The 2015 AFS Fall Conference was held at the Franklin Marriott in Cool Spring (Nashville), TN October 5th -8th on the topic of Advanced Technologies in Filter Media. Conference organizers were Christine Sun, Jay Forcucci and Gajanan Bhat. As evidenced this fall, attendance at both the AFS conference and Corporate Sponsorships are steadily growing following the economic recession in recent years.
Monday began with four-hour and day-long short courses covering eight different subjects, followed by the Conference and Exposition Tuesday and Wednesday. A very informative and generous tour was hosted at Avintiv’s Old Hickory facility on Thursday. Plenary speakers at the conference were Chris Conway, CEO & President Clarcor, Inc., Daniel Guerrero, Senior Vice President at Avintiv, Gregory Hoverman, Chief Technical Officer, Cummins Filtration and Dr. Kuo-Jen Hwang, representing World Filtration Congress (WFC 12), to be held next April in Taipei. Luncheon speakers were Hervé Buisson, Vice President from Veolia and Robert Miller, Vice President at yet2.com. The AFS served daily luncheons and continental breakfasts to all conference delegates, moderators and speakers. Generous food and drink were served at the Corporate Sponsors meeting and conference welcome reception Tuesday evening, where old acquaintances and new friends re-connected and networked.
Concurrent with the reception at the Student Poster competition, Clemson University made a strong showing with Christine Duval being awarded first place and Nithinart Chitpong second place…Go Tigers! Student participation continues to increase with a growing number of colleges and universities with 14 students participating in this fall’s student poster competition.
The conference consisted of three concurrent tracks and seventy-two presentations, most dealing with innovative, new ideas and emerging technology in liquid, air, coalescing and nanofiber technology. Presentations came from first time delegates as well as a number of journeymen and women. A third track was devoted exclusively to subjects on Theoretical, Applied Science and Design, organized by academia and company technology leaders and technologies in Air Filtration.
The AFS Corporate Sponsors bi-annual Open meeting was well attended with close to ninety member and non-member delegates. AFS volunteers outlined additional new benefits for Sponsors, including a new Educator add-on benefit where Corporate Sponsor employees can receive in-depth filtration and separations training at AFS conferences or serve as a reward for use by distributors or a thank you to customers. Corporate Sponsors membership growth continues allowing for stable and affordable Sponsor dues with no increase in 2016 for the seventh year. The AFS leadership reiterated, it will soon submit a bid for the World Filtration Congress in 2020 (WFS 13) with San Diego as the venue of choice. Ms. Jamie Compton, CAE, IOM was introduced as the new AFS Executive Director. Teamed with Ms. Lyn Sholl, CMP Senior Executive Manager and Events and Conference Director, the AFS has an exceptionally strong management team. The team supports and serve the fifty + filtration and separation industry professionals who actively run the AFS, as volunteers, including annually elected executive officers, board of directors, plus ongoing committee chairs and members, conference organizers and short course presenters. Adding to this number over the years has been countless number of moderators, speakers, delegates and loyal Corporate Sponsors who standby the AFS and provide devoted and continuing support.
The American Filtration & Separations Society is the largest filtration society in the world and the principal educator of the industry. The Society hosts bi-annual conferences in support of industries and infrastructure where filtration, separations, and coalescing are an essential factor in the success of American education and business.
The 2014 American Filtration & Separations Society Fall Conference realized double attendance compared to the 2013 Fall Conference on a similar event covering the topic of filtration media; a positive sign the recession is drifting into the rear-view mirror and the industry is beginning to look forward positively toward the future. The 2014 Conference, titled Next Generation Filtration Media…Embracing Challenges, was held at the Hilton Rosemont at Chicago O’Hare Airport, October 13-16. Conference Co-Chairs were Andrew Goodby, Ahlstrom Filtration, LLC; Sebastian Stahl, DuPont and Sneha Swaminathan, Hollingsworth & Vose.