ASNT Research Symposium and all that jazz

Your faithful correspondent was unable to attend the 2016 ASNT Spring Conference, but was able to glean the following information from ‘Our Man in New Orleans’!

The conference coincided with the French Quarter Festival, a four-day music showcase scattered throughout the French Quarter.

The conference hotel was situated in ‘The Quarter’ and the attendees were immersed in this feast of entertainment and music, from gospel and jazz to blues and funk. Clubs, pubs and restaurants, side-by-side along the world-famous Bourbon Street, seemed to stay open 24 hours a day for the duration of the festival.

For the 380 delegates to the ASNT Research Symposium, from 21 countries, they had to try to concentrate on nearly 80 technical presentations and 34 exhibiting companies. The keynote address was provided by Dr Christopher Dunn, Chief of Structures Branch, US Army Corps of Reserves, who spoke on the delivery of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). It’s now 10 years since Hurricane Katrina struck, flooding 80% of the city and devastating it with 127 mph winds. Post Katrina, the US Government, through the US Army Corps of Engineers, funded a new hurricane protection system. They established new design criteria, applied state-of-the-art storm surge modelling methodologies and executed the design and construction of this US$14.6 billion project!

NDT played a direct role in assuring that the system will perform as intended. NDE and structural health monitoring (SHM) will assure the long-term health of the project.

Dr Henrique Reis, from the University of Illinois, received an ASNT Research Award and presented the plenary address on non-destructive testing of aged and rejuvenated asphalt concrete pavements. Dr Gary E Georgeson, Senior Technical Fellow at Boeing, was the recipient of the Research Award for Innovation.

The symposium featured ‘student-specific’ sessions, including a mentoring programme meeting and a student mixer event, allowing young people from several universities the opportunity to find support in their blossoming NDT careers.
BINDT was represented at the exhibition, as was next-door neighbour ETher NDE. Mike Reilly and John Hansen from ETher attended, as did Mike Farley from ICNDT, David Alleyne from Guided Ultrasonics and, of course, David Gilbert from BINDT.

The next stop for UK travellers to America should be the ASNT Fall Conference, which will be held during the last week of October in Long Beach, California, with a banquet to be held aboard the Queen Mary! This will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Society. I do not plan to miss this special event.

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