The International Conference on Lightning Protection (ICLP) and the International Symposium on Lightning Protection (SIPDA) will be held from 20 to 26 September at the new library building of the Colombo University.
The twin events represent the largest scientific community in the field of lightning protection. The ICLP is a consistent biennial event organised to facilitate a conducive environment for scientists, engineers and manufacturers to share their research, findings, designs, demonstrate simulations and modelling, and display real products to debate and optimise lightning protection solutions and detection systems to provide practical and lasting solutions for the various stakeholders. Over the 70-year legacy of ICLP, barring two occasions where Japan and China received the honour of hosting the ICLP, all the other conferences were held in Europe.
The last ICLP (34th ICLP) was held in Poland in 2018, where Sri Lanka was elected as a host country to convene the 35th ICLP considering the substantial contributions made by the Sri Lankan scientists throughout the history of ICLP. It was the first time a South Asian country was given the honour to be the hosting nation of the conference. Sri Lanka also has another special reason to celebrate the 35th ICLP; Sri Lankan born world-renowned scientist Prof. Vernon Cooray is the current president of the ICLP scientific community. Prof. Cooray is a Swedish citizen and is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of lightning and engineering sciences.
The 35th ICLP-SIPDA event is expected to be another mammoth event with over 300 scientific personnel, including scientists, engineers, and giants in the field of lightning protection, participating from more than 30 countries to discuss over 15 different topics pertaining to the field of lightning and lightning protection.
Lightning is a continuous threat to both human beings and properties. This threat has now become increasingly deadly and unprecedented, as a result of some detrimental human activities as well as the advancement in electricals, electronics and information and communication technology (ICT). Studies show that environmental pollution and global warming have been a cause of an increase lightning. On the other hand, many studies have revealed that lightning induced detrimental events account for more than 32% of sensitive equipment damage reported annually. Sri Lanka is a tropical country which has a medium to high index of lightning throughout the year, including during monsoons. Even though there is no statistical data about lightning in Sri Lanka, it is estimated that about 50 deaths a year are due to lightning, along with unaccounted electronics damages worth close to several hundred thousand rupees.
The main goal of the ICLP is to share the knowledge gained by researchers and experts in the field of lightning protection and to ensure further safety and protection to human beings, animals, structures, and sensitive electronics to protect lives and properties. Further, precautions ensure continuous and smooth operations in essential businesses, and activities pertaining to the service sector and public services etc.
The 35th International Conference on Lightning Protection is organised by the Society for Lightning Protection and Research Development (SLPRD) Sri Lanka under the Atmospheric Research Group of Physics Department of the University of Colombo. SLPRD is blessed with a strong advisory committee, which is comprised of famous foreign and local leading scientists. Prof. Vernon Cooray from Sweden and Prof. I.M.K. Fernando from Sri Lanka play a vital role as advisors to the society. Sri Lanka will serve as the host country while the International Symposium on Lightning Protection (SIPDA) – Brazil will coordinate with SLPRD Sri Lanka to organise the event. The main sponsor for the event is the University of Colombo, while the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the technical sponsor. Dialog Axiata has joined hands with SLPRD to be the network partner for the event.