Professor Ilie Murgulescu
- The Founder of the Modern Romanian School of Physical Chemistry -
Institute and Conference of Physical Chemistry - Historical Landmarks
1963: Institute of Physical Chemistry was founded by Academician Ilie Murgulescu
1968: Conference of Physical Chemistry was initiated by Academician Ilie Murgulescu. This event reached its 5-th edition in 1976 and, for mainly political reasons due to the Professor Murgulescu's firm position against dictatorship, was afterwards plunged into a long recess until 1992, when the 6-th edition took place, followed by the 7-th (1994) and the 8-th (1996). Starting from 1998 the conference left Bucharest and experienced a long and fruitful journey across Romania (Galati - 1998, Iasi - 2000, Timisoara - 2003)
1977: For mostly political reasons the Institute of Physical Chemistry was forced into a sinuous administrative trajectory, eventually resulting in the loss of its dedicated building and legal personality.
1991: Professor Ilie Murgulescu survived those troubled times and had a decisive contribution to the return of the Institute of Physical Chemistry back to the Romanian Academy. After his passing away in 1991, he made the last and unanimously expected gift to the Institute of Physical Chemistry: his name.
2006: The first registered international conference, ROMPHYSCHEM-12 (a term introduced by our colleagues from Timisoara with ROMPHYSCHEM-11 in 2003) took place at Bucharest University, September 6-8. At almost the same time, the former building of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, 31 Vasile Lascar Str., (specifically designed and built due to Professor Murgulescu's efforts in the late sixties, abusively taken away in 1977 and never taken back into possession after 1990 in spite of sustained administrative requests) was completely demolished by its present owner. In such circumstances, the Conference was a clear sign that the spirit and ideas that resulted in its foundation survived in spite of any destructive forces. The issued "passphrase", within these circumstances was:
REBORN OUT OF WRECKAGE
2008: ROMPHYSCHEM-13 was organized at Bucharest University, September 3-5. With the above passphrase and under the slogan CONCURRO ERGO SUM the Institute of Physical Chemistry competed, for the first time in its history, to structural funding (European Regional Development Fund - ERDF) and did that with good and expected results. Confronted with serious competition, our project INFRANANOCHEM (Sectoral Operational Programme - Increase in Economic Competitiveness, O2.2.1 - Research, technological development and innovation for competitiveness) was ranked the first among its thematic area and approved for financing. For many academic researchers, this meant the descent from the scientist's "ivory tower" into the "arena" of European and international competition. It was the only way to survive, as active citizens, under ?the wind of global change?.
2010: ROMPHYSCHEM-14 is taking place at the Romanian Academy, June 2-4. For the first time, there is a special session dedicated to ongoing European Projects presentations.
The atmosphere is troubled in both proper and figurative sense:
_Ash clouds blasted out from Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano caused travel chaos to most important of European airports
_Bad weather with thunderstorms and heavy rains affected most of the Central and Eastern Europe with flooding and infrastructure damage
_Hard decisions imposed by the economic crisis resulting in people layed-off, lower salaries and pensions, increasing (and mostly justified) protest movements.
_Some intricate and dubious "juridical and transactional engineering" threaten the present location of the Institute of Physical Chemistry. Common spaces and even the Director's and Secretary's offices and some laboratories that belong to the Institute since 1977, the year when we were abusively moved to this building, are subject to unlawful claims. There is an ongoing Court battle
However, the 14th edition of the International Conference of Physical Chemistry is taking place in Bucharest. With a redesigned scientific and organizing structure, the present conference takes advantage of the generous hosting provided by the Romanian Academy.
This may be regarded as the expression of the most important qualities of the ex-communist scientific researcher, the ones that allowed his survival over even harder times: stubbornness and persistence.
"Like a bridge over troubled waters", the 2010 edition of ROMPHYSCHEM is looking forward to the future with tempered and steady optimism. This famous song, composed by Paul Simon in 1969 and released on vinyl in 1970, seems to be the most appropriate anthem of the present edition of the International Conference of Physical Chemistry:
When you're weary
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all
I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind