Q&A with the Global Solutions Symposium Co-Chairs Meghan Oaks, BASF and Chuck Young, Tricor Metals:

By MTI Admin posted 01-12-2022 11:06 AM


Q: Please introduce yourselves and describe your role at your companies.

Meghan: My name is Meghan Oaks. I am a Senior Material Engineer at BASF. I am responsible for supporting all our sites within North America with their materials related issues: failure analysis, material selection, corrosion testing, etc. I recently took over our in-house corrosion testing lab and am responsible for running it.

Chuck: I am Chuck Young, Metallurgist and Business Development Manager for Tricor Metals with headquarters in Wooster, OH and another fabrication facility in Conroe, TX. I am responsible for managing the fabrication sales and marketing team covering North America as well as handling all technical questions related to corrosion and use of the metals and alloys that we fabricate for the CPI, Oil & Gas, Mining, and other industries that use corrosive chemicals in their operations. I have 49 years of experience in both of these areas for a wide variety of industries and products.


Q: What is your role as co-chair? How did you come to take on this position within MTI?

Meghan: As co-chair, I have been responsible for helping to plan and organize the Symposium in conjunction with MTI staff and my co-chair, Chuck. I was co-chair for the 2020 Symposium and decided to stay on for the 2022 Symposium because I felt the level of technical presentations then were fantastic. I wanted to help ensure that the 2022 Symposium met the same standards set by the 2020 Symposium.

Chuck: Meghan and I are responsible for the development of the Symposium tracks, topics and speakers by managing a committee of MTI members who work to fill in the blanks and present a worthwhile, successful Symposium. Meghan and I were the co-chairs of the 2020 Symposium, and we were again asked to manage the 2022 Symposium because of the overwhelming success in 2020. I personally view this as an honor for us to be able to make such a positive impact on MTI and the Chemical Process Industry.


Q: How have you benefited from taking on this project leadership role through running the symposium?

Meghan: Being co-chair of the 2020 and 2022 symposiums has allowed me to network within MTI, getting to know many of the industry experts, and be recognized by the leadership at my company for representing BASF at MTI. The keynote speaker from the 2020 symposium was highly impressed by MTI and the technical caliber of the attendees and projects; as a result, he is incredibly supportive of my involvement with the organization.

Chuck: MTI is a member-based organization that needs members to take leadership roles in furthering the MTI technology leadership in the CPI. For such an important role as leader of this Symposium to be placed on Meghan and myself, I believe that both of us have become acknowledged as committed to MTI and to our respective companies, and as people who can accomplish great things in supporting the CPI.


Q: List a few ways attendees can obtain value through either exhibiting at or attending the 2022 Global Solutions Symposium.

Chuck & Meghan: The 2022 Symposium is a great opportunity for MTI members and non-members to interact with experts from a large number of different companies and to gain valuable insight into developing technical and Knowledge Management trends in the CPI and associated industries.  The multiple tracks of presentations, along with the chance to interact in the exhibit hall – at breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks, dinner and a special “Casino” night, offers an opportunity for formal and informal interactions to occur. The ultimate goal is for all attendees to come away from the Symposium with an increase in their technical knowledge and, perhaps, a better understanding of how to solve some complex problems in their own plants – helping their company see a significant benefit from attendance at the Symposium. Take advantage of having some of the best in the industry all present at the same event!


Q: How will this year’s Symposiums differ from the 2020 event?

Chuck & Meghan: Much of the symposium structure remains the same after positive feedback from 2020 attendees. Some of the technical tracks are new to address attendee challenges and, of course, all the presentations themselves are new. We have expanded the Knowledge Management track to include many different ideas on KM with several speakers from various non-MTI organizations. All in all, we believe that the 2022 Symposium will be judged as significantly better than 2020 and serve as an indication of how MTI is focused on key areas of concern to the CPI and associated industries and continues to grow as a great resource for the CPI, Oil & Gas, Mining, and other industries.

Also, we’ve planned a fun networking event for one of the evenings – a casino night where attendees and exhibitors can interact more casually.


Q: Talk a little bit about the technical tracks. How do they differ from 2020’s tracks and how will they provide value for attendees?

Chuck & Meghan: As industry and technologies change over time, the discussions at the MTI Symposium are a good attempt to keep up with those changes and allow attendees to remain focused on current issues while also understanding what may be coming in the future. All of this will assist attendees to help their companies become more sustainable, with processes that become more reliable and plants that maintain and increase profitability.

When planning the technical sessions, we try to find categories that are broad enough to elicit a number of papers, but also highly relevant to our target audience: namely, engineers in the Chemical Process Industry, as well as related industries (e.g. Mining, Pulp and Paper). In 2020, session topics included emerging technology, turnarounds, high temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA), corrosion under insulation and knowledge management. In 2022, we kept some of the same session topics – emerging technology and knowledge management – because they are evergreen topics in our industries. We modified one session from HTHA to a more general high-temperature damage mechanisms to include damages in crackers, reformers, and other high-temperature equipment that may not always be a result of hydrogen attack. We added two new session topics this year, too: sustainability; and safety, maintenance and reliability – both of which are presenting challenges and opportunities in our industries. The presentations in all  the sessions promise to be high quality and relevant to attendees.

Thank you to Symposium Co-Chairs Meghan and Chuck for their valuable insights and help in making this a successful event. For more information on the Symposium and how to register, please visit www.mti-global.org/mtisymposium/about or contact us by email mtisymposium@mti-global.org or phone (314) 567-4111.