An introduction to ERAD 2012

Snowflakes are en vogue this year. This is the fifth presentation about the microphysics of snow in a row and I’m beginning to lose enthusiasm. Outside it’s 35 degrees Celsius.

This is the 7th European Conference on Radar in Meteorology and Hydrology in Toulouse, France. Timo and I are here to listen, learn and chat up people. On Thursday I’ll give a little presentation myself, but before that nobody will recognize us. There are people here who operate radars on the Maldives and brought back holiday pictures case studies. There are radar operators. Manufacturers. Waterworks managers. Respectable professors who will give you a short lecture during the coffee break if you ask nicely. Mad scientists. Students. Ordinary scientists who present their work. We say hi.

I have spent the first day here without Timo and I felt overwhelmed. Now we’re getting the hang of it. Old fashioned introductions work wonders, and our fellows from the Finnish Metrological Institute and the University of Helsinki know everybody. For the Nth time today they have to figure out whom we should talk to, this time it’s the Swedish.

We manage to identify the signal processing devotees, and we dive into the details. There are not many of us, it’s a specialization in an already special society.

“Do you have a paper” they will ask. No, not really. I’m a programmer, not a scientist whose university is counting the citations. But in this community that excuse doesn’t count. We’ll have to publish to get our message across, even as a private company. Something we will plan when we’re back home. There’s people looking forward to learning more about our inventions now.

Jörn Sierwald 
Chief Software Architect
Eigenor Corporation