A Digital Norm for Heritage Conservation COTAC 60th Anniversary Conference

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The Engine Shed

Forthside Way



United Kingdom

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Due to an variety of unforeseen circumstances, the COTAC Trustees have determined that the 60th Anniversary Conference which we were planning to hold at the Engine Shed in Stirling on 6-7 November 2019 needs to be cancelled.

We had advertised the event widely and initiated ticket sales through EventBrite where we have had some 250 viewings. But the Trustees have come to the decision that with only 3 confirmed paying attendees to date, the event was looking increasingly financially unviable.

Reluctantly, therefore, the decision has been taken to cancel the event.

Our apologies to anyone who is disappointed and please check our website regularly for future similar events and other useful information.



To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of its founding, COTAC has arranged a two-day conference to be held jointly with Historic Environment Scotland at the Engine Shed in Stirling, Scotland.

Entitled: Sourcing a Digital Norm for the Future of Heritage Conservation: Learning and Training, Tools and Technologies

The conference will provide attendees with an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved digitally, to share in the emerging experiences, perspectives and responses to current challenges whilst at the same time give thought to the direction that is being set for the future.

The programme will address what this could mean for the conservation industry sector clients, its practitioners and its education and training providers- all of whom will benefit from attendance.

The Keynote theme is: What is our vision of the Future?

Topics to be coverered include:

Digitally Merging the Old and the New

Establishing a Digital Heritage Foresight

Preparing the Next Generation in Schools and Colleges

Enhancing Digital Practice

Safeguarding the Digital Heritage Record.

Please note: Eventbrite fees are included in the ticket price. Refunds available up to 7 days before the event. Subsititute delegates may be made at any time up to start of event.

Outline Programme (V9 as at 7 Sept 2019)

In conjunction with Historic Environment Scotland, COTAC’s 60th Anniversary Conference Programme will be aimed at building upon the role that COTAC has played in this, the centenary year of the birth of one of its founder fathers, Sir Bernard Feilden.

By projecting what and how digital developments and technologies might impact on future years, the conference programme will explore issues to:

  • Consider how heritage needs will be influenced over the next 60 years
  • Address how well heritage relates to digital challenges and their benefits
  • Consider what the new learning and training demands might be
  • Suggest how partners might develop and support each other in the process
  • Consider what future outcomes and influences might be expected

Conference Abstract:

Although considerable diversity has been emerging in the new-build construction industry, the impact of developing digital technologies will also have a profound effect and influence on the built heritage sector.

Whilst a number of significant issues have already materialised, requiring change to be embraced and implemented, it is inevitable that the pace to do so will continue to increase dramatically. Consequently, heritage sector users and clients, their practitioners, educators and skills-based providers will need to be better equipped with a greater understanding of what will impact on their activities.

As major influences will come from ever-accelerating digital developments, the conference will consider how the next generation is being prepared to deal with them. Whilst reflecting on the past, the programme emphasis is placed on what these initiatives will mean for the conservation industry sector clients, its practitioners, and its education and training providers - all of whom would benefit from attendance.

Programme Timings (May be subjected to change)

[Confirmed participant/speakers*}

Day 1: 6 November 2019

09.30 Registration Opens + Coffee for a 10.30 Start

Keynote Theme: What is our Vision of the Future?

Chair: Ingval Maxwell OBE COTAC*

10.30: Changing the Way We Live and Work:

Gillian Docherty, CEO, The Data Lab*

Session 1: Digitally Merging the Old and New

11.00: Digitally Documenting the Past in a New World Order

David Mitchell, Director of Conservation, Historic Environment Scotland*

11.30 – 11.45: Networking Break

11.45: Can the 1993 ICOMOS Guidelines continue to Underpin Interdisciplinary Standards?

Sean O’Reilly, Institute of Historic Building Conservation*

12.15: Technological Opportunities and Developments:

Paul Bryan, Historic England*

12.45 -13.45 Lunch + Viewing Exhibits

Session 2: Establishing a Digital Heritage Foresight

Chair: Colin Tennant, Historic Environment Scotland*

13.45: Skills, Training and Knowledge Transfer in Cultural Heritage Professions

Nessa Roach, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht*

14.15: Emerging International Digital Standards and Influences

Tim Yates, Building Technology Group, Building Research Establishment*

14.45 - 15.00: Q+A Discussion

15.00 – 15.30: Coffee

Session 3: Preparing the Next Generation in Schools and Colleges

Chair: Ingval Maxwell OBE COTAC*

15.30: Class of your Own: What is happening in the Schools

Alison Watson MBE [tbc]

15.50 Digital Interpretation for Schools:

Lyn Wilson, Historic Environment Scotland*

16.10 – 16.25 Q+A Discussion

16.25: Preparing Young People for the Built Environment:

Colin Tennant, Historic Environment Scotland*

16.45: Digital Skills Training:

Douglas Morrison, Associated Director of Innovation and STEM, City of Glasgow College*

17.05 – 17.20 Q+A Discussion

17.20: Close, followed by:

Engine House Reception and Tour, hosted by Historic Environment Scotland: tbc


Day 2: 7 November 2019

09.30 Coffee for a 10.00 Start

Session 4: Enhancing Digital Practice

Chair: Colin Tennant, Historic Environment Scotland*

10.00: Professional Developments: The Survey Association:

Rachel Tyrell [TSA Speaker tbc]

10.30: Innovation in Practice:

Al Rawlinson, Historic Environment Scotland*

11.00 – 11.15 Networking Break

11.15 The Changing Face of Conservation, Automated Defect Detection and Classification:

Dr Frédéric Bosché Senior Lecturer in Infrastructure Programme Management Edinburgh University*

11.45: How might Clients be Persuaded to Adopt and Use New Technologies

ISG Construction Service Company [Speaker tbc]

12.15: Developing and Promoting Digital Skills to Clients and their Practitioners

Carl Brookes, Ramboll*

12.45 - 13.00 Q+A Discussion

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch and Viewing Exhibits

Session 5: Safeguarding the Digital Heritage Record

Chair: Tim Yates, COTAC Trustees*

14.00: The Challenges of Archiving the Digital Product

Leslie Fergusson, Historic Environment Scotland*

14.30: Protecting Digital IP: The Futureproofing Issues

Marks and Clerk [Speaker tbc]

15.00- 16.00 Q+A Panel Discussion + Conference Conclusions

16.00: Close

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The Engine Shed

Forthside Way



United Kingdom

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