March 19-21, 2013. AeroDef Manufacturing Expo is co-located with Composites Manufacturing. It claims to be the leading exposition and technical conference for the aerospace and defense manufacturing industries. Produced by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in partnership with industry OEMs, the mission is to foster innovation across a broad span of enterprise to reduce costs, expedite production times and maintain manufacturing competitiveness in the global economy. Keynote speakers and panelists come from an elevated level of government and business, all there to share their vision of the potential of technology, collaboration and public policy to transform aerospace manufacturing and field concepts that attendees could experience on the exposition floor and at in-depth conference sessions. The event pulled together high-concept, integrated solutions and well-grounded applications. Grounded? Who’s grounded?
February 2-7, 2013. PW stands for Photonics West, and it brings together 13,000 enterprises, the top worldwide companies and industry leaders in lasers, optoelectronics and photonics. Demand for smaller and cheaper optical interconnections inside computers, we heard, is becoming a main driver for silicon photonics, which in turn creates a new market of miniaturized, low-cost photonic components that can leverage the scale of CMOS manufacturing. Delegates could learn what industry leaders have discovered at the frontier of silicon photonics, and hear how this is about to revolutionize industries from computing and communication to biomedicine and imaging. Speaker panels included entrepreneurs providing solar-powered LED lighting to the developing world, sophisticated spectroscopy for environmental monitoring, and solid-state lighting. Was that a demo of a liquid lens, or an “optical” illusion…?
January 11-13, 2013. Precast? Precast what? Well, precast concrete, since you ask. This was the show for precasters and suppliers of products, equipment and services to make the stuff, and incorporate it into building projects. Precast concrete, we heard, “offers an almost endless variety of products and design options for both above ground and underground construction. From the largest infrastructure projects to the smallest architectural details, precast is one of the most versatile and sustainable building materials available for today’s fast-paced, environmentally conscious construction”. The strength of precast concrete apparently increases little by little over time, while other materials can deteriorate, experience creep and stress relaxation, and lose their strength over time. “Build for keeps” was the message here…
Nov. 11-15, 2012. SC? Something to do with South Carolina, maybe? Nope. SC tells us it is the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. This year SC12 took a major step forward not only in supercomputing, but in super-conferencing, with everything designed to make the 2012 conference the most user-friendly on record. There they were, streamlining conference information and moving to a virtually real-time method of determining technical program thrusts. No more pre-determined technical themes picked far in advance! Through social media, data mining and active polling, they were pinpointing what IT technical interests and issues emerge throughout the year. (Might even inspire us to do some super-synopsis-writing….)
Dec. 16-19, ICIS stands for International Conference on Information Systems. The major annual meeting of the Association for Information Systems (AIS), which has over 4,000 members representing universities in over 95 countries worldwide. It is a prestige gathering of academics and practitioners in the IS discipline, and provides a forum for the sharing of ideas and scientific work among Information Systems-related professions. Over 1,000 IS academic professionals from around the world participated in the conference program, which included about 60 sessions and 180 presentations, in addition to keynotes, CIO panels, and research panels. This year’s theme was Digital Innovation in the Service Economy. So it looks like digital is at the service of the economy. Nice to know….
Nov. 4-7, 2012. International Test Conference (ITC) is, we understand, the world’s premier conference dedicated to the electronic testing of devices, boards and systems, covering the complete cycle from design verification, test, diagnosis, failure analysis and back to process and design improvement. At ITC, test and design professionals can confront the challenges the industry faces, and learn how these challenges are being addressed by the combined efforts of academia, design tool and equipment suppliers, designers, and test engineers. ITC is known around the world for its robust technical dialog. Over the course of the event, respected researchers, academics and industry experts presented the results of their work and applied knowledge on a variety of topics for test and design engineers and practitioners. Just as well, since these are “testing times”…
Oct. 27-29, 2012. AES is the Audio Engineering Society, and for over sixty years it claims to have been the largest gathering of audio professionals and enthusiasts on the globe, attracting delegates from over 100 countries worldwide. Workshops, tutorials, technical papers and the exhibition floor provided attendees with learning, networking and business opportunities. Sound is an essential component of a growing number of industries, such as audio for games, sound for motion pictures, broadcasting, live concerts and more, so there was no mystery about the audio industry’s desire to “make a noise about itself”. Most audio produced today is associated with pictures – television, cinema, Internet, streaming broadcasts, and mobile. Possibly the most technologically advanced and fastest growing segment of the audio field, game audio is the perfect storm of signal processing complexity, evolving requirements, and mass market appeal. As Buffalo Springfield used to sing, “Stop, children, what’s that sound…?”