The AFS Oil & Gas and Chemical Processing Filtration and Separations Conference was held March 24-26 at the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston, TX. Conference attendance continued to grow from previous years following the economic downturn in recent years. The event attracted attendance from a wide number of European and Asian countries, along with the United States, Mexico and Canada. There were seven conference sponsors: AWC, Chemical Engineering magazine, Dexmet, Fiberweb, Franklin Adhesives, IBR Laboratories and International Filtration News along with 24 exhibitors limited by available space.The event began Monday, March 24,with 10 short courses designed for both newcomers to the industry and technically-proficient journeymen including courses in the Basics in [each] Air, Liquid and Ultrafiltration, Microfiltration Membrane,Reverse Osmosis System Design,Nanofiltration Technology, Centrifugation, Coalescing Principals and Applications, and Filtration Media Use and Market.
This spring’s conference chairs were David Engel and Van Barclay, industry-leading names in the oil & gas and chemicals industry. Plenary and keynote speakers were Professor Kuo-Lun (Allan) Tung, lead organizer for the 2016 Word Filtration Congress in Taipei, Taiwan, and Doug Heguy, Qixin Zhu and Lihong Du. The conference was organized with 18 separate session topics along with a panel discussion of experts who responded to a wide range of audience questions.
Many of the industry’s most recognized names participated as moderators, including: Colin Tyrie, Wenping Li, Vic Norton, George Chase, Peter Cartwright, Chris Wallace, Shagufta Patel, Van Barclay, Thad Ptak, Pavlos Papadopoulos, Jay Keener, John Sabey, Ali Arshad, Kenneth Winston, Martin Lehmann, Mary King, Biplab Mukherjee, David Engel, Christine Sun, Rahul Bharadwaj, and Rob Bender. At the 2014 AFS Awards luncheon, the AFS 2014 Young Scientist Award was presented to Sneha Swaminathan with Hollingsworth & Vose. Wenping Li with Agrilectric Research was presented the 2014 Frank Tiller Award, and the 2014 Wells Shoemaker Award was given to Raymond Collins with Dow Chemical Company. The Corporate Sponsor 2013 New Product of the Year, Filtration Media Category was presented to GKD-USA. The 2013 New Product of the Year, Biotechnology Category, went to Parker Hannifin Dominick Hunter Division, and New Product of the Year in the Filtration Systems Category was won by Parker Hannifin Hiross-Zander Division. Needless to say, not taking away from the GKD-USA Award, Parker Hannifin had a particularly good year, walking away with two category awards.
Tuesday afternoon the AFS Corporate Sponsors met and several new projects were introduced along with technical writer Nick Basta who will organize and write future AFS Market Landscape Reports as well as the new AFS Point of View white paper. Following the Corporate Sponsors meeting a reception was held for all attendees along with a student poster competition and displays. First place poster award was presented to Mutiara Ayu, University of Houston; second place went to Andrew Davis,Brigham Young University; and third place went to Hyeon Shin, University of Akron.At the request of over 50 percent of attendees at the 2013 Fall AFS Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, the AFS will host its first-ever back-to-back repeat conference on the subject of Filtration Media this fall at the Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O’Hare Airport, October 13-15.This event could well be a sellout.Therefore, organizers encourage anyone with an interest in filtration media to register early.
Looking forward, the 2015 AFS Spring Conference will focus on the subject of Filtration in Power Generation in the proclaimed “Energy Cluster” city of Charlotte, NC where 29,000 energy equipment, consulting and construction company engineers are employed.