Automotive EMC 2006 Conference: Driving the New Directive

Delegate Questionnaire Response and Analysis

  

All questions were answered on the scale of 1 to 5 as given below;

 

1 – Very Poor (significantly poorer than expected)

2 – Poor (below expectation)

3 – Good (met expectation)

4 – Very Good (exceeded expectation)

5 – Excellent (significantly better than expected)

 

All results shown are the modal average.  Items shown in italics are quotes from the questionnaire responses.

  

Venue:      Location: 3        Facilities: 3    Refreshments/Lunch: 4

  

Whilst NEC is a good venue, it took significant time to get from car-park to the actual room (longer than expected).

It took longer than expect to reach the venue due to traffic issues.

Not very keen on the NEC

Great rail links

  

The accessibility to the NEC is excellent, road, rail and flight access is difficult to beat in the UK.  However, the site is extensive and the UK road network around Birmingham in general is congested.  As an organiser I was pleased with the assistance obtained from the NEC and my biggest gripe is their car-parking charges (on-top of all the exhibition and conference fees they receive they additionally charge £7 per vehicle to park).  Probably a worse venue for some car users, but we actually had only 2 late arrivals by the start of the conference so overall a good location.

  

Only problem was room a bit small.

Obviously restrictive, more space to spread-out at breaks (IEE Birmingham is good).

Meeting room much too small.

Room a little crowded

Bigger room is more convenient

  

There is no avoiding the fact that the room was too small.  This is a combination of the success of this years event (almost 50% higher attendance than the previous 2 conferences) and the other events occupying space in the conference suites.  It was also compounded by late bookings, 2 weeks before the event we could have fitted tables into the room.  I did ask about the possibility of an additional room for the refreshments about a month before as a safety net, but was told there was no other rooms available (I'm not convinced this is true as of the 12 rooms on the floor I did not see any signs above 4 of the near neighbours). I had stopped taking bookings on-line at 40 delegates, but additionally 2 had booked via post and one turned up on the day without pre-booking.  Despite the slight over-crowding the room was at least comfortable (not too warm) and everyone became good friends quickly!

  

Tables to make notes (and drink tea from) would have been nice

Add table

Gluten free was fantastic.

Buffet OK, missed a table for my plate.

  

I thought the refreshments and lunch were excellent and the NEC staff assisting were equally well prepared, accomodating (when we over ran our time slots for example) and did a great job on the day.  I was worried that at such a large venue we would get lost in the grand scheme of things, but the staff on the day made me feel very welcome and I think gave the conference a very good personal level of service.  It would have been nice to have tables as in previous years, even a separate room for the lunch (again as in previous years), but unfortunately circumstances over took the conference (see above) and we were very space constrained.

  

Conference Organisation:     Booking Information: 4        Delegate Pack: 4

 

Useful documentation

Need of clear telephone number to allow admin dept to get in contact for any reason

   

The biggest compliment to the quality of the information was the fact that only 2 people missed the start (one in traffic, the other due to 2 cancelled flights and a reschedule to Manchester airport).  Despite the NEC's size, number of concurrent activities in progress and expense of providing additional signage (the NEC charge for any additional signs in the building), everyone made it to the venue and to the conference room.

  

The telephone problem was due to my mobile dying on me the week before the conference while I was overseas, however, I answered e-mails daily, despite being out of the UK for the week before the conference on business.  I have to add that the admin department in question did get in touch by e-mail, both times quoting the incorrect fee and requesting information already contained in the booking form, then after I had corrected their fee they still paid incorrect amounts for 2 delegates and by differing values?  I don't think a telephone contact would have helped in this case but I apologise if anyone did experience problems due to the lack of telephone contact.

 

 

Papers and Presentations:

Content

Presentation

Best Vote

EMC Guidelines for Automotive Integrated Circuits,

Etienne Sicard

4

4

1st

High Field Immunity Challenges in Automotive Electrical Systems, John Rajeev Ojha

3

3

 

Consideration of Shielded Cables in EMC Simulations,

Matthias Tröscher

3

3

 

2004/104/EC - The Component Designers Viewpoint

Ian Noble

4

4

 

2004/104/EC - The Vehicle Makers Viewpoint

Ayhan Gunsaya

4

4

 

2004/104/EC - The VCA Viewpoint (Questions and Answer Session)

Gareth Jones

3

3

 

Load Dump Pulses According to Various Test Requirements: One Phenomenon – Two Methods of Generation – A Comparison

Markus Fuhrer

3

3

 

High Field Radar Frequency Pulse Test for Automotive Components

Martin Wiles

3

3

 

2004/104/EC Full Vehicle Brake Cycle Testing

Ray Burn

3

3

 

Designing ESAs to Meet PITO5

Tim Jarvis

4

4

2nd

A Generic Automotive EMC Test Standard

Martin O’Hara

4

4

3rd

 

Conference Overall Rating:    4

 

Hard to match last years.

  

While I appreciate the sentiment in this statement and it is certainly difficult to better the Messezentrum Nuremberg for facilities, I thought the delegate interaction at this years event was the best of all 4 of the Automotive EMC conference held so far.  Maybe it was because we were all so close together, but I felt almost every single attendee joined in at some stage.  There was a lot of active dialogue both between presenters and delegates and between delegates during the breaks.

  

Good spread of topics.

A good set of very interesting papers, well worth attending.

The majority of presentations were extremely good.

General content overall was good and varied; technical, standards and thoeretical, something for everyone.

A very good and useful opportunity to meet knowledgable people in the EMC business.

An interesting day, well worth the trip.

Exceeded my expectations, good overall content.

Interesting variety.

  

I felt so too, but then as one of the Programme Committee I am bound to say that.  I think the Programme Committee should be congratulated for selecting a good range of papers.  Of course ultimately the speakers and authors are what makes or breaks a conference such as ours, so the presenters above deserve the highest praise for generating such highly complimentary comments and such high scores individually. 

  

Provide some empty sheets to make notes.

Notepad would have been useful

  

I agree 100% with this and I have hoped that one of the delegate bag sponsors would have provided notepads, but it never happened.  I think I will investigate the possibility for next year of providing an AutoEMC.net notepad.  I did try and put 3 card flyers into each delegate bag for note taking but you may not have noticed these, even so, they are no substitute for a proper pad.

  

Preferred to have printed proceedings.

  

We have had this once before and do consider it each year.  In monochrome the proceedings in paper would have added £35 to the delegate fee and £50 in colour (including binding).  The AutoEMC.net also has an environmental policy that attempts to minimise paper useage and this is not in line with paper proceedings.  Plus I would have had to carry these to the venue!  I feel that the PDF single paper copies in the proceedings are the most useful items in the proceedings, allowing you to only print the papers you are interested in and to more easily share these with a colleague.  Similarly the digital format allows the opportunity to provide the presentations as well as the papers and additional material (the Automotive EMC directives for example), none of which would be economically feasible in a printed format.  The main downside is that you can not easily browse the contents and look for items of interest (although I did see one laptop user open and view the CD before the conference commenced).

  

Provide list of participants with contact information.

  

We do not provide our delegate lists to any party, either delegates, speakers, sponsors or other third parties.  Delegates pay to come to the conference and I do not feel they should be later bombarded with information they have not requested because the delegate list got into a salesmans' hands.  Also the sponsors of the delegate bag pay for the bag and for their information to be given directly to the delegates, if we provided lists of delegates there would be less incentive to sponsor the bag as this is the only way to get material to the delegates.  However, the main reason is simply to protect the privacy of our delegates.

  

Keep going next year.

  

I wish I could and I am personally very touched that someone took the time to write such a kind comment.  Unfortunately I am no longer able to give the conference organisation the time it requires having changed job last year, plus my new position is not in the automotive field.  I will continue to maintain the website and give whoever does take over the conference organisation as much support as I can (this includes some technical support on proceedings compilation and programme committee co-ordination if required).  I feel sure the conference will survive without my personal input and will do my best to ensure future conferences under the Automotive EMC Network banner are as successful as the 4 I have so far organised and chaired.  I will miss the event, mainly for the people who attend, some of whom I now consider as friends.  I hope whoever takes over gains as much from the conference as I have over the past 4 years and I would like to especially thank all those speakers who have provided their time and work that have made the conference a success since its' inception on 2003.

  

Would you be interested in attending Automotive EMC 2007  [  YES=29  /  NO=4 (all no response)  ]

  

It is a tribute to the overall standard of past years is that we have a repeat visit rate in excess of 33% from one year to the next and at this years event just over 50% of the attendees have been to at least one previous Automotive EMC conference.  Even so having 88% of respondents suggest they would come to next years event is a triumph for this years content and presenters and suggests the conference will be able to sustain itself in the future.  This is the best compliment the conference can have. 

 

Martin O'Hara

May 2006


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