International Symposium on Geofluids

International Symposium on Geofluids HU
The H2020 ENeRAG project hosted its most significant scientific event, the International Symposium on Geofluids in the first week of July.

The H2020 ENeRAG project was created in 2018 by a consortium led by ELTE. ENeRAG (Excellency Network Building for Comprehensive Research and Assessment of Geofluids) is an innovative project based on the concept of coordinated, systems-based assessment and research of geofluids, groundwater, thermal water, geothermal energy, hydrocarbons, hydrothermal mineral resources, and promoting the utilization and sustainable use of these resources. The project reached its half-way point in 2020 and successfully reported on its work in Brussels. Since its inception, the consortium has organized several courses, conference sessions, study visits, international student competitions and published papers. The international conference, held from 7 to 9 July 2021, was the project's highlight: the online platform brought together professionals from different fields of earth and environmental sciences, as well as engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists interested in the subject.

The symposium was organized by ENeRAG, Eötvös Loránd University and József and Erzsébet Tóth Endowed Hydrogeology Chair Foundation. The scientific objectives of the event were

supported by internationally renowned speakers,

the Regional Groundwater Flow Commission (RGFC), the Managed Aquifer Recharge Commission (MAR), the Hungarian National Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and the Water MDPI Journal as a media partner. The main sponsor of the event was the MOL Group, but several small companies were connected to the event as well.

Enikő Magyari, Vice-Rector for Research at ELTE gave the opening speech of the programme. The Vice-Rector emphasized that networking, a key element of ENeRAG, is closely in line with institutional objectives as well. Imre Kacskovics, Dean of the Faculty of Science of ELTE, emphasized the role of the symposium in the versatility of the regional water flow theory internationally promoted by the József and Erzsébet Tóth Endowed Hydrogeology Chair Foundation.

Teodóra Szőcs, Head of the Hydrogeological Department at the Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary, Vice-President of Finance and Membership of the IAH, emphasized the importance of the geofluids systems in sustainable water management and adaptation to climate change as one of the most pressing problems nowadays. Marco Masetti, representing the University of Milan (UMIL), the partner institution of the ENeRAG project, drew attention to the urgency of the water crisis, the indispensability of fresh water and its key role in the European Green Deal. Ferenc Molnár, on behalf of the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), said that within the GTK, the ENeRAG project serves as a model for similar twinning projects.

Judit Mádl-Szőnyi, symposium chair, scientific coordinator of the ENeRAG project, presented the scientific background and aims of the event. The symposium featured 40 live lectures and 28 poster presentations on 5 topics. The audience came from 26 different countries who actively participated in the follow-up discussion.

The standard of the event was elevated by the presentation of 5 internationally renowned keynote speakers (Inga Berre from Norway, Xiao-Wei Jiang from China, Niels Hartog from the Netherlands, Vincent Post from the Netherlands, Daniele Pedretti from Italy) who shared their forward-looking and high-quality research findings with the participants. An interactive workshop was organized within the framework of the event, where Judit Mádl- Szőnyi, Brigitta Czauner and Ádám Tóth, members of the hydrogeological research group of ELTE, demonstrated the dynamic systems approach (an ENeRAG concept), involving the audience with thought-provoking questions.

The symposium also included social events, where participants were able to get an insight into the mysteries of Hungarian cuisine with a cooking competition held within the framework of the virtual gala dinner, and they were able to visit the streets of Budapest and get acquainted with the diverse architecture of the Hungarian capital during a virtual sightseeing tour. At the end of the programme, they announced the best oral and poster presentation, and the best chef was awarded.

The symposium was closed by Judit Déri-Takács (event hostess), Ildikó Erhardt (organizing chair) and Judit Mádl-Szőnyi (symposium chair), who thanked all participants, committee members and organizers for their participation and excellent work. Judit Mádl-Szőnyi shared the following thoughts: “The topic of geofluids connects all of us arriving from different backgrounds, professions and various stages in our career. We could learn that the understanding of flow systems and the dynamic system approach can be the key to formulating new scientific questions, and to finding solutions to theoretical and practical environmental issues.”

Diamond Congress Ltd. contributed to the successful technical organization of the symposium.