Profiles of speakers at the Opening Session


Horst Böttger, EMS President
Chair and Speaker Opening Session

Horst Böttger retired from ECMWF in 2008. He has a Diploma degree in Meteorology and a Doctorate in natural sciences from Free University (FU) in Berlin. He worked as research scientist at the FU from 1972-1979 and took up a position at ECMWF in 1979, first as senior scientist and Head of Met Operations Section, and since 1987 as Head of the Meteorological Division. His background is primarily in operational meteorology, synoptic meteorology and forecasting.

From 2008 to 2014 Horst Böttger chaired the EMS Committee on Meetings that is tasked to propose to Council the programme of future conferences and also take a strategic view the further development of the EMS Annual Meetings.

Horst Böttger is a member of the German Meteorological Society (DMG).


Hristomir Branzov, Director Bulgarian Met Service
Welcome Address

Hristomir Branzov is Director of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (NIMH - BAS) since 2014. He is professor in meteorology at NIMH-BAS, MSc from Sofia University and PhD from the Russian Hydrometeorological Institute in St Petersburg. His research field is experimental and theoretical physics of the atmosphere, cloud and hail formation and modification processes, design of early warning systems for air quality episodes, meteorological sensors and equipment. He has lead for many years the department of Atmospheric Physics at NIMH and has developed close collaboration of NIMH with a number of industrial and local authorities partners for the accomplishment of different applied tasks. He is member of CIMO and presently the National Representative of Bulgaria in WMO.


Ekaterina Batchvarova, Scientific Secretary BAS
Welcome Address

Ekaterina Batchvarova is the Scientific Secretary of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for research in the areas of "Climate change, risks and natural resources" and "Astronomy, Space research and technology" since 2013. She is a professor in meteorology at NIMH-BAS, Doctor of Sciences and PhD in the field of Atmospheric physics. She has worked in a number of international and national projects on the theoretical, experimental and applied studies of the atmospheric boundary layer. She was amongst the founders of the Bulgarian Meteorological Society (section "Meteorologists" of the Union of Physicists in Bulgaria) in 2010 and has since been the President of the Society. She has devoted a good part of her time participating in international scientific committees and organising meetings in Bulgaria for the benefit of the Bulgarian meteorological collegium.


Stefan Vodenicharov, BAS President
Welcome Address

Stefan Vodenicharov is member and President of BAS since 2012. He has been Director of the Institute of Metal Science, Equipment and Technologies "Acad. Angel Balevski" with a Centre for Hydro and Aerodynamics (IMSETHC) – at BAS. His background is Mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Sofia and scientific degrees from BAS, becoming professor in 1991 and corresponding member in 2004. His scientific interests are in Mechanics of rigid body destruction; Material Science and Technology of Engineering Materials; Methods for monitoring and testing of materials, products and equipment. He did advise successfully 13 PhD students, has 70 patents and author certificates and numerous publications in international journals. The goals of his presidency of BAS are to develop further and to establish firmly and sustainably the role of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences as research, innovation, expert and cultural center of the Republic of Bulgaria.


Ivelina Vasileva, Minister of the Environment, Bulgaria
Welcome Address

Profile of Ivelina Vasileva


Lilyana Pavlova, Minister of Regional development and public works, Bulgaria
Welcome Address

Profile of Lilyana Pavlova


Will Lang, ECAM
Welcome Address

Will Lang is a Chief Operational Meteorologist at the UK Met Office. After undergraduate and Master's degrees in mathematics from Cambridge University, and a PhD in astrophysics from Bristol University, he joined the Met Office in 1998 as a trainee forecaster. His early forecasting career saw him based in regional weather centres, also undertaking short term secondments in more diverse environments, including eight months in Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey. He moved to Met Office HQ in Exeter soon after it was opened in 2004, specialising in aviation forecasting before taking on a dual forecasting and business liaison role to develop the Met Office's forecasting strategy in response to changing customer needs. In 2010 he became Chief Hydrometeorologist in the Flood Forecasting Centre, leading its operational team through the severe UK floods of 2012 before moving back to mainstream forecasting as a Chief Meteorologist in 2013.

Dr Lang is a Fellow and Chartered Meteorologist of the Royal Meteorological Society. He Chairs the Working Group on Cooperation between European Forecasters (WGCEF) within EUMETNET, and contributes to WMO activities through involvement in its PWS Expert Teams. He is the ECAM Programme Group Chair for this meeting.


Ingeborg Auer, Climate Programme
Welcome Address

Dr. Ingeborg Auer is head of the Climate Research department of ZAMG, the Austrian Weather Service. She is manager of the EUMETNET Support to Members Programme. One of her tasks is to represent EUMETNET in the Climate Programme of ECAM/ECAC conferences. She also represents Austria in the WMO Commission for Climatology.

She has a long experience in managing and coordinating climate and climate change related projects. One of her most important achievements is the realization of HISTALP, a database of long-term homogenized instrumental climate series of monthly and daily resolution covering the Greater Alpine Region. This dataset is the basis for a wide range of climate studies for a broader group of researchers but also stakeholders in the different countries.

Awards: The International Journal of Climatology Award of the Royal Meteorological Society 2007.


Robert Mureau, PRIMET
Welcome Address

Robert Mureau is Head of Research and Development at MeteoGroup.

Robert graduated in Meteorology at the University of Utrecht in1980 and worked at KNMI from 1980-2009, interrupted by a stay at ECMWF from 1987-1992 working on ensemble forecasting.

In 1999 he moved to the operational department within KNMI, where he developed various tools for forecasters and introduced the concept of probability forecasting to the forecasters.

In 2009 he left the Civil Service and became Head of Research and Development at MeteoGroup, Europe’s largest private weather company, in Wageningen.

His main expertise is dynamic meteorology, predictability and (communicating) uncertainty/probability forecasting.


Alexander E. "Sandy" MacDonald, AMS President

Dr. Alexander E. “Sandy” MacDonald, current President of the American Meteorological Society, serves as Chief Science Advisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research (OAR) and concurrently as Director of NOAA’s largest research facility, the OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, CO.

Dr. MacDonald earned a Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Utah, served in the U.S. Air Force after receiving a B.S. in Math and Physics from Montana State University, and has led a distinguished career as an atmospheric scientist modeling weather and climate for almost 40 years. His contributions include the development of a high-performance computing system, a unique mesoscale weather prediction model, and the diagnosis of atmospheric water vapor distributions using global positioning systems. In addition, he worked in the White House with Vice President Al Gore to initiate the Globe program for which he received one of his four Presidential Rank Awards. His unique invention, Science On a Sphere®, a luminous animated globe, educates thousands around the world about Earth system science and other planets.


Deon Terblanche, WMO Atmospheric Research and Environment Branch, Director
Strategic Lecture

Deon Terblanche is Co-Director of the Research Department at the World Meteorological Organization since 2011 and overall responsible for the activities of the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences, the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) and the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme. Deon has a PhD in radar signal processing from the engineering faculty of the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He has worked as forecaster, researcher, Chief Scientist and Research Director at the South African Weather Service over a period of 30 years before joining WMO.


Stuart Goldstraw, Met Office
Strategic Lecture

Stuart Goldstraw is an Operational Meteorology Head in the Observations Group at the Met Office. After graduating with a degree in Meteorology and Physics from Reading University he joined the Met Office in 1989. Initially working in Observing Development on the introduction of automated systems for visual observations he has worked in a range of operational and development roles in the Met Office over the last 26 years. From 2000 to 2003 he was the Surface Observation Automation Manager leading the development and implementation of automated synoptic observing across the UK. A spell in the international environment followed when, during 2005 and 2006, he was the EUCOS (EUMETNET Composite Observing System) Operations Manager co-ordinating the programmes of operational observing collaboration for EUMETNET Members. From 2007 to 2009 he was responsible for the upper-air and remote sensing programme within Observations in the Met Office, which included the development of the business case for the technical upgrade of the UK Weather Radar Network. Since 2009 he has been responsible for the operational observing capabilities for the Met Office, including both land and marine based observations. During this period Stuart has lead the evolution of the Technical Competency Framework for Meteorologists within Observations and been responsible for the introduction of the Professional Competency Framework for Engineers within Observations.
Stuart is the chair of the WMO CBS Expert Team on Surface Based Observations, where the goal of improving the global operational observing capability is at the core of task. He is also working closely with colleagues across WMO Technical Commissions and Programmes to support the development and operational implementation of WIGOS, the WMO Integrated Global Observing System.


Fernando Prates
Strategic Lecture

Fernando Prates works in the Evaluation Forecast section at the ECMWF since 2005, monitoring the forecast performance of the Forecast Systems at the Centre. He is also responsible for the development of tropical cyclone products based on the Ensemble Prediction System. Before that he worked at the NWS in Portugal, mainly in Limited Area Modelling and as a forecaster.


Michael Staudinger
Strategic Lecture

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