CompEng student Otniel Gavrilas represents RUB at ICAMES, Istanbul

For the 20th time the 'International Cultural and Academic Meeting of Engineering Students' (ICAMES) took place in the summer of 2014 at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Almost 100 participants from over 15 countries attended the meeting, which was organized by the Engineering Society ENSO, and spent an unforgettable week at Istanbul. Read on for a lively report by Romanian CompEng student Otniel Gavrilas, who took part in the event on his own initiative.

"This year's edition of the ICAMES conference in Istanbul was even more inspiring and challenging than the first one I've attended, with extremely innovative projects and well prepared teams from all over the world, whom I admired and befriended almost instantly. This time there were twenty-one teams and each of them held a presentation regarding their chosen project, the winning team having been decided after all the presentations were finished.  


The goal of ICAMES is to bring young engineers together, encourage them to think outside the box and design all sorts of engineering projects in their finite, applicable form. My team and I, represented the Romanian "Technical University Gheorghe Asachi" of Iasi and the German "Ruhr Universität Bochum" and addressed the issue of global warming. We thought of a way to take this climate hazard and turn it around to the benefit of man: thus our project, "A Sustainable Solar-Passive Residential House" described the conception and design of a two-storey residential house from Gaziantep, Turkey, which uses solar power instead of electricity and home gas heating, minimizing carbon emission. Since nowadays, the Earth's ecosystems are at a critical stage, it is important to design buildings that are sustainable, i.e. able to maintain the life at a specific level quality for quite a period of time.


Working on this project we had to face two challenges: the first one was the finding of a proper compact shape of the house following the sun-paths for a combination of active and passive solar energy to supply the heating-cooling demands. The second challenge was the designing of a structural system to support all loading that act on house placed in a Mediterranean climate with a high seismic risk. Nonetheless we were very proud of our result, and the ICAMES mentors and competing teams were impressed as well. If applied, the results of our project guarantee the reduction of the greenhouse effect and gas emissions in a household, and enable the dwelling family to enjoy the freedom of generating their own electricity, and the financial bliss of a much smaller utility bill.


Our one week program was dense and structured, yet included some hours of free time every day. We had the chance to visit iconic tourist attractions  (The Rumelihisarı Museum, Miniatürk Park, Turkish Baths, The Sultan Ahmet Mosque) and learn about Turkish history and traditions, experiencing them first hand. Our hosts also organized some great activities for us like a boat tour on the Bosphorus strait, the gala ceremony, a bowling night, BBQ and pool night, a cultural night, and even a closing ceremony concert.


Thanks to the ICAMES editions I, as a student and future engineer, am becoming a more informed, more prepared and more vision-oriented individual, looking forward to expanding and applying the information as I gather it, in a way that is relevant to the age we all are living in. The seven days spent there flew us by in no time but the happy memories, the fresh dose of motivation and the great friends remain even to this day. 


More info about the event can be found here:


Otniel Gavrilas