Despite an impromptu presidential campaign rally one floor above the 2016 ASPE Convention and Exposition in the Phoenix Convention Center, the biannual event went off without a hitch Oct. 28-Nov. 2.

Now President-Elect Donald Trump held a campaign stop on Oct. 29, but the association’s event continued to move forward with more than 4,000 engineers, designers, contractors, manufacturers reps, distributors and more for educational sessions, meetings with customers and manufacturers, and general ASPE organization business.

Former Major League Baseball star Steve Garvey was the ASPE Expo’s keynote speaker and passed along a message about putting aside personal agendas and working as a team to achieve goals at attendees’ businesses.

In total, 305 manufacturers displayed their products during the two days the expo hall was open to show-goers, but there was a no-selling-allowed policy. Attendees earned continuing education units as they walked the expo floor. The Social Media Lounge, show floor tours and the New Product Innovation Showcase were ramped up during the 2016 show.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based pump manufacturer Little Giant displayed many of its products, including its VCC-20-P series of pumps that are ideal for small mechanical applications.

“We’re becoming an engineering products company,” said Scott Stayton, director of portfolio management. “In the specifying engineering community, we’re trying to cultivate that business.”

Other companies made their presence known on the ASPE Expo hall floor. Bonomi North America had its full line of valves, actuators and more on display. Rick Wentzel, Bonomi’s marketing consultant, noted the industry is trending toward more specialization with its products.

“It’s a niche world,” he said.

The ICC Evaluation Service Plumbing, Mechanical and Gas group (ICC-ES PMG) was presented an award from ASPE in recognition of ICC-ES’s continued support, sponsorship and contributions to ASPE during the closing night banquet.

“We were very surprised and delighted to receive this award from ASPE,” ICC-ES PMG Director Dawn LaFleur-Qualley said. “ASPE always has been a great supporter of the ICC-ES PMG and we look forward to exhibiting again.”

The ASPE Young Professionals special-interest group was active during the ASPE Expo as well. Blair Minyard, P.E., was appointed as the new AYP Liaison, taking over for Cory Powers. Minyard is based in Birmingham, Ala., and is the virtual design and construction engineer with BL Harbert International.

Minyard plans to broaden the understanding of the plumbing engineer profession to the young generation and believes the group is vital to new industry members.

“Plumbing design is vitally important to our everyday life as well as a concern for our planet with the need of water conservation and education,” she says. “Being engaged in this group has made it less frightening and an easier transition when being included with members who have had a tremendous head start in experience over me. ASPE has given me a direction in the construction industry that not only is different and vital but also can be very lucrative.”      

AYP members at the 2016 show were impressed by what was offered.

“There was so much to take away from the experience,” said Andrew Hemmelgarn, CPD, and the ASPE Young Professionals Liaison for the southwestern Ohio chapter. “From walking the show floor to meeting design professionals from across the country, the amount of knowledge available in one city was simply astounding.”

This year, ASPE will hold its bi-annual Technical Symposium Oct. 19-22 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The 2018 ASPE Convention and Exposition is set for Sept. 28-Oct. 3 in Atlanta.


This article was originally titled “Nice and smooth” in the January 2017 print edition of PM Engineer.