2021 ASNT Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona

“The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) announces the issuance of a proclamation by Mayor Kate Gallego of the City of Phoenix. 

The proclamation recognizes and designates the week of 15-19 November 2021 as National Nondestructive Testing Appreciation Week.”

I recently attended the ASNT Fall Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. We had clear skies and welcome warm temperatures for the UK visitors of 59°F (15°C) to 84°F (28°C).

Inevitably, COVID-19 had its effect. This was the first in-person event for ASNT since the onset of the pandemic, with the conference in 2020 being held remotely. The attendance was approximately 50% of the last full conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2019.

BINDT had made the decision for staff not to attend in person and I volunteered to man its booth at the exhibition. Attendance at the exhibition was much lower than for previous conferences, although the number of exhibitors exceeded 160.

UK participation was also considerably reduced from its usual numbers. Among the UK participants were, to the best of my knowledge: Aerospace Testing International, Baugh & Weedon, ETher NDE, Guided Ultrasonics, Lavender International and Sonaspection. I especially enjoyed seeing my very good friend Jackie Berry representing the North Atlantic Section of ASNT. Other Brits in attendance included Mike Reilly and BINDT Past President John Hansen.

The North American Branch of BINDT held its AGM in conjunction with the conference. David Gilbert, BINDT CEO, attended remotely and provided an overview of the Institute’s activities over the past year, amid the complications caused by Brexit. Brian Shannon was re-elected as Chair, Brian Anderson as Vice Chair and a fresh face was seen in the election of Marybeth Miceli as Secretary.

There were fewer technical presentations than usual and I was unable to attend any due to my exhibition duties. I did make my round of committee meetings, including that of the Standards Council, of which I continue to be Vice Chair.

Pink drummer Mark Schulman wowed attendees with his keynote presentation, titled: ‘Conquering life’s stage fright’. He brought a full drum kit on stage and played along with video segments of Pink concerts, intermixed with experiences of his previous association with Billy Idol, Foreigner and many others. He was certainly not the usual keynote speaker, but his energetic presentation was so upbeat that he had his audience on their feet and participating. His message is a positive one and applicable to our lives and our NDT work activities.

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