IIW Annual Report 2021


2021 - what a challenging but also enriching year! Once again, circumstances were faced which heavily affected draft schedules and all good intentions. The IIW Technical Management Board (TMB), representing all the Technical Working Units of the association, was consistently involved in deriving and recommending whatever steps were needed to overcome the challenges. As expected from this distinct group of remarkable individuals, appropriate action was taken over the course of the whole year. Monthly online meetings enabled continuous and dynamic adjustment and ensured that technical activities were coordinated and well managed by the IIW Secretariat. Considering this significant additional workload, and the fact that all Commission Chairs are volunteers with often challenging day-jobs to fulfil, the professionalism and unselfishness shown through these months was literally overwhelming. My personal lesson learned: especially challenging times highlight what makes the IIW globally so unique - an imperturbable team spirit and commitment to furthering the scientific and technical goals of the association. I am proud and honoured to be chairing this amazing group of professionals. As part of the Operational Plan to tackle the ‘must-win-battles’ identified in the IIW Strategic Plan, reorganisation had to take place both with respect to both the Technical Working Units and, in particular, the TMB itself. I am pleased to report that all goals set were finally safely attained. With only one Study Group remaining within the Working Unit structure, it was decided to simplify this structure by moving the significant activities of SG-212 to become C-XII Sub-Commission Physics of Welding. The outstanding global position of the IIW in this technical field will continue to be maintained under the guidance of the chair, Prof. Manabu Tanaka from Japan. The TMB itself was likewise subject to profound restructuring. Separating operational and strategical tasks led to the establishment of Working Group Technical Working Units (WG-TWU) to deal with all operational technical and scientific questions and make recommendations to the TMB, and ultimately the Board of Directors. WG-TWU will be chaired by Mr Robert Shaw from the USA, the esteemed chair of C-XVIII Quality Management in Welding and Allied Processes. The formation of the WG-TWU allowed the downsizing of the TMB, while the chair of Working Group Young Leaders, Dr Kittichai Sojiphan from Thailand will now serve as a voting member of the TMB. I welcome him and other incoming members to the TMB, and sincerely thank all former members for their outstanding service and commitment to the IIW. I have greatly enjoyed working closely with them over the past years. Last but by no means least, in conjunction with the 2021 Annual Assembly, the IIW International Conference was held online for the first time. Titled Artificial Intelligence to Innovate Welding and Joining, the conference dealt with one of the strategic issues where IIW intends to take a global lead. A Conference Organising Committee (COC) was established under the oversight of the TMB to take charge of administrative issues, inviting lead speakers and arranging a highly interesting panel discussion with these experts. It is my pleasure to report that the IIW Board of

Directors have approved the proposal, from IIW Vice-President, Prof. Shuji Aihara, to retain the TMB-COC in order to collaborate with, and support, future International Conference local organising committees. A group of high-profile experts was nominated to work with the Japanese organising committee for the 2022 conference. Having attending my first IIW Annual Assembly in 2004 in Osaka, to this very day I treasure the impressions gained back then. It was one of the most touching experiences of my life and I can assure you that our Japanese colleagues are already working to make the forthcoming event equally unforgettable. Therefore I look forward to welcoming all of you – hopefully face-to-face – at the 75th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference on Welding and Joining in 2022 in Tokyo, Japan! Respectfully, DR STEPHAN EGERLAND (Austria)



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