AFS 30th Anniversary Celebration Conference

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The American Filtration & Separations Society held its 30th Anniversary Conference at the spacious and accommodating Galt House in Louisville, KY, April 10-13th….and what a memorable packed full event, fitting for such a momentous time!  Conference Chairs this spring were Rahul Bharadwaj (AAF/Flanders), Jeni Wong (Johns Manville) and Martin Lehmann (MANN + HUMMEL).

On Monday, the Society held its traditional half and full day Short Courses, eleven in all, with the largest delegate attendance in years.  Two optional events were also offered on Monday.  Approximately 20 conference delegates walked down the street to the Evan Williams Distillery for a private tour and tasting.  In the evening, close to 100 delegates boarded buses for the historic Churchill Downs to enjoy an evening learning about the Derby including a tour of the grounds.  Following the tour, delegates gathered in the museum for cocktails and a fabulous dinner followed by a 30 minute presentation by Mr. Bob Burkhead of Blue Heaven Technologies on the subject of Ethics of IQA (Indoor Air Quality), before heading back to the hotel.

The conference began Tuesday with delegates attending plenary sessions with local AFS Corporate Sponsor, Phil Whitaker, CEO of AAF/Flanders followed by Andres Wiegmann of Math2Market.  After, the morning plenary sessions, delegates attended technical sessions in three tracks over two days.

Moderators for the 18 sessions over the two day conference, included Wilson Poon, Karen Roberts, Da-Ren Chen, Andreas Seeberger, Peter Cartwright, George Chase, Martin Lehmann, Christine Sun, Peter Tsai, Jonathan Rajala, R. Vijayakumar, Pius Trautmann, Andrew Goodby, Rahul Bharadwaj, Marc Schmidt, Andres Wiegmann, Zhongchao Tan, Matti Maricq and Rob Bender.

At the Annual AFS Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, awards were provided for the Product of the Year and Engineering Merit Awards as well as individual honorific awards.  GKD was given 2016 New Product of the Year Award for their Porometric Woven Wire Mesh.  Engineering Merit awards were given to Cummins, Parker Hannifin, and Hollingsworth & Vose.  New Product Honorable Mention awards were given to BHS Sonthofen and Delta Pure.  Ken Rubow, Past AFS Chairman, was given the Fellows Award. Shagufta Patel, Ph.D., was given the Senior Scientist Award and Sarfaraz Patel, Ph.D. was given the Young Scientist Award, the first ever, brother and sister for these awards over the last 30 years.  Six recent Corporate Sponsors were also provided corporate plagues.

Later Tuesday afternoon, the Corporate Sponsors meeting was packed with current Corporate Sponsors and others auditing future Sponsorship. AFS is blessed with an increasing number of foreign-based Sponsors, about 25 percent in all.  Of the subjects covered, included were membership listings and thank you’s, benefits, a review of the new AFS Point of View (POV) featuring the topic “There is hardly a pollution, contamination or environmental problem that cannot be prevented or remediated through the use of filtration and separation technologies.” and brief overview of the quad-annual World Filtration Congress (WFC-13) to be hosted by the AFS in 2020 (San Diego).  Additional updates on WFC-13 will occur as time draws near, along with program, Conference sponsorships and booth selections.  Active AFS Corporate Sponsors will ultimately have first choice of booth locations in San Diego in a large Exhibition hall.

Tuesday evening continued with a 6:00 – 8:00 pm reception, networking and 30th Anniversary celebration in the exhibit hall, with heavy Hors D’oeuvre’s, libation, further awards to long-time AFS contributors, cake-cutting and plenty of camaraderie among a large delegation of newly acquired and old friends.

Wednesday morning plenary presentations included Christian Hassmann of Johns Manville and Pius Trautmann of MANN+HUMMEL.  Nine technical tracks followed the morning plenary sessions.   Paul Marold of Lydall Performance Materials provided the luncheon talk on the topic of Integrating Innovation.

Thursday included two additional post-Conference tours to Blue Heaven texting facilities and JCEM pleating equipment manufacturing plant were provided.  Delegates continue to welcome the opportunity to attend these traditional tours where local companies open and provide insight into their specialty capabilities.

Overall, the Conference was a fitting example for an AFS special celebration at the beginning of its 30th year and its 59th Conference, since 1987.  In the meantime, watch for further updates on the World Filtration Congress in 2020 where the world’s leading companies and technologists will be gathering.  More will follow on the AFS Point of View (POV), once the document is sent to 2,000 government officials, the mainstream media and the environmentist community.  In the meantime, see the home page of the AFS website for an electronic copy of the POV.

The American Filtration & Separations Society is the largest Filtration Society in the world and the principle educator of the industry.  The Society hosts semi-annual conferences in support of the industry and infrastructure where filtration and separations are an essential factor in the success of American education and business.