My first conference with physical attendance after some time

From 29. to 30. September 2021, I had the opportunity to attend the Kleinheubacher Conference in Miltenberg, southern Germany. This city is in the state of Bavaria and is part of the cultural region of Franconia. 

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This yearly event is a unique bilingual forum organized by the German committee of the International Union of Radio Science – URSI, an organization that support studies in the fields of radio science, telecommunications, and electronic sciences in an international context. The meeting in 2021 was chaired by the Technical University of Chemnitz.

Since the beginning of my PhD journey, I was only able to attend online conferences due to the pandemic. As the sanitary situation was favourable compared to the beginning of the year (and also better than the moment I write this text), this event could happen physically. Nevertheless, some guidelines had to be followed regarding the COVID-19, such as mask enforcement, social distancing, tracking and proof of vaccination / negative testing was required for all participants. Also, the traditional boat tour on the Main River – the same river that crosses the city of Frankfurt – had to be replaced with smaller tours across the city due to such constraints.

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Furthermore, the main purpose of my participation was to present my work, a preliminary study entitled ‘Analytical probe compensation under transient signals using a transfer function approach’ and given as a poster presentation for the community on the first day of the event. It was part of the session on electromagnetic metrology and, in summary, a mathematical technique using a transfer function compensation was presented, which can achieve improved measurement precision and assist in the design of power-converter devices and their integration on power grids to achieve optimal performance on related electromagnetic measurements. During the poster exhibition, it was possible to interact with participants individually and to receive good feedback for forthcoming investigations.

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Besides the conference technical program, the offered “Squirrel vouchers” (a small squirrel-shape carved in wood that allowed the participants to get discounts in the cafeteria nearby) were an invitation to visit the local coffee shops during break time and to explore this city with narrow streets.

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In conclusion, the URSI Kleinheubach Conference is a small event in size but big in technical expertise and networking. Research institutions such as the PTB (National Metrology Institute of Germany), DLR (German Aerospace Center), Fraunhofer Institutes and several German universities have a strong presence, but also a few participants from outside Germany can be found there. Some fellows attend the meeting since the late 1960s, and even so, the forum had considerable involvement from young researchers this year. Authors can have an opportunity to submit an extended abstract for publication on IEEE and a contribution to a special edition of the open-access journal Advances on Radio Science and publish it after peer-review.


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