Operational Principles

International Congress on the Chemistry of Cement
Its future organisation and structure

Operational Principles

1    Preamble
The International Congress on the Chemistry of Cement (ICCC) is the renowned global platform which summarizes the state of art of cement chemistry as well as major trends in cement application. For over half a century it has provided a strong and fruitful link between the academic world and the cement industry. It has always stimulated scientific exchanges and discussions between students and those who have already gained working experience in all of the many fields of chemistry relevant to cement production and its use in concrete and mortar.

So far the ICCC has been a chain of events held in different countries since its inception, without any permanent Secretariat/Steering Committee. The present initiative is to create a permanent organization in order to ensure its continuity and maintain its high scientific level and its technological focus. This initiative is not intended to change the tradition of holding the 4-yearly Conference in different volunteering host countries by rotation.

The Operational Principles will also provide openness, transparency, good governance as well as efficient functioning of the ICCC not only during the actual congresses but also in the times in between them.

These Operational Principles are as transparent and globally inclusive as possible, so as to ensure good and fair representation.

2    Steering Committee
Although the Steering Committee is not a legal entity, it represents the highest level of supervision of the ICCC organization, and ensures compliance with its internal rules i.e. these Operational Principles. The Steering Committee “owns” the label ICCC and the archives (i.e. past and future proceedings of the ICCC).

2.1  Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the Steering Committee are as follows, based on clear and transparent procedures which will be given elsewhere:

  • the Steering Committee decides on the locations of future congresses
  • the Steering Committee decides on the composition of the Scientific Committee
  • the Steering Committee suggests amendments to the Operational Principles
  • the Steering Committee is responsible for maintaining the ICCC Guidance Books (see below)

2.2  Meetings
The Steering Committee meets two times between Congresses by virtual means, and once (physically) during each Congress, however additional meetings could be organized if requested by a majority of SC members. The Steering Committee will be convened by its Chair who will also approve the minutes of the meeting which will then be made available to the ICCC community.

2.3  Members and Chair
The Chair of the Steering Committee will be elected by the members of the Steering Committee (by a simple majority of votes) on the occasion of its physical meeting during a Congress. Thus, the normal term of the Chairmanship is the period between congresses. The nomination of the Chair can be made by any of the Steering Committee members in writing to the Steering Committee two month before an election. Reelection is possible, and an extraordinary election (by virtual means) is also possible between congresses in the event that the Chairperson is unable to continue for whatever reason and must be replaced.

The Chair of the Steering Committee is supported by a deputy chairperson. In order to provide good continuity the deputy chairperson should be a representative from the next ICCC host country to be nominated by that host country and elected by the members of the Steering Committee.

Members of the Steering Committee must be nominated by institutions that work in the area of cement chemistry and its applications, such as universities, industrial companies or research institutes.

The composition of the Steering Committee must reflect the global character of the ICCC by having a broad geographical coverage. In addition, the scientific quality and industrial relevance of the congresses must be ensured by an adequate representation of renowned academic institutions and globally active industrial members. Based on this, the Steering Committee decides on the nominations, which must be made at least 6 weeks before a Steering Committee meeting. A nomination can only be denied if it is not in line with the spirit of these Operational Principles, and the reason for any denial of nomination must be given in writing to the nominating institution.

The Steering Committee can also invite institutions to nominate members in order to keep a balanced regional, academic and industrial composition. If the number of nominations exceeds the maximum number of representatives per country, the Steering Committee will vote accordingly (by simple majority of votes).

To ensure the seriousness of a nomination the nominee must be present at the physical meeting of the Steering Committee and has otherwise to withdraw from the Steering Committee.

In ensure good operation the Steering Committee is comprised by not more than two representatives per country except for the host country of the coming ICCC. This host country can nominate one additional representative who will automatically have to withdraw from the Steering Committee after the ICCC has taken place. The Steering Committee might change the maximum number of representatives by amending these Operational Principles if at a given time it is felt that the Steering Committee is too big to operate efficiently.

2.4  Amendments to the Operational Principles
The Steering Committee can amend the Operational Principles only by a 2/3 majority of its members.

2.5  Guidance Book
The essentials on how to organize the Congresses, including work flows, time lines, experiences, recommendations, lessons learned, check lists, etc, will be collected in the Guidance Book, which will be updated regularly by the Steering Committee. The first version of the Guidance Book will be written by members of the Steering Committee with the potential help of a competent task force and under the leadership of the most recent ICCC organizer.

2.6  Decision upon next Congress
At its physical meeting during each Congress, the Steering Committee must decide on the location of the next ICCC. The decision will be based on an application that must be filed not later than 4 months ahead of the ICCC. The application will be send 3 month ahead of time to the members of the Steering Committee. The decision of the Steering Committee must be based on the following criteria:

  • the organizers must represent a scientifically renowned organization in the host country
  • the organizers must have a good track record of participation at previous congresses
  • the location must be chosen so as to ensure:

    • ease of international access
    • a good level of student participation (acceptable overall travel and lodging costs)
    • a venue with sufficient room for all sessions
    • a good long term regional balance between host countries
    • that the host organization has the economic capability to organize the congress.

These criteria will be summarized in a check list to be developed by the Steering Committee and must be finalized (and updated if necessary) at least one year ahead of a Congress.

2.7  Code of Conduct
In addition to the rules given in these Operational Principals the Steering Committee will work out a code of conduct which will give the framework for how the Steering Committee should work.

The members of the Steering Committee work on a voluntary basis, i.e. they are not paid by the ICCC.

3    Scientific Committee

For each ICCC the Steering Committee nominates a Scientific Committee which is responsible - together with the host country - for ensuring the scientific quality of the coming ICCC. The membership of the Scientific Committee must be based on:

  • broad industrial and academic coverage
  • members with proven scientific records
  • adequate representation of the host country
  • adequate regional coverage, (no more than two representatives of any one country, except for the host country, which will have the right the provide the Chair as an additional member of the Scientific Committee).

The Scientific Committee decides on the papers which will be accepted (presentation or poster) based on a confidential review process. Since a good industrial and academic coverage as well as good regional coverage should be reflected in the presentations given, the Scientific Committee has to take into account various aspects that could make it difficult to restrict the number of presentation in the different theme sessions. However, the Scientific Committee is expected to work on transparent criteria which must be made public (e.g. as a checklist) with the call for papers.

The Scientific Committee has the right to nominate keynote speakers for the theme sessions, and members of the Scientific Committee are expected to volunteer as chairs for the theme sessions.

All procedures taken by the Scientific Committee must be made transparent before they are implemented, including the criteria for the selection of papers, presentations and posters.

The members of the Scientific Committee work on a voluntary basis i.e. they are not paid by the ICCC.

In addition to, and consistent with, the rules given in these Operational Principals, the Scientific Committee will work out its own code of conduct to give a more detailed framework for how the Scientific Committee should work.

4    Organisation of congresses
The host organization is responsible for the overall success of the ICCC in its country, including all financial aspects and the local organization of the congress. The host organization will nominate the chairman of the Scientific Committee, who must be a person with demonstrated scientific credentials. The host organisation must provide an adequate website with up-to-date information about the status of applications and participation procedures. The website should be operational by the time of the first call for papers. By the date that abstracts are due, the website should include information about the program, venue, and accommodations.

The host organization will be responsible for publishing the proceedings of the ICCC in its own country, ensuring the continuity of the ICCC’s documentation. It is desirable to have a physical publication, but this can be subject to a respective decision of the Steering Committee. The host must also provide a copy (in digital format) of the proceeding to the Steering Committee and must grant the right to the Steering Committee to make these proceedings available to the ICCC community as part the ICCC archive. (The latter requires the written consent of the authors, which the host organization is responsible for obtaining prior to acceptance of the papers.)

5    Secretariat and Archives
Experience with prior ICCCs has shown that a permanent Secretariat would be helpful in ensuring continuity between congresses. As a consequence, the Steering Committee can choose to be located within a host organization that can provide secretarial and technical help. The Secretariat should be an independent and recognized organization in the field of cement and concrete which has proven its ability to meet scientific and industrial requirements. Such organization can apply to the Steering Committee to be assigned the Secretariat; the Steering Committee can also invite organizations to volunteer to host the Secretariat. In any case, the assignment of the Secretariat requires the approval by the Steering Committee (majority vote). The Steering Committee can propose any time to change the hosting organization of Secretariat for whatever reason it must be replaced.

The Secretariat nominates the Secretary who is automatically an additional member of the Steering Committee without the right to vote.

The permanent secretariat must operate efficiently on a small budget, and all incurred costs must be budgeted and reimbursed through sponsors from national, industrial or scientific organizations. An important task of the secretariat is to maintain a permanent website for the ICCC that provides, between the individual Congresses, the source of all relevant information about the ICCC and how it works. The website should also allow access to the archive of all past ICCC proceedings. Finally, the Secretariat also coordinates the meetings of the Steering Committee.