Dear Honorable Members of the EASTS,
I am greatly honored to be elected as the new President of the EASTS in the 13th Conference in Sri Lanka. I would like to thank the members of the Society, especially Board members, for the trust which has been given to me. Also, I would like to express sincere gratitude to President Yai, Secretary General Okamoto and the secretary team who have made great contribution for the Society in the last four years.
Founded with an objective of fostering excellence and stimulating professional exchange in transport research and practice, the EASTS has experienced remarkable growth since its foundation in 1994. For the last 25 years, the number of Domestic Societies have increased from 13 to 19, memberships from 950 to over 1,500, and conference papers from 89 to around 500. The Society has established itself as a leading and unique academic society of transport in Asia.
However, the EASTS still faces significant challenges. The activities of domestic societies are limited and the impact factor of journals remains low. The financial situation that support the activities of the Society appears to be not sustainable. The level of pride and cooperation in the Society is not satisfactory.
The Society will have new opportunities, with rapid economic growth and high needs for transport development in Asia. New and advanced mobility services and technologies are also emerging. In light of these opportunities, the EASTS should pursue the Vision of a World-Renowned Society of Transport Research and Practice. The Society should aim for excellence in transport research, contribute to transport development in Asia, and ultimately lead peace and prosperity through seamless transport connectivity. In order to achieve the goal, Domestic Societies should be activated, the journals should be upgraded interactions of universities, research institutes, governments, and industry should be encouraged, and financial structure of the Society should be strengthened.
More specifically, five key tasks will be implemented which are believed to be essential for the betterment of the Society: (1) Activities of Domestic Societies will be encouraged with a special focus on encouraging participations of young researchers. (2) Efforts will be made to enhance the quality of journals with a goal of higher impact factor. (3) Conference paper-review system will be upgraded together with recruiting of devoted ISC members. (4) Mid-year conferences will be organized to encourage activities of young researchers. (5) Financial structure and its sustainability will be strengthened by investigating various measures such as membership and conference fees. A detailed implementation plan on those key tasks will be prepared until the next Board Meeting to be held tentatively in June, 2020.
As the President of the Society, I am always ready to communicate with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or innovative ideas. Thank you for your continuous support for the Society.
Dr. Jaehak OH
President of the EASTS
President of Korea Transport Institute