The International Angle

28 Oct 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous
To me, the most interesting aspect of the ASEM International Annual Conference (IAC) is meeting people. It's always a treat to see folks that you've met at other ASEM functions, or maybe became acquainted with during conference calls. Making new friends is terrific as well. This year the IAC offered a great mix of both new and familiar faces.

The folks that travel from outside of the United States to attend the IAC always capture my attention. It may be because I love to travel, or simply because I know that it takes a fair amount of time and other resources to travel to the conference. Either way, I always make a point of thanking the international visitors and spending a moment to learn what projects they're working on.

I first met Geert Letens at the 2013 IAC, though I'm sure that I heard and saw his name earlier than that. He travels to the conference from Belgium, serves on the ASEM board and is the President-Elect, which is rather exciting news for the association. His term as President will truly move the ASEM into international channels.

He's also very personable and loves to discuss sports and technology, which are my favorite topics.

Two new friends were introduced to me through their research at the 2014 IAC. As a fan of supply chain, I tend to gravitate towards those presentations, and these presenters had very interesting papers. Of course, that their session was just before mine didn't hurt my chances of meeting them, too!

Hatice Camgöz-Akdag from Istanbul Technical University presented a case study on Green Supply Chain Management for Electric and Electronic Equipment in Turkey (she was also the Session Chair). The information was compelling, particularly with the efforts to increase participation rates, and I caught up with her afterward to thank her for such an interesting topic. Clearly recycling is a challenge for everyone; her paper highlighted many similarities that are concerns at a global level.

The other presentations in the session came from Katharina Renken, representing Texas Tech University. She's a transplant from Germany and presented two projects dealing with Emergency Management. One paper discussed an analysis of the supply chain in Emergency Management, while the other discussed RFID Technology within Emergency Management. Both were exciting examples of how lives can be saved by employing engineering skills, and I made sure that she knew how much I enjoyed learning about these topics.

I also attended a presentation from Simon Philbin, who also chaired his session on R&D and Technology Management. I had a chance to meet Simon at the 2013 IAC Social Event, so it was a good opportunity to say hello and learn more about his current projects. He lives and works in the United Kingdom, and is also the new International Regional Director for ASEM.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention Don Kennedy. His presentation at the 2012 IAC was one of the first I attended, and I was left with a strong impression of his work and passion for Engineering Management. He hails from Canada and was named an ASEM Fellow at the 2014 conference. Personally I hope we see more blog posts from him the future. *nudge, nudge*

Who did you meet or re-acquaint yourself with at the IAC? Share your stories at any of our social media outlets, or post below. If you missed this year's conference, hopefully I've highlighted a great reason to get yourself to Indianapolis for the 2015 AIC!
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Tricia Simo Kush is a recently certified Professional Engineering Manager. Her background is in Information Technology with a goal is to take her career to a higher level through Engineering Management. To her, Engineering Management is a fascinating mix of technology and business, people and process. Follow her on Twitter (@TSimoKush) or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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