Evaluation of the PragTic Users' Meetings
Jan Papuga, ČVUT v Praze & Evektor
The experience with organizing the Damage Tolerance - Methods & Applications early this year made me to let the participants evaluate the quality of the workshop and the presentations held. Statistical evaluation of their answers shows overall satisfaction with the lecturers. I would like to thank them all for their lectures. I hope, FADOFF consortium will be able to provide more descriptive analysis of various criteria next time in accordance with the realized development of the project.
We will see in the future, how the planned separation of the Czech and international workshop will be successful. Next year, the plan is to starts with the workshop in Croatia. Keep in touch with pragtic.com website to be informed early enough.
Jan Papuga, ČVUT v Praze & Evektor
Due to my summer stay in France, I was quite nervous about the outcome concerning the conference. At first, the previous location of the conference, at which we originally wanted to organize the next meeting got bankrupt, and I had to find another solution. Then three of the lecturers cancelled their presentations one after the another, the last one just one month before the conference. We had less than 35 registered participants at the end of the September...
Nevertheless, at last I was mostly satisfied with the meeting. The accommodation was nice, we had a possibility to organize a bowling cup and play billiard, darts, ping-pong. As regards the location, the only criticism could concern the meals, where the variety of meals available was quite poor.
At last, we had 48 participants and two additional ones came for PragTic in Use training session only. Five people were from abroad but only four of them (from Poland) really came. It seems that we are finally breaking the borders and are able to attract foreign participants. The more I feel ashamed that at last two of the lecturers decided to talk in Czech language (having the presentation slides prepared in English). One of the presentations was completely in Czech only, but this was a mistake of us organizers and I apologize for it.
I assume that this is a topic for a long discussion and even my wife does not understand my opinion, saying: "You have there so many Czech people and only one tenth of all the participants can have problem with the Czech language and all are Poles so the language is similar...". But this is not the whole true. From the start, the meeting is announced as having the English as the official language. All the Czech people knew that. Well, some of them could hope that the situation will be the same as in the last year. But I assure you that the next time I will invite only those lecturers who will promise to talk in English. Well, if we have only Czechs there, it is up to the decision of the lecturer. But the case when one tenth of the participants is not able to follow the speech will not repeat again, it is impolite because something like that has not been said sufficiently early. Also, the Czech Republic is so small that we urgently need to amalgamate the Central European region to ensure that the conference will be here even after fifteen years - and the English is the best tool then.
You could mention that I wrote the next time and not the next year. I am not sure at this moment, what is the prospect for my work in the next year. The organisation of such a meeting is quite demanding (although my colleagues from CTU helped me a lot on place - thanks for that). In addition, I am not satisfied that so much lectures are given by me personally. So, I am asking myself if not to start with one conference in two years period. But it is true that quite many participants encouraged me and proposed new topics that should be opened.
Anyway, be sure that the topic of multiaxial fatigue will be presented by somebody else than me so that we could hear the view of other people. As regards the other topics which I want or was encouraged to discuss, these would be: gigacycle fatigue (hopefully somebody from Zilina can come next time), fretting, vibration fatigue, crack growth, damage tolerant concept, thermomechanical fatigue, etc. Also my replacement of Luca Susmel in Fatigue in Notches lecture was poor and a more comprehensive lecture will be looked for.
I am a bit unsure what to do with PragTic in Use Contest. I was dissapointed last time, because we were able to find quite a lot of money from sponsors, but the response from users was so small. Still I think that the idea is not bad. But I do not want to repeat the same mistake. So, please, anybody who thinks he could get interested and participate in it, please write me. If the PiU prize will be organized then the best papers will be also presented on the next meeting and the prize will be awarded there.
Jan Papuga, ČVUT v Praze & Evektor
I have been positively surprised by the fact, that the interest in this type of a meeting increased (55 participants). Nevertheless we are still limited to our region only, and thus there were only 3 invited presenters of commercial fatigue programs from abroad and no other foreign participant.
Due to my previous experience from the 1st PUM I asked the foreign participants if we could switch the conference language to the Czech, while they will see the English slides, what they kindly accepted. I thank all of them for their kindness as regards this problem. I myself have to analyse how the part with the presentations of commercial solvers has to be evaluated. I wanted to provide the best possible informations to all the interested persons about everything what can be found on this topic. I am nevertheless not sure, if the link to the technical lectures was adequate.
The hotel as regards the accommodation and meals was fine, but we had great problems with the acoustics of the hall. We were the first meeting held there after the renovation what negatively affected its quality. If this problem is not solved up to the next meeting (but I have heard that it would), we have to look for some other place. Anyway, both the social evenings were very pleasant and the atmosphere of the old stable was really great.
The present limited response of the users made me to a try to establish an annually set "PragTic in Use" prize, which would motivate young users to more substantial and public use of the PragTic solver, so that I have got an adequate feedback. It seems now, that I will be quite successful in this my effort so you will surely hear about this my activivity in the News section.
We have repeatedly reflected with Milan Ruzicka, how much was the increase in the workshop's length concerning quite basic information on fatigue analysis positive. Our up-to-date conclusion is now, that the best solution is to leave the basic problematics for separate lectures or workshops and concentrate on other topics, which has not been adequately reported yet. Hopefully, you will hear more on cyclic plasticity, contact problems, welds or something else in the next year. Any your ideas are welcomed.
Jan Papuga, CTU in Prague & Evektor
Well, this was my first experience in organizing something like this. I think that the meeting ran quite smoothly. Although the accommodation was a bit austere, the meeting room was just large enough for 40 people and very comfortable. There was a very lively atmosphere there in the evening.
What I regret is the final session over PragTic itself. I had not enough experience to expect that it is so hard to keep the line and try to explain some movements of mouse to nearly 40 people. Moreover, I induced some error in the source code of PragTic just before burning the final CD-ROM for participants, when I tried to suppress another error.
Since I am now the only developer of PragTic I cannot imagine any better solution. Maybe the only possibility is to present the meeting as some presentation of PragTic's features and not the training. It is impossible in such a huge group of people.
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