Going international proved to be a major coup for the American Society of Plumbing Engineers.

According to ASPE Executive Director and CEO Billy Smith, the group saw its second-highest attended Technical Symposium held Oct. 19-22 at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The 2017 Technical Symposium was the first time in ASPE’s 53-year history it held this event outside of the U.S.

Smith told pme during a short break at the Technical Symposium that ASPE is excited about the “momentum” that was built during the event.

ASPE enhanced the Technical Symposium compared to the 2015 event in St. Louis by expanding its product show to two days. More than 40 manufacturers and industry partners filled the Fontaine Hall for face-to-face time with Technical Symposium attendees.

To add to the ambience of the room and show attendees how a product can fit an application, Liberty Pumps brought a live demo of its 2 hp Omnivore grinder pump. Uponor, Zurn, Navien and other manufacturers brought a full array of products for attendees to get a feel for and receive expert information from company representatives.

The product-show hall was busy at all times it was open during the symposium, with the second day of the show rolling into the first batch of educational sessions for attendees.

There were five tracks of educational sessions during the Technical Symposium: Fundamentals, Fire & Life Safety, Materials & Equipment, The Business of Plumbing Engineering, and Designing Across Borders (where three of the eight overall sessions were delivered in French.)

The first educational session in the Fundamentals track was “Reclaim System Design” presented by Mark Girgenti, the lead sales and design engineer for Burt Process Equipment. He spoke on clean water, groundwater and harvested rainwater and how each could be utilized to maximize a design and application.

“You can take any type of water and make it potable,” Girgenti noted. “But with the costs of chemicals, does it make it worth it?”

Peter A. Kraut, P.E., founder of Calabasas, Calif.-based engineering firm SCEG, held an “Intro to Plumbing Theory” session that featured a mix of young and older Technical Symposium attendees. Kraut covered the Hunter’s Curve, Btu and other elements of plumbing design including products that come up in day-to-day work. He also reminded young attendees that it takes time to fully grasp everything in the industry.

“I didn’t learn a single formula until five years into my career,” he stated.

In the Business of Plumbing Engineering track, “Plumbing Designers & Engineers: Your Clients Want Results,” attendees heard that building owners want better energy efficiency now.

Session presenter David P. Carrier, the CEO and founder of QuantumFlo, told the assembled crowd: “Clients want answers, value and reliability. How do you tell them what they need? It’s your job to show them how your design will bring value and you have to have them consider costs over time.”

Future ASPE industry events include the upcoming Convention and Exposition set for Sept. 28-Oct. 3, 2018 in Atlanta and the next Technical Symposium Oct. 24-27, 2019 in Pittsburgh.


This article was originally titled “International flavor” in the November 2017 print edition of PM Engineer.