Louisville Welcomes AFS for 30th Anniversary Conference

Spring booth gathering in AFS Exhibit Hall

By Edward C. Gregor

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

On Monday, the Society held both of its traditional half and full day Short Courses – eleven in all – with the largest delegate attendance in years. In the late afternoon and evening, tours of the Evan Williams Bourbon facility with Coach transportation later bringing delegates to historic Churchill Downs for a track, paddock and facilities tour. Subsequently, everyone gathered in the historic museum for cocktails and a fabulous supper in a large private dining room followed by a 30-minute presentation by Bob Burkhead of Blue Heaven Technologies on the subject of Ethics of IQA (Indoor Air Quality), before heading back to the hotel.

Tuesday began the conference with delegates attending plenary sessions with local AFS Corporate Sponsor, Phil Whitaker, CEO of AAF/Flanders, speaking on the Future of Air Filtration followed by Andres Wiegmann of Math2Market, who detailed Concepts of Modeling Filter Media.  After, the conference began in earnest, where delegates attended three tracks over two days.

Moderators for the 18-sessions conference, typically with 4 presentations per session, included: Wilson Poon, Frank Spehi, Karen Roberts Da-Ren Chen, Andreas Seeberger, Peter Cartwright, George Chase, Martin Lehmann, Christine Sun, Peter Tsai, Jonathan Rajala, Vijay Kumar, Pius Trautmann, Andrew Goodby, Rahul Bharadwaj, Marc Schmidt, Andres Wiegmann, Zongchao Tan, Matti Maricq and Rob Bender.

At the AFS-provided luncheon Tuesday, awards were given for the Product of the Year and Engineering Merit Awards for new introductions in 2016 to GKD for their new Porometric wire cloth media, along with Engineering Merit Awards presented to Cummins Filtration, Hollingsworth & Vose and Parker Filtration Zander Division. Ken Rubow, Past AFS Chairman was conferred with the AFS Fellows Award. Sarfaraz Patel, Ph.D., received the Young Scientist Award, and Shagufta Patel, Ph.D., the Senior Scientist Award. This was a first in over 30 years –brother and sister receiving the two Scientist Awards. Six new Corporate Sponsors were also provided corporate plaques.


Annual Award Winners: Klaas De Waal, AFS Immediate Past Chair, International Filtration News; Roma Fatima, Cummins Filtration, New Product Engineering Merit Award; Sarfaraz Patel, Ingredion International, AFS Young Scientist Award; Dominik Herper, GKD (Germany), 2016 New Product of the Year Award; Howard Yu, Hollingsworth & Vose, 2016 New Product Engineering Merit Award; Ron Fall, Parker Filtration, 2016 New Product Engineering Merit Award; Todd Furbee, Delta Pure Filtration, 2016 New Product Honorable Mention Award; Ken Rubow, Mott Corp, AFS Fellow Award; Shagufta Patel, PECOFacet, AFS Senior Scientist Award; Christine Sun, AFS Chair, Filtration Technologies International, Inc.; and Tom Ramsey, AFS 2nd Vice Chair, Ramsey Strategy Consultants.

Later Tuesday afternoon, the Corporate Sponsors meeting was packed with current corporate sponsors and others auditing future sponsorships. AFS is blessed with an increasing number of foreign-based sponsors, about 25 percent.  Subjects covered included: membership listings, thank you mentions, benefits, a review of the new AFS Point of View (POV), featuring the objective –There is hardly a pollution, contamination or environmental problem that cannot be prevented or remediated through the use of filtration and separation technologies – and a brief overview of the quad-annual World Filtration Congress (WFC-13) to be hosted by the AFS in 2020 in San Diego. Additional updates on WFC-13 will occur as time draws near, along with program, conference sponsorships and booth selections. 2017 active AFS Corporate Sponsors will ultimately have first and preferred choice of booth locations in San Diego.

Tuesday evening activities continued with an evening reception, networking and 30th anniversary celebration in the exhibit hall, with heavy hors d’oeuvre’s, live saxophone music, libation, further awards to long-time AFS contributors, cake-cutting and plenty of camaraderie among a large delegation of both newly acquired and old friends. Tuesday evening also held the bi-annual student poster competition.

Wednesday morning plenary presentations included Christian Hassman of Johns Manville, who spoke on Bico Spunbond Technology, and Pius Trautmann of MANN+HUMMEL, who continued with a presentation on the Technical Trends in HD Truck Business Affecting Requirements on Filtration. Conference sessions followed with nine tracks during the remainder of the day. Paul Marold of Lydall Performance Materials provided a luncheon talk on the topic of Integrating Innovation. Later Wednesday evening, the AFS held a Board of Directors meeting.

AFS’ 30th anniversary cake at reception


Thursday included two additional post-conference tours to Blue Heaven Technologies air testing facilities and to the nearby JCEM pleating equipment-manufacturing plant. Delegates continue to welcome the opportunity, in increasing numbers, to attend these tours where local companies open their facilities and provide insight into company specialty capabilities.

Overall, the conference was a fitting example for an AFS special celebration – the beginning of its 30th year and its 59th conference – since it’s founding in 1987.  Watch for further updates on the World Filtration Congress in 2020 where the world’s leading companies and technologists will gather. More will follow on the AFS POV, once the document is sent to 2,000 government officials, the mainstream media, and the environmentist community. In the meanwhile, visit the home page of the AFS website for an electronic copy of the POV, a comprehensive report and largely untold story of the filtration and separations industry.

The Executive Committee of AFS wishes to thank all the delegates who attended the 30th Anniversary Conference. Comments and feedback have been highly complementary.

For more information visit: www.afssociety.org

About AFS

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.