Welcome to our feature “A word from the expert”. In this feature, we introduce someone who has organized a conference in our region or will do so in the future. This month, we meet Dr Kenneth Meijer and Dr Guy Plasqui from the department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences. Both members of NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism at Maastricht University
Why did you choose your specialism?
We both work in human movement sciences, but we have different backgrounds. Kenneth Meijer specializes in biomechanics and motion analysis and considers the combination of biology and engineering as the driving force for research. Guy Plasqui has a background in nutrition and has focused his research on human energy metabolism and physical activity. They combine their expertise to study the role of physical activity on health.
Which conference have you managed to acquire for the Maastricht Region?
We organized the 6th ICAMPAM conference, a biannual meeting on the study and applications of objective measurement and quantification of free-living physical behavior(s) and its related constructs (e.g. energy expenditure, context) using wearable devices.
Which were the competitive cities and what was the decisive reason to choose for Maastricht?
In 2017 the conference was held at NIH in Bethesda, USA. There were excellent reasons to host the conference in Maastricht in 2019. Maastricht University has a long-standing reputation in the field of physical activity monitoring and health. Members from the faculty Health Medicine and Life Sciences and the faculty Science and Engineering have a strong reputation in the field and are advancing it in terms of technology development and new applications. For instance, the Maastricht Study is a large cohort study that benefits from these developments.
Besides that, the conference venue MECC Maastricht offered the perfect scenery for an intimate conference with good scientific network opportunities. And the beautiful city of Maastricht is the perfect place to foster new scientific friendships.
In your opinion, what is the development perspective for the region?
We should develop into an active region and promote physical activity for the health of our citizens. There were many great initiatives that were presented at the conference. One of them the ParkRun initiative would be extremely well applicable to our “Groene Loper”
What does the Maastricht Convention Bureau mean to you?
The Maastricht Convention Bureau has been extremely helpful and presented us with an excellent location for the opening ceremony. The rich history of Maastricht is truly something that inspired our visitors.