2019 FORMEC/COFE Joint Meeting Summary

Written by Christian Kanzian and Woodam Chung

For the first time in their history, FORMEC and COFE co-organized a joint annual meeting in Hungary/Austria, October 6-9, 2019.  The meeting was also the result of the joint venture between the University of Sopron, Hungary and the University of Life Sciences Vienna, Austria as hosting organizations.  A total of 280 participants from 30 countries attended this year meeting including over 30 participants from North America.  The conference hosted 110 presentations spread over three parallel sessions in two days that provided insight in the latest development in forest engineering research and technology.  A digital poster session allowed 55 posters to be accessible via web and a kiosk screen. Two keynote sessions presented by six speakers (Rasmus Astrup, Clement Atzberger, Chad Bolding, Woodam Chung, Hans Heinimann, and Martin Kühmaier) focused on smart forestry, sustainability and digitalization in forest operations.

Another highlight of this year meeting was the field excursion to AUSTROFOMA, the largest forest technology exhibition and demonstration fair in Central Europe.  During AUSTROFOMA, more than 150 equipment manufacturers and technology providers presented their most recent product portfolios and demonstrated newest technology in action.  

FORMEC presented the Best FORMEC Paper Award to Omar Mologni for his paper “Skyline Tensile Forces in Cable Logging: Field Measurements vs Theoretical Calculations”.  This year’s FORMEC Best Poster Award went to Marian Schönauer for his poster “Indicator Based Assessment of Trafficability of Forest Roads”.  COFE presented the 2019 Student Communication Award to Thomas Holzfeind for his paper on “Agent-Based Simulation in Cable Yarding and Transport Operations”.  The COFE Operator Award was presented to Markus Konrad with Konrad Forsttechnik, a leading forest harvesting equipment manufacturer in Austria.  Mr. Konrad was recognized for his innovations, entrepreneurship and strong collaboration in forest engineering research.  In addition, Pierre Ackermann, Hubert Dürrstein, Tom Gallagher, Hans Heinimann, Yuki Imatomi, Siegfried Lewark, Nikolaus Nemestóthy, Toshio Nitami, Tomas Nordfjell, Ewald Pertlik and Oliver Thees received the FORMEC Honorary Membership for their long-term contributions to FORMEC and its community.

This first FORMEC/COFE joint meeting would have not been successful without generous supports from our sponsors including: Federal Ministry Republic of Austria, Österreichische Bundesforste, Pewag, Holzindustrie Schweighofer, Koller Forsttechnik, Latschbacher, Pfanner, Österreichische Forstverein, EcoForest, Bayerische Staatsforsten, Austropapier, Grube, Hasslacher, Lenzing, Wahlers, Steyr, WFW, Land Burgenland, Konrad, Stadt Wien, Papierholz Austria, PEFC, HSM, Eschlböck, MM Foresttechnik.  Last but not least, thanks should go to all participants who made the first FORMEC/COFE joint meeting a great success.

FORMEC 2019 presentations, proceedings and posters can be found at https://formec.org/proceedings. Please respect the authors rights and cite them properly according to the scientific standards.