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POAC has had a long and proud tradition as the premier international conference on ice engineering issues. It started with rather humble beginnings in Trondheim, Norway, where Prof. Per Bruun, who was internationally known as a coastal engineer, organized the first conference in 1971. He had invited a number of his colleagues, who were themselves mostly coastal engineers, to participate in the conference. There was very good attendance, with almost 100 papers presented. Prof. Bruun knew then that there was a real need for a specialty conference related to ice engineering issues. The name of the conference, “Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions,” very clearly described the purpose and its focus. The success of the first conference encouraged the organizing committee to meet again two years later, this time in Iceland. The POAC conference has continued ever since with a very loyal following.

At about the same time, Prof. Bernard Michel, from Laval University in Canada, chaired a Technical Committee on Ice Problems for the International Association for Hydraulic Research (IAHR). This committee organized an international conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1970. The IAHR Symposium on Ice was born. Over the years, this has developed into a “sister” conference to POAC. In general, it is more focused on scientific aspects and deals with river ice issues. It continues to flourish today and is held on alternate years to the POAC Conference.

The following table provides a summary of past POAC conferences.

Conf. Year City (Country) Symposium Chair POAC President No. of
1 1971 Trondheim (Norway) P. Bruun - 98
2 1973 Reykjavik (Iceland) T. Karlsson - 71
3 1975 Fairbanks (USA) D. Hood & D. Burrell - 135
4 1977 St. John's (Canada) G.R. Peters - 84
5 1979 Trondheim (Norway) P. Bruun - 106
6 1981 Quebec City (Canada) B. Michel - 120
7 1983 Helsinki (Finland) P. Jumppanen P. Jumppanen 162
8 1985 Narssarssuaq (Greenland) P. Tryde W. Sackinger 109
9 1987 Fairbanks (USA) W. Sackinger P. Tryde 122
10 1989 Luleå (Sweden) K. Axelsson A. Engelbrektsson 135
11 1991 St. John's (Canada) D. Muggeridge G. R. Peters 66
12 1993 Hamburg (Germany) J. Schwarz J. Schwarz 100
13 1995 Murmansk (Russia) V. Michailichenko V. Michailichenko 93
14 1997 Yokohama (Japan) H. Kitagawa H. Kitagawa 60
15 1999 Helsinki (Finland) K. Riska K. Riska 94
16 2001 Ottawa (Canada) G. Timco G. Timco 145
17 2003 Trondheim (Norway) S. Løset S. Løset 79
18 2005 Potsdam (USA) J. Dempsey J. Dempsey 113
19 2007 Dalian (China) Q. Yue Q. Yue 82
20 2009 Luleå (Sweden) L. Fransson L. Fransson 120
21 2011 Montréal (Canada) I. Kubat I. Kubat 151
22 2013 Espoo (Finland) J. Tuhkuri J. Tuhkuri 152
22 2015 Trondheim (Norway) S. Løset S. Løset 136