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The folks that travel from outside of the United States to attend the IAC always capture my attention. It may be because I love to travel, or simply because I know that it takes a fair amount of time and other resources to travel to the conference. Either way, I always make a point of thanking the international visitors and spending a moment to learn what projects they're working on.
I first met Geert Letens at the 2013 IAC, though I'm sure that I heard and saw his name earlier than that. He travels to the conference from Belgium, serves on the ASEM board and is the President-Elect, which is rather exciting news for the association. His term as President will truly move the ASEM into international channels.
He's also very personable and loves to discuss sports and technology, which are my favorite topics.
Two new friends were introduced to me through their research at the 2014 IAC. As a fan of supply chain, I tend to gravitate towards those presentations, and these presenters had very interesting papers. Of course, that their session was just before mine didn't hurt my chances of meeting them, too!
Hatice Camgöz-Akdag from Istanbul Technical University presented a case study on Green Supply Chain Management for Electric and Electronic Equipment in Turkey (she was also the Session Chair). The information was compelling, particularly with the efforts to increase participation rates, and I caught up with her afterward to thank her for such an interesting topic. Clearly recycling is a challenge for everyone; her paper highlighted many similarities that are concerns at a global level.
The other presentations in the session came from Katharina Renken, representing Texas Tech University. She's a transplant from Germany and presented two projects dealing with Emergency Management. One paper discussed an analysis of the supply chain in Emergency Management, while the other discussed RFID Technology within Emergency Management. Both were exciting examples of how lives can be saved by employing engineering skills, and I made sure that she knew how much I enjoyed learning about these topics.
I also attended a presentation from Simon Philbin, who also chaired his session on R&D and Technology Management. I had a chance to meet Simon at the 2013 IAC Social Event, so it was a good opportunity to say hello and learn more about his current projects. He lives and works in the United Kingdom, and is also the new International Regional Director for ASEM.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention Don Kennedy. His presentation at the 2012 IAC was one of the first I attended, and I was left with a strong impression of his work and passion for Engineering Management. He hails from Canada and was named an ASEM Fellow at the 2014 conference. Personally I hope we see more blog posts from him the future. *nudge, nudge*
Who did you meet or re-acquaint yourself with at the IAC? Share your stories at any of our social media outlets, or post below. If you missed this year's conference, hopefully I've highlighted a great reason to get yourself to Indianapolis for the 2015 AIC!
Photo credit: m.123rf.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tricia Simo Kush is a recently certified Professional Engineering Manager. Her background is in Information Technology with a goal is to take her career to a higher level through Engineering Management. To her, Engineering Management is a fascinating mix of technology and business, people and process. Follow her on Twitter (@TSimoKush) or check out her profile on LinkedIn.
By Tricia Simo Kush, PEM
The 2014 IAC, like so many others, has passed (and rather quickly at that). I cannot believe that just a week ago I was packing, getting ready to board a plane and make my way to Virginia Beach. And never mind what I forgot to bring; while I thought that I had a good idea of what to expect, there are always surprises or activities that completely slip my mind. That's what keeps it fresh and relevant.
Otherwise, why would we ever attend another conference?
As nice as it is to see friends and colleagues, it was especially fun to see some familiar faces within the student teams. I mean this sincerely. The conference showcases many student projects that range from papers and thesis submissions to the on-site team case competition. "The Students," as a few of us affectionately refer to them, consistently surprise me with their creativity, focus and the high quality of their work. It's really great to meet them and hear about their projects. (ASIDE: I'd love to bottle that energy and sell it at the registration table.) It's also really interesting to watch "The Students" interact with their advisors and realize just how much care and support that is represented by each institution.
Yes, I am a bit envious; guilty.
Granted, I am late to the ASEM dance and did not join as a student member. I recommend membership highly and particularly for students. It's not just the reduced membership rate, but also the exposure to what makes the association and the conferences so interesting. For example, students were present on the tour that I took to the US Navy Base-Norfolk Submarine Learning Facility, which was an amazing experience and is worthy of a blog in itself. They also joined us in the large events (see blog photo from lunch on Friday) and presented their work during the conference.
I didn't get to peek in on the student competition - that's a no-no - but I'll bet it was interesting and exciting, given the competitors that I met during the conference.
I'm not trying to write from an 'us-n-them' perspective. I simply didn't take advantage of the opportunities to participate in all of the things that they've accomplished during the conference. Their enthusiasm is contagious and they were always happy mingling with everyone. I enjoyed speaking to them personally and asking about their perspectives on the conference, the association, and their respective programs. It made me think about how I spent my school years... and I realized that they are doing it much more productively than I did.
I totally missed out and have a lot of ground to regain!
I encourage every student to reach out and connect with the folks that you met during the conference. Post here - or at another ASEM social media location - and let us know what your thoughts about the conference. Tell us about your upcoming projects and what you might plan to present at the 2015 IAC. Send us a blog to post and share with the association. Connect with us, ask questions and keep in touch.
All of us at ASEM are very proud of your efforts and - like you - we want to know more!
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