Two Events in Three Daysfrom Dritan Topuzi
Last week I had the chance to attend two important conferences in Toronto and Mississauga.
The first one was the ACI Fall 2012 Convention, at Sheraton Centre in Toronto. ACI (The American Concrete Institute) is one of the world’s leading authorities in concrete technology. It conducts two conventions a year and this Fall the event was held in Toronto. Domenico and I attended the Convention for two days, the 22nd and 23rd of October, where we introduced Schöck and our products to several potential clients. An important event was the ACI 440 Committee meeting. ACI 440 is an ACI Committee focused on fiber-reinforced polymer reinforcement. During this meeting we heard good news about the Committee’s plans with regard to further developments of codes and guidelines related to the FRP reinforcement in concrete structures. At the end of the meeting we talked to Mr. Busel, a director at ACMA (American Composites Manufacturers Association), and Dr. Shield, the ACI 440 Committee Chair. We have an application in process for becoming a voting member of this Committee, in order to have our say as a local FRP supplier on the future development of codes published by this prestigious institute.
The second conference was Bridge Expo, at Mississauga Convention Centre in Mississauga. This workshop and trade show was organized by Ontario Good Roads Association, and it included presentations on bridge design and best practices. Since this was happening in parallel with the ACI Convention, I managed to attend only the last day, the 24th of October, to see that Lena and Angelo had done a great job in setting up a booth and dealing with the customers attracted by our products. The presentations room was also full of people, making me feel somehow nervous, because in a couple of hours it would be my time for a presentation, titled ‘GFRP vs. Steel in concrete structures, myths and realities’. However, the presentation went very well and immediately after that we had people coming to our booth and saying things like ‘it answered all our questions about GFRP’ etc. or asking for a Lunch & Learn for their company. In addition, I was happy to be congratulated by Dr. Walbridge, because… he is a committee member of my PhD program at the University of Waterloo ;).
Both these events helped us promote our products to the North American market, and we are looking forward to the next events; earliest one being a GFRP Technical Seminar on the 6th of November in Mississauga, organized by the Mississauga and Brampton PEO Chapters.