The Good: The Vibration Institute successfully completed our 41st consecutive Annual Training Conference in June at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Rochester, New York. The conference included many excellent short courses and papers, including a Basic Machinery Vibrations course, certification exams, and good weather for the event. We had a record number of exhibitors and sponsors this year helping to make the event and receptions better for all. I’d like to thank all 15 of our sponsors for their support, with special thanks to our two Champion sponsors: CTC and IMI Sensors, which each provided major support for one of our two evening receptions, including free drinks! The support of our vendors makes it possible to hold a world-class event.
We had so many great presentations that it is impossible to talk about them all in such a short article. I would like to mention that our preconference short courses on Rotor Dynamics for Users, Basic ODS, Rotor Modeling, and Impact Testing were well attended and received very positive feedback. Our keynote address by Dr. Chris Kuehl on our current economic condition was incredibly well received. Dr. Kuehl was not only well informed on the topic but also an excellent presenter with a great sense of humor that kept everyone laughing. The diverse program, including balancing, gearbox analysis, resonance testing, modal analysis, pump analysis, piping vibration, and other topics, had something that appealed to just about everyone in attendance.
Additionally, Dr. Eshleman, a Vibration Institute founder, recieved a lifetime achievement award and it was announced that the Vibration Institute has created the Eshleman Foundation in honor of Dr. Eshleman. The Eshlman Foundation is the charitable arm of the Vibration Institute, and will be responsible giving our academic grants, vocational grants and event grants to those that qualify.
The Bad: While the conference was a huge success with happy vendors and attendance at the record level of 2016, it was a bit disappointing because we wanted to see a big increase over 2016 as we have a very large number of members in the New York region that didn’t turn out. To attract more local attendees, we offered free exhibit passes this year, something new; hoping the 400-plus certified vibration analysts and VI members in a three-hour driving radius would take advantage of it. Alas, only a couple dozen took advantage of it. The most concerning reason, at least to me, is that feedback indicated that many employers did not feel it was in their best interest to let vibration analysists out for a few hours to attend. It is a mystery to me how educated supervisors cannot see the benefits of professional development. There was a lot of excitement at the conference over next year’s location and timeframe, July instead of June. Also, we are working on some very exciting changes to the conference that should appeal to our community as a whole. More will be released about this as the details are finalized.
The Ugly: The Hyatt Regency was supposed to be totally renovated by the time we held our conference, unfortunately, it wasn’t even close. Those who attended know the problems we had with accessibility, noise, rooms not being finished, and general disorder in the hotel. I’d like to personally thank those that attended the conference and endured the problems with a tolerance and a sense of humor. Fortunately, the high quality of the program and exhibits made up for the inconveniences of the construction. Funny thing, our 2018 conference in New Orleans will also be at a Hyatt Regency; however, we are assured that their hotel renovation is already completed! Additionally, in recognition of construction situation, the Hyatt Regency Rochester has donated $10,000 to our scholarship fund.
Final Note: Dr. Eshleman and the Program Committee are currently working on the technical program for next year’s conference. If you have any suggestions on the technical content, please contact the Institute with your suggestions. And, as always, thank you for your support of the Vibration Institute.
Save the Date: Hyatt Regency, New Orleans ~ July 17-20