AFS 2010 Annual Conference
March 22-25, 2010
Grand Hyatt San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
AFS held its 23rd Annual Conference in San Antonio on March 22-25, 2010. Co-location with AIChE allowed attendees the opportunity to go to technical sessions of both organizations. This provided attendees with a much wider range of technical talks and significantly more individuals to meet and network.
Monday, March 22nd was dominated with short courses. Seven courses were presented that included: Basic Liquid Filtration, Nonwoven Air Filter Media, Electrostatic Charging, Microfiltration Membrane, Ultrafiltration Membrane, Reverse Osmosis and Liquid Filter Testing. These courses were well attended and the vast majority of short course attendees also stayed for the technical conference.
The Tuesday morning plenary session was full of attendees eager to begin the technical program. Over the course of 2 ½ days there were over 90 technical presentations given. These were divided into 3 concurrent tracks that the attendees could easily move between. You can view all of sessions and abstracts by clicking on this technical sessions link.
Plenary and Keynote Speakers
Dr. Karsten Keller (Associate Director – R&D Engineering, Engineering Fellow, Solae) opened the Tuesday plenary session with a talk on “Industrial Soy Protein Production”. He was followed by Professor Nigel J. Titchener-Hooker (Head of Department and Director of the Advanced Center for Biochemical Engineering, Department of Biochemistry, University College London) who spoke on “Ultra Scale-Down advances in the rapid development of filtration strategies for biomolecules”.
The Awards Luncheon Keynote speaker was Herbert Griesser (Evonik Fibres). He spoke on “High Efficiency Fibres for Cleanable Dust Filters”.
The Wednesday morning plenary session opened with Martin J. Lehmann (MANN+HUMMEL GmbH) speaking on “Simulation of Filter Elements – Particle Challenge for Multiple Scale Porous Media”. Prof. Kuo-Lun (Allan) Tung (Director of the R&D Center for Membrane Technology, Chung Yuan University) followed with a talk on “Membrane Pore Characterization Techniques – Status Quo and Future Development”.
Annual Awards Lunch
The Tuesday Awards lunch is always a highlight of the Annual Conference. All of the AFS Corporate Sponsors and Distributor and Manufacturer Rep Members are given plaques for their support. Click on this link to view a list of these companies and more information about them.
Outgoing AFS Board members were honored. They include: Joe Israel, Wenping Li, B.K. Parekh, Christophe Peuchot, Ken Rubow and Mathias Stolarski, The 2009 Chair of the Society, Barry Verdegan was also honored.
The AFS Users Committee honors the top products of 2009 with two awards. “The Engineering Merit Award” went to Pall Corporation for its FlexBowl™ Pressure Vessel System.
The “New Product of the Year Award” went to W.L. Gore and Associates for its Turbine Filters. GORE® Turbine Filters from W. L. GORE & Associates. Inc. use high performance expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membranes to the optimize power output of gas turbines. Their outstanding H12/E12 filtration efficiency eliminates performance reducing deposits in turbine compressors by keeping out at least 99.5% of contaminants at the most penetrating particle sizes (~0.1 μm).
The individual awards began with the “Young Scientist Award”. This was presented to Dr. Saru Dawar from Cummins Filtration.
The “Senior Scientist Award” was presented to Dr. Hooman Tafreshi from Virginia Commonwealth University.
The “Frank Tiller Award” is awarded for the purpose of recognizing outstanding scientific or engineering achievements in the area of Fluid-Particle or Gas-Particle Separation. This award was given to Dr. Gerhard Kasper, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
The “Wells Shoemaker Award” is award for the purpose of recognizing outstanding leadership and exceptional service within the AFS. This award was given to Mr. Jerry Lynch of Sigma Design.
The “Fellow Member Award” confers free lifetime membership in recognition of superior contributions of organization and leadership to the Society for at least 10 years. This award was presented to Dr. Wu Chen of Dow Chemical.
The “Lifetime Achievement Award” is the highest honor of the Society. This award was presented to Dr. George Chase from the University of Akron.
Student Poster Competition
Late Tuesday afternoon there was a buzz of activity as the student posters were being displayed in anticipation of the “Student Poster Competition”. The posters were positioned close to the tabletop exhibits and the networking reception which was sponsored by the AFS Southwest Chapter. As a result there was a lot of activity and traffic around the tabletop exhibits. This made the tabletop exhibitors very happy.
At the Plenary session on Wednesday morning the winners of the competition were announced. The University of Akron dominated the competition, winning 4 of the top 5 spots. With Dr. George Chase being presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award” on Tuesday, this conference will long be remembered as the year of The University of Akron.
Here are the “Student Poster Competition” winners:
1st Place – Sneha Swaminathan, The University of Akron
2nd Place – Shagufta Patel, The University of Akron
3rd Place (tie) – Bharath Raghavan, The University of Akron
3rd Place (tie) – Rahul Bharadwaj, The University of Akron
3rd Place (tie) – Kavitha Pathmanathan, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
For any students considering entering the 2011 “Student Poster Competition” you will be happy to learn that all four of the University of Akron students will be graduating this year and will not be competing in next year’s competition.
Corporate Sponsors Meeting
Also on Tuesday afternoon was a meeting of the AFS Corporate Sponsors hosted by the Corporate Sponsors Committee. This meeting attracted over 20 AFS members that were either corporate sponsors or interested in learning more about corporate sponsorship.
The meeting was part of a continued effort by AFS to bring greater value to the corporate sponsors. The Corporate Sponsors Committee presented several ideas to the corporate sponsors and received valuable feedback on what the corporate sponsor value.
AFS will be looking at what can be done to offer increased market research to the corporate sponsors. This is just one of several ideas that will be reviewed and acted upon.
The conference concluded on Thursday. Thirty-two of the conference attendees chose to board a bus and take a tour of the Toyota plant in San Antonio and the Southwest Research Institute(SWRI).
The tour of the Toyota Texas plant began at their visitor center with a video overview. They then went to the plant itself, where they were put in trams and proceeded through the plant, following the flow of production. At the moment this plant makes only Toyota Tundra Trucks. It was a fascinating tour.
They then went to SWRI, where they visited about four labs, with as many guides. They saw the Jet Fuel water separation lab, the commercial fuel water separation lab, the truck oil and fuel multipass lab, and an air filtration lab.
The tours were very interesting and those that participated were glad they did.