A look back at the exciting rookie season of the editor ofPM Engineer--and how readers can help him avoid the "Sophomore Jinx."

It is the middle of summer, which means it is time for three annual rites of passage: Fourth of July festivities, the Major League All Star Game and learning which of last season’s hottest rookies are the real thing-and which ones have succumbed to the “Sophomore Jinx.”

Limited column space prevents me from further discussing the baseball players who may or may not be victimized by this curse (although as a Chicagoan, I am very familiar with such things). Instead, I prefer to use this space to note the highlights of my rookie season as editor ofPM Engineer.

• First Issue As Editor.Just a few days into my position, I began to learn about one of the hottest issues in plumbing engineering-water conservation-which was the cover story that month (July 2006) and continues to grow in importance.

• Networking At Trade Shows.During the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to attend NFPA Safety Expos in Orlando and Boston, the national ASPE convention in Tampa Bay and the local ASPE Chicago Chapter product show.

• Excellence in Design Awards.Our 2006 winner (showcased in Nov. 2006 issue) was KJWW Engineering Consultants, which literally helped Blair Hall at Eastern Illinois University rise from the ashes.

• Expanded Enewsletters.Throughout the past year, the PME Enewsletter has added new features-the most notable being a Latest Headlines section.

• Industry Leaders Speak Out.Knowing that readers want more industry insight, PME now has a quarterly interview with specialists in our profession.

• First-Ever Webinar.On Feb., 28, 2007, PME presented “Standards & Codes: What Specifiers Need to Know.” Registration reached more than 1,000, and total views number more than 500.

• Changing Fire Safety in America.Our most recent Fire Protection & Design Supplement presented an excellent article on the impact of the International Residential Code eventually requiring fire sprinkler systems in new construction.

• Plumbing Engineering 101.In March, I spent three days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison doing real-world exercises in a Plumbing System Design class. While not yet a CPD, I am a CP (certified participant).

• Updating www.PMEngineer.com.Several weeks ago, a key feature was added to the PME Web site: a Latest Headlines box at the top of the home page. More changes to come soon.

• Manufacturers Rep of the Year Award.Interviewing the professional staff of Bornquist Inc. was a fantastic (and fun) way to begin my exposure to manufacturers reps.

• PMI Technical Workshop.At this event, I gained a better understanding of various “hot button” issues: plumbing codes, product standards and certification, water efficiency and NSF 61.

All of these experiences have allowed me to learn many things from you, the plumbing engineers, designers, manufacturers, researchers and other experts in our profession. But the main thing I’ve learned is that your loyalty plays a very important role in the success of our product lineup. It helps us avoid slumps-all year long.