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VKI 60th Anniversary

The celebration of the VKI 60th Anniversary on October 14-15 2016 will remain for a long time in the memories of the 200 VKI graduates who followed the invitation to take part in the various events: the visit of the laboratories, the General Assembly of the Alumni Association, the Academic Session and the Alumni Dinner on Friday October 14 and last but not least the Beer and Cheese party on Saturday evening, October 15.

While the VKI graduates toured through the labs on Friday morning, the board members of the Alumni Association met to discuss as usual the growth of the membership, actions in favor of the Alumni and issues related to the VKI-AA Newsletter.

The sandwich lunch was the first occasion to meet old friends and exchange views about careers, families and souvenirs from the times at VKI.

150 Alumni joined then in the canteen for the Alumni General Assembly which was the occasion for Fernando Lopez Peña, Professor at the University of Coruña, to give a short overview of the young history of the Alumni Association, which has grown since its foundation in 2009 to nearly 440 members, and inform the members about the main actions of the Association, the Newsletters, the Research Travel Grants for the PHD students and other awards, and in particular the recently launched Alumni Help Network. 

Following a short break, the Academic Session, attended by 250 participants including 70-80 invited guests, was chaired by Prof. J.J. Dordain, Chairman of the VKI Board of Directors. The session started with an overview of the VKI research from 2006-2016 by Jean Muylaert, Director of the Institute. The subjects of the following presentations and their speakers had been selected so as to cover five different domains of particular importance for the research at VKI: CFD and High Performance Computing, ESA Activities in Space Transportation, 4th Generation Nuclear Reactors, European Clean Sky Projects and Impact of CFD on the Development of Industrial Nanomaterials.

After 2 ½ hours of highly interesting excursions into complicated fluid dynamics problems everybody was looking forward to more simple fluid dynamic experiments and accepted readily the invitation of the Chairman to descend to the clubhouse in the sport center  for a refreshing cocktail before the departure for the Alumni dinner.

The Alumni Dinner organized in a 17th to 19th century castle situated in a big park in the nearby small village of Dworp was absolutely great. The mood was high as were the decibels. Between the courses of the menu there was ample time to walk from table to table chatting with old friends and making new ones. It was nearly mid-night when it was time to leave.

Saturday was the Open Door Day for the general public. Faculty members and researchers were extremely busy guiding the more than 500 visitors through the labs.

The grand finale was finally the evening Beer and Cheese Party organized by the “Comité de Personnel” for the VKI personnel and the Alumni in the sports center. With 250 participants the place was overcrowded but with a bit of patience everybody got as much cheese and beer (and wine) as they wished, many opting for the “von Karman Spirit”, a beer specially brewed by a VKI research engineer.


Alumni assembled on the lawn of VKI in front of the “Scotch Gambit” of the Belgian artist Panamarenko at the occasion the 50th anniversary in October 2008.

Alumni present in October 2006 at VKI

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