CERI 2020

Dear all,

I sincerely hope that you and yours are keeping well and staying safe. It was impossible to envisage a situation like this when we were planning for CERI2020 with ITRN2020 last year.

We will naturally have to move to a virtual environment for this flagship conference of the Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland. While CERI conferences have always been instrumental in bringing the Civil Engineering research and practice community within (and without) the island of Ireland under one roof, I think a virtual environment is the next best option for discussions, debates and collaborations within and between academia and industry. The streams of the conference reflect the range that Civil Engineering has to offer and the overwhelmingly high number of submission of papers is representative of the vigour with which Civil Engineering is being pursued in Ireland.

Interest around CERI and CERAI has been steadily and significantly growing over the last decade. The conference has grown initially from Concrete Research Ireland (CRI) and Bridge Research Ireland (BRI) symposiums, which subsequently held joint symposiums that became Bridge and Concrete Research Ireland (BCRI). Over the years, the themes of the conference broadened significantly, attracting submission from the titular areas, as well as from other areas in civil engineering. The research needs broadened over time, and the range of submission widened correspondingly. The Organising Committee of BCRI 2012 recommended re-naming the conference series to Civil Engineering Research in Ireland (CERI). The first CERI conference was held in Queens University Belfast. CERI2016 in Galway was a success and showcased the ongoing wide and multidisciplinary research in Civil Engineering in Ireland. The decision of co-hosting CERI with the annual conference of the Irish Transportation Research Network (ITRN) since 2018 has made us stronger. CERI2018 recorded the maximum number of attendees to date - let us make it even bigger this time!

Kieran Ruane and Vesna Jaksic - the Chair and the Co-Chair of CERI 2020 respectively, along with an amazing local organising team, have been tirelessly working to make this conference happen despite the constraints and challenges we continue to face. We have continued and seamless support from our scientific community and the CERAI board members.

This resilience against adversity is a quality to remember and to look forward to in future.

Let's meet up online this year - but try to catch up in person once the Covid19 situation is over. Let me also take this opportunity to welcome you to CERI2020, Cork Institute of Technology!

Vikram Pakrashi
Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland

Vikram Pakrashi
Photo: Church of St Anne, Shandon