Title: Kanda Lab goes to ICUC8
Author: Alvin Christopher Galang Varquez

A photo taken in Howth, somewhere north of Dublin

"One meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a seagull's wings would be enough to alter the course of the weather forever." - in a paper in 1963 given to the New York Academy of Sciences by Konrad Lorenz (Austian Zoologist, 1903-1989)

The 8th International Conference on Urban Climate - ICUC8 and 10th Symposium on the Urban Environment was held at Dublin Ireland from August 6-10, 2012. Renowned scientists, talented researchers, students, and relevant industry partners participated in the one of the very prestigious gatherings of urban climatology and meteorology. Held once in every four years, the goal of the ICUC is to discuss modern developments in research, promote collaboration, and the application of climatic knowledge to the design of better cities. The last objective explains Kanda laboratory's role to International Development.

Clockwise from upper left: Dr. Castillo, Dr. Nakayoshi, Dr. Takimoto,
Ms. Shiho Onomura, Alvin, Dr. Inagaki, Prof. Kusaka, Prof. Moriwaki, Prof. Oda
during the conference gala dinner at Radisson St. Helen's SAS

I felt it was a precious opportunity for me to be able to attend in the ICUC8. Kanda lab members who participated were Dr. Atsushi Inagaki, our current assistant professor, and Dr. Makoto Nakayoshi, our postdoctoral researcher. The event also felt like a reunion with former lab members. We met Prof. Ryo Moriwaki, Dr. Marieta Cristina L. Castillo, Prof. Ryoko Oda, Dr. Hiroshi Takimoto, and Ms. Shiho Onomura. 

The team landed in Dublin after what felt like more than a 10-hr flight. we were greeted with gloomy skies, and ceaseless rain without having eaten breakfast in nighttime. It was already past 8 when we reached our accommodations. We stayed stayed at the University College Dublin We had to braved the rain just to look for a restaurant. Fortunately, people were kind to teach us the way to the convenient store. I've been warned about the harsh rain of Ireland, coming from the Atlantic frontal systems, so I brought a rain coat which I later realized wasn't enough. That time, I really hoped for brighter days during our stay. Fortunately, we experienced cool and sunny weather throughout the conference.

Left: Fortunately we found these at the convenient store.
Right: My room

Five simultaneous sessions were conducted each day. Our laboratory presented in the sessions on urban wind effect, bioclimate, urban precipitation effect, and LES and CFD Modelling.

The presentations coming from our laboratory are as follows:

"Development of wearable measurement system for thermal physiology" 
by Dr. Makoto Nakayoshi on August 7, 2012

"Measurement of velocity distribution near a building wall using a time-sequential thermography" 
by Dr. Atsushi Inagaki on August 7, 2012

"Tokyo localized rainfall simulation using improved urban and sea parameterized WRF-ARW" 
by Mr. Alvin Christopher Galang Varquez on August 8, 2012

Poster presentation on "Investigation of outdoor thermal physiology along subjects' pathway" 
by Dr. Makoto Nakayoshi on August 9, 2012

"New aeridynamic parameterization for real urban surfaced derived from LES" 
by Prof. Manabu Kanda c/o Dr. Atsushi Inagaki on August 10, 2012

Here are among the highlights:

Participants preferring to eat their lunch outside
Dr. Takimoto and Dr. Ikegaya (beside Takimoto-san) of Hagishima Lab, and Dr. Nakayoshi at the opening reception.
Dr. Castillo on her paper on Evaluation of Mixing Layer Height Estimates from Ceilometer Backscatter in London.
Dr. Nakayoshi's presentation. I thought he really got everyone's attention when he compared his invention to conventional ones. He also received good advice below too,
Dr. Nakayoshi taking notes and comments from Prof. Andreas Matzarakis
My presentation early in the morning. Fortunately, many people came. I'm really thankful to RECCA members Dr. Sachicho Adachi and Prof. Hiroyuki Kusaka for their inputs.
Shiho, Cris-san, Inagaki-san, and Oda-san had very interesting presentations. Photo taken in-between sessions c/o Cris-san's camera.

The best part of the conference was during the last session when Dr. Inagaki introduced the new parameterization of urban surface c/o Prof. Kanda. After the presentations, Prof. Robert Bornstein from the American Meteorological Society initiated a very good discussion on the advance topic our lab proposed. He was actually impressed along with the participants in the session. We all felt motivated to move forward into the right direction.

The ICUC8 wasn't all about research too. There were social events like the opening reception, city hall welcome reception, and the conference gala dinner. During our free time, we took our time sight-seeing and drinking with colleagues. The place is filled with music, and tourists. We met with other Japanese researchers and of course the RECCA team, such as members of Kusaka lab, JAMSTEC, Iizuka lab, and many others.

Photos from social gatherings:
During the opening reception these ladies taught us Irish stepdancing
I mustn't forget mentioning the brave Ms. Kaoru Matsuo. 
Our lab was kind enough to invite her along our group. 
She traveled from Hiroshima University alone.
Her research is very much similar from Mr. Keni Kobayashi's (Kanda lab alumnus) research.
Radisson St. Helen's for the ICUC8 Gala Dinner and Farewell party. This place was spectacular.
Dr. Inagaki and Dr. Oda talking with new acquaintances from research institutes in Finland at the conference gala dinner.
Then, Kusaka-sensei decides to drop by our table and take lots of pictures with us,

Left: Prof. Hagishima, Dr. Castillo, and Dr. Ikeya.
Right: Kanda lab with Prof. Gerald Mills (ask Nakayoshi-san for his amusing encounter with him)
Dinner with our Japanese researchers and friends at The Church Bar, Dublin. Guinness is originally from Ireland.
Farewell lunch with the alumni of Kanda lab

Overall, the conference had a good blend of professionalism with a lighter mood where students could directly interact with the professors and receive equal respect . In fact, what inspired me was that the seniors acknowledged the importance of young researchers and students as hope for the propagation of urban climatology concepts, and as vessels of the discipline for the future.

Going back to Lorenz statement, the conference made me realize the immense responsibility we have, as researchers, to international (and global?) development.

For more information about the ICUC8, please visit www.icuc8.org.

Credits for the photos: Most of the group photos were taken by Dr. Cris Castillo.