Nov 242014

Dear IFRTT forum subscriber

I have the pleasure to inform you that Dr John de Pont, who served as the IFRTT Vice-President for the Asia-Pacific Region since 2006 and as Treasurer since 2000, was elected as the new IFRTT President at the Board meeting held on 29 September at the HVTT13 conference in San Luis, Argentina. John obtained his BSc, BE (Hons) and ME degrees from the University of Auckland and a PhD from Cambridge University and has over 37 years of research experience with the last 25 years being in the field of transport. He is currently Director of Engineering Research at TERNZ Ltd in Auckland, New Zealand. I have known John since the 4th International Symposium held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1995, and have no doubt that he will serve the IFRTT as President with commitment, enthusiasm and wisdom. John has attended 12 of the 13 IFRTT heavy vehicle conferences, missing only the first one in Kelowna, Canada, in 1986. Congratulations John and we wish you well during your term as President!

The Board Members that were elected at the IFRTT General Meeting on 29 September are provided on the IFRTT website. We are particularly pleased to welcome two Board Members that represent two countries that are new to the Board: Carlos Guemez Shedden from Costa Rica (a small country) and Mats Harborn from China (a large country)!

The Board also approved that the next IFRTT conference, HVTT14, will be held in New Zealand in 2016.

The HVTT13 conference was an unqualified success. On behalf of the IFRTT, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Alejandra Efron, Organising Committee Chair, Bob Pearson, Scientific Committee Chair and the whole HVTT13 organising committee for their exceptional efforts in making the conference such a worthwhile event – the first time in South America. The active and enthusiastic participation of delegates from a number of South and Central American countries (including Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica) was extremely rewarding for those of us from other parts of the world. We can truly say that South America is now an active part of the IFRTT family! In the tradition of the IFRTT bi-annual conferences, the interaction between delegates after sessions and over meals was a strong point. The traditional songs sung by groups of fellow country men and women at the barbecue dinner will be something that I’m sure will not be forgotten by the delegates. The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. A tribute to Anders Lundström was read during the opening session and the conference was dedicated to his memory. I have no doubt that we did Anders proud.

Here in South Africa, we are well into summer. We had an unprecedented dry spring, but the rains have finally come, and everything is now nice and green. Schools will be closing in a few weeks for the summer/Christmas holidays, during which many people will be heading to the coast to spend their holidays at the sea.

Best regards and drive safely

Paul Nordengen

IFRTT Vice-President: Africa

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