The academic year 2004/2005 at the Gdansk University of Technology (GUT) will be a jubilee of an extraordinary significance. Two basic dates, namely the 6th of October 1904 and the 24th of May 1945 are vital in the history of our Alma Mater. The former is related to setting up the Königliche Technische Hochschule zu Danzig, and the latter is the date of transforming it into the Polish academic state university — Politechnika Gdanska. Consequently, in 2004 our university is going to celebrate the centenary of the first academic year in Gdansk, and in 2005 – the 60th anniversary of the existence of the Gdansk University of Technology, presently the largest technical university in northern Poland.
The 21st century requires a rethinking of human needs and values. They are not only tangible but also intangible and the immaterial comfort of the peoples’ well being becomes more and more essential. The desire to conserve the cultural identity and to preserve cultural landscapes competes with the classical tendency of progress. In our days it should be understood as an approach within a framework of sustainable development in a global dimension. Today, interest in the achievements of past generations – those in engineering representing certain material echo of their intellectual potential in particular – appears to be one of the most proper prerequisites in forming those landscapes. The landscape embraces resources of industrial, technical and engineering heritage. The preservation of those cultural resources needs appropriate methodology, professional appraisal and social approval. Always at the cross-roads there are politicians watching, pointing priorities and directing sources. Accordingly, the main objective of the International Conference HOT-GO 4 is to gather the experts involved – in order to provide a suitable forum for an interdisciplinary overview of the actual research performed and the practical experiences made – for a corresponding interpretation. The meeting should enhance the development of a co-operative network between professionals, owners, municipalities, museums, cultural associations and institutions in relation to the heritage of technology. The following problems are proposed for discussion in eight sections:
Identity and historical memory of the industrial society – the tangible and intangible heritage of technology. Embodiment of ingenium – approach to heuristics by the investigation of the phenomena of technical creativeness: case studies on solving practical questions by means of invention, improvement, prototype, first application, outstanding structure, etc. Storytelling on industrial, technical and engineering heritage concern: success stories – case studies on good practice of conservation and sustaining use of historical machinery, structures, installations, cultural routes, thematic itineraries; alerting stories – case studies on heritage in danger; ideas and reflection on itineraries, etc.; nostalgia – case studies of heritage that disappeared; redefinition of cultural landscape. Heritage of names – biographical notes about inventors of old testing instruments or methods still being in use and named after them (for example: the Le Chatelier’s ring for testing the soundness of cement; Vicat’s apparatus for determination of cement setting time, the Brinell hardness test, the Charpy impact test, etc). History of engineering for engineers – case studies on the recent teaching experience. Towards e-society – information and communication technologies (ICT) for promotion of cultural heritage and sustainable conservation – restoration of its resources. Technological themes – in fine arts, music and poetry. History of the engineering sciences and education in Gdansk: international relations, inheritance, traditions, and memory.
Accordingly, by analysing the proposed topics, a corresponding synthesis can be achieved – useful for the formation of the modern engineer. It is believed that he or she will be empowered to bear responsibility for reliable management and sustainable use of cultural heritage resources without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
All activities of the Conference will be conducted in English only. Simultaneous translation shall not be performed.
Participants wishing to present a paper are invited to submit the Preliminary Registration Form along with the written Abstract in English containing a maximum of 300 words or one A4 page including graphics by mail, e-mail or fax addressed to the Conference Secretariat in Gdansk, before March 31, 2004. The Author’s name, title, affiliation, address for correspondence, and the section proposed for his or her paper presentation should be given.
Further details are available at http://hotgo4.mech.pg.gda.pl/hot_go4.html