The biannual ASPE Technical Symposium will have some international flair this go-round.

For the first time in the event’s history, the symposium will be held outside the U.S., staking claim Oct. 19-22 at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The brass at ASPE is doing everything to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

“As part of the education program, we are offering a full-day workshop on intermediate plumbing system design and tours of the Jean R. Marcotte wastewater treatment plant,” says Gretchen Pienta, ASPE’s director of publications & standards. “We also are holding the first symposium Saturday night party at the Grevin Wax Museum.”

ASPE has posted its 2017 Tech Symposium Official Program Guide online at so attendees can best plan their show experience.

“Attendees can maximize their experience by networking with as many other attendees and the expert speakers as possible to increase their professional network,” Pienta says.

Pienta notes ASPE has enhanced its continuing education offerings at the symposium. The Montreal show will have more than 35 sessions that offer up to 1.2 CEUs.

“The cornerstone of our Technical Symposium is the education program,” Pienta states. “The tracks are designed to help professionals at all levels learn new skills and advance in their careers.”

The educational session tracks are: Fundamentals, Fire & Life Safety, Materials & Equipment, The Business of Plumbing Engineering and Designing Across Borders (three of the sessions will be delivered in French).

Some interesting sessions include:

The Newest Innovations in Medical Gas Design (Friday, Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m.): Jonathan C. Willard will discuss advancements in equipment technologies, design standards and construction procedures that will assist with regulatory compliance, emergency preparedness, energy efficiency, equipment longevity and more. The session also will cover the new NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code requirements that every design team should know.

Underground Installations of DHW Piping Systems (Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3:15-4:45 p.m.): Sal Terranova will give an overview of the different standards and model-code requirements for proper piping burial based on different materials, applications and soil conditions. It also will cover creative ways to address special circumstances and different field-condition challenges.

Project Coordination for the Engineer or Designer (Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3:15-4:45 p.m.): Raymond F. Parham will show the basics of coordinating the plumbing design with other entities of the project design team, including the owner, architect and civil engineer.

Backflow Prevention Methods, Devices & Assemblies (Sunday, Oct. 22 at 8:45-10:15 a.m.): Sean Cleary will show attendees how to select the proper backflow-protection options for each installation. For more on backflow prevention, check out pme’s Fire Protection Columnist Jacqueline Wilmot’s piece on page 16 of this issue.

ASPE has expanded its Product Show at the Tech Symposium to two days. The exhibition hall will open on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and will reopen the following day from 9 a.m. to noon. As of press time, more than 40 exhibitors are slated to attend, including A. O. Smith, Armstrong Fluid Technology, Bradley Corp., Charlotte Pipe, Grundfos Canada, IAPMO, Navien, NIBCO, NSF International, RWC Worldwide, Taco Comfort Solutions, Uponor, Viega, Watts, Xylem and Zurn.

“Attendees should visit all the booths at the Product Show and engage in in-depth discussions with the exhibitors to learn as much as possible about the newest products and services in the market,” Pienta says.

The ASPE Young Professionals will continue to have a major presence at the Tech Symposium with its AYP Networking Event and the AYP Leadership Academy.

“Both AYP events are expected to sell out,” Pienta says. “The networking event this year is the first AYP axe-throwing tournament at Rage Montreal, which is sure to be an exciting experience.”

At the AYP Leadership Academy event set for Thursday Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., young ASPE members will get to listen to industry peers about technical design skills and business skills such as self-management, leadership, communication and networking.


This article was originally titled “Across the border” in the October 2017 print edition of PM Engineer.