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Engaging with Industry
How ASME’s industry events are bringing people together and advancing engineering.

Among the ways ASME is proud to serve the engineering community is in our ability to bring together world-leading organizations, practitioners, and scholars, across a variety of industries and technologies, to fulfill ASME’s historic mission “to advance engineering for the benefit of humanity.” As anyone who knows this organization can tell you, one of the best ways we do that is through ASME’s renowned industry events programming.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Debbie Holton, ASME’s managing director of industry events, to learn more about what she is working on. She joined our team in November 2018 and brings a tremendous wealth of expertise and experience to the work and the team she now leads for us. But beyond her exceptional expertise, she is also one of the most natural and enthusiastic “people-people” I know.

Thomas Costabile: Give us a sense of what it exactly means when we talk about industry events?

Deborah Holton: Industry events are an important part of where ASME is going. ASME has had a great portfolio of technical events for many years, including research and development events that serve academia and that really are on the forefront of technology. And there are industry people who are participating in those programs.

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What we are building here and what we are looking at for the future, is something that’s a little farther down the technology curve, where there are applied technologies that people can use today to improve their operations to be more efficient and to really take their business to the next level. So where industry events come in is really this dynamic platform of bringing people together to advance technologies and learn how to really leverage them.

T.C: What are some of the efforts that have taken root since you have joined ASME?

D.H: We have held several industry events over the last year including the Offshore Wind Summit, Robots for Inspection and Maintenance (RFIM), and Visualize MED. Offshore wind is a growing industry in North America and our program united the business, government, and technology communities in this space to drive the industry forward. RFIM focuses on the technology that’s on the front lines of digital transformation. Using robots and drones to provide accurate, critical data to understand asset integrity and more importantly to take people out of harm’s way. That event was really dynamic as we had live drone and robot demonstrations and hands-on activities with technology. Visualize MED focuses on modeling and simulation for the medical industry and the ability to create a digital twin of a device or a drug to ensure quality and improve outcomes.

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For 2020 we’ve launched new events, including AM Aerospace as part of the AM Industry Summit, and Digital Twin, scheduled for November 11-12. These continue to be held virtually, allowing us to share vital information and connect even more industry professionals with solutions and opportunities.

T.C: I know that one of the big things you have been engaged with is the AM Medical Event. Can you tell us more about that?

D.H: Putting together a brand-new event is definitely a major undertaking. It takes time, energy, and expertise—it takes a village. Additive manufacturing is an area where ASME is squarely positioned to bring together these worlds that really must collaborate and network. When you think about bioengineering, manufacturing, and the medical profession, these are different communities of people that use different language and words. But through collaboration, we are going to be able to advance human life and well-being, and really make a difference in the world, which is essentially ASME’s mission.

The AM Medical Virtual Summit took place in May. It was originally planned as an in-person event and quickly pivoted to an online forum when it became apparent the COVID-19 outbreak would prevent in-person events from taking place. The AM community has shown the importance of medical applications for this technology—especially in the age of COVID-19. We felt it essential to bring this event to market to advance this life-saving technology and increase its adoption. Now we have the next AM Medical Summit virtual event scheduled for October 28-29.

Thomas Costabile is Executive Director/CEO of ASME. This column was adapted from a recent podcast. To listen to the full conversation, visit the ASME Today & Tomorrow podcast on SoundCloud, Stitcher, or iTunes.

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