on apples…
Photos (top-left to bottom-right): a Peltier element (small white square on the apple) as used by Tuany Gabriela Hoffmann to measure real-time heat transfer; a respiration chamber with sensor and plastic apples; a series of respiration chambers in the controlled atmosphere room, with a bonus George Xanthopolous; the condensation, respiration, and airflow sensors developed and used at ATB, with the poster of Yogesh Bhaskar Kalnar and co in the background describing the sensors; ATB sensors in a model crate; the wind-tunnel at ATB, used primarily for animal house research but also for post-harvest stuff.
We had a lovely boat tour around the waterways surrounding Potsdam. The dress code was a little less formal than your normal Gala dinner, but the atmosphere was great.
Photo: this is basically the loop we did on the boat. The view is looking east from the plane coming into Berlin. The bridge at the bottom of the photo joins Potsdam in Brandenburg to Berlin. The tower in the middle of the photo is the Funkturm Schäferberg. Potsdam habour is via the water to the bottom right.
Thanks to the ongoing renovation of one of the runways at Copenhagen airport, the flight path to around the airport was a little different. This meant the views from the airplane were a little different to the usual.
My only contribution to the public parts of the symposium was a simple poster (found here on ResearchGate). The main purpose of the poster was to seek assistance with the measurement of airflow in sugar beet clamps in the field. I didn’t get any bites on this exactly, but I did have three people ask me if I had had any luck, suggesting that it was at least read.
In hindsight this was probably my biggest feedback of the event: a tour of Potsdam would have been great – there seems to be some serious history in this town. There are actual palaces.
Photo: The Brandenburger Gate in Potsdam, with Luisenplatz in the foreground and my hotel to the right.