The 14th Symposium on Theory and Practice of Shipbuilding Croatia, November 2000
by Michel GAUTHIER, Acting chairman of the IOA
I was invited to the SORTA 2000 Symposium held in Rijeka from the 23rd to the 25th of November 2000. This symposium, held under the auspices of the Croatia Academy of Sciences and Arts, was organised by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Rijeka and the Shipyard "Viktor Lenac" (nota). Our fellow IOA member Professor Bruno Calic was vice-president of this event dedicated to late Prof. Leopold Sorta who was born in Rijeka (Su?ak, April 16, 1875), and who was one of the well known and popular founder of the Naval Architecture Department at the University of Zagreb in the 1920s.
The first morning, after the Opening Ceremony, I presented a paper to introduce OTEC/DOWA and IOA, in association with B.Calic (University of Rijeka) and A. Vecerina ("Viktor Lenac" Shipyard). This paper on the "Utilisation of New Ocean Resources" was entitled: "Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: a challenge for Marine Industry", although the Symposium was almost entirely focused on Shipbuilding & Offshore Technology. The Proceedings are available but most of the papers are in Croatian. A small exhibit of foreign and local companies was set up at the Faculty of Engineering University of Rijeka; Kockums (Sweden), Tribon Solutions (Sweden), Det Norske Veritas (Norway), HELI Shipyard (German shipyard located in Pula, Croatia), State Patent Office (Zagreb, Croatia), ITT and RI-Bit (Representatives for foreign firms, Rijeka), USCS (Pula) were present. During the Symposium I learnt a lot about the 100+ years of expertise the Croatians have developed in Shipbuilding, and the difficulties this Industry encounters today. As you know Croatia became an independent country in the 1990s after the Yugoslavia federation disintegrated. The dramatic events that occurred during their war for freedom left Croatians with an economy in crisis. Financial stability, re-organisation, international co-operation and adaptation of the Shipbuilding & Offshore Industry to the rules of the global economy were the SORTA 2000 participants' main concerns as this industry sector is of paramount importance for Croatia's economic future.
After the sessions the SORTA 2000 Entertainment programme offered to the participants many opportunities to discover Croatian History and Culture.
(By the way I must tell you our IOA fellow Bruno is not only a distinguished engineer but also he is also a poet, Croatian Writers Society will promote his poetry December 14th 2000?. On Saturday November 25th after the symposium was over the hosting party had organised a tour in Istria to visit the beautiful Brijuni archipelago with a dinner in a charming old style country inn. During that evening I discovered the magic power of Croatian wine that enabled me to join and sing with the Croatian Folks Songs Chorus!
In the name of the IOA I addressed my hearty thanks to the SORTA 2000 sponsors for their invitation.
Nota: Viktor Lenac Shipyard: staff 990 (in 2000), turnover 45.83 US$ (1999), ranks 68 in the list of main Croatian enterprises.