The 8th conference on Coastal Engineering and Port Development in Developing Countries was held in Chennai, India, from 19 -24 February 2012. With more than 250 participants and about the same number of presented papers the conference was a big success.
The presence of UNESCO-IHE was very eminent throughout the five days, especially by the active participation of 3 staff members and more than 20 alumni (all presenting very good papers). The last day the winners of the Best Paper Awards were announced and two UNESCO-IHE alumni have been awarded. The IADC-Award for the Best Young Author went to Mr Darshana Dassanayake, alumnus from Sri Lanka, who got his MSc degree in 2007. The title of his paper is “Important engineering properties of geotextile sand containers (GSC) and their effect on the hydraulic stability of GSC-structures” and the local Organising Committee selected for their Best Paper Award the paper of Mr. Semeidi Husrin, alumnus from Indonesia MSc graduated in 2007, the title of his paper was “Global and local processes of tsunami attenuation by coastal vegetations”. During the event an informal gathering for UNESCO-IHE alumni took place, which was attended by almost all alumni present at the conference and very much appreciated by them. It fits very well in our attempts to improve the communication with alumni, especially about professional matters and how we can assist in further career development, for instance by short courses.