The largest gathering of MTI members and guests in two years took place at the second MTI Global Solutions Symposium in Orlando, Florida March 1-3. It was the perfect opportunity to celebrate member company anniversaries, Value Awards, project completions, and individual accomplishments.
In fact, one TAC Representative, Hardin Wells, Fellow – Mechanical Tech Service at Albemarle, was on stage for each of the four types of awards presented at the Symposium. Wells accepted Albemarle’s 40-year MTI Membership Anniversary plaque, MTI Value and Project Champion Awards for the Best Practices in Reactive and Refractory Metals in the CPI project, and a Distinguished Service Award for the many other contributions he has made over 25-plus years of participation in the organization.
“I have to say that receiving the MTI Distinguished Service Award at the recent TAC meeting in Orlando was an incredible honor for me,” says Wells. “In fact, it is one of the highlights of my 35 years in the chemical industry and one that I am truly humbled to receive. To be recognized by your peers for your contributions over several decades is incredibly rewarding and makes my time engaged with MTI even more special. But to be sure, the years of engagement and whatever contributions I was able to muster pale in comparison to the many learnings, amazing experiences, and new friends that I received from my MTI connections during this time. In fact, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
Wells wasn’t the only individual honored during the festivities. Gary Coates of the Nickel Institute also received a Distinguished Service Award. In addition to contributing to many projects during his 24 years as a member, Coates has been very active in MTI’s forum. His first post was recorded on February 25, 1997, and he has added another 111 since then.
“Perhaps Gary’s greatest contributions have been in the form of training programs and presentations,” according to former Executive Director Paul Whitcraft. “He is very well represented in the MTI Technical Resource Library, with more than 14 formal presentations.”
In addition to honoring long-term contributors, MTI recognizes noteworthy achievements of members who have been active for a year or more with the Chair’s Leadership Award. At the Symposium, Karen Picker, Sandvik’s Regional Technical Marketing Manager, Americas, was presented the award for her significant efforts as Co-Chair of the Knowledge Management PDC, which recently generated the Best Practices for Working with SMEs Project. She has also championed several projects, including the current Microbiological Corrosion Project #308, an effort to generate data and an industry report on the corrosion behavior of Duplex Stainless Steels in MIC environments.
“Winning the award was extremely uplifting for me,” shares Picker. “I enjoy participating at MTI and volunteering on as many project as I can because I know the membership respects and values my input and I know I can have a positive impact on them. The work MTI does for the industry is like no other and everyone involved shows they really care about producing meaningful data the industry needs. Although I’m a young engineer, I’ve always felt my opinions are welcomed and the more experienced crowd is willing to hear a different perspective coming from someone like me. I see the MTI family is growing and younger engineers are becoming more visible and vocal about the next generation’s approach to solve industry problems and this is exactly what the industry needs. I encourage everyone to continue to participate and contribute to the MTI community because it is a professionally rewarding organization that helps you grow professionally and personally.”
In September 2021, the MTI Awards Committee convened to review value case submissions, with the challenging goal of selecting one global winner. Ultimately, top honors went to Nouryon, Chemours, and Enerfab for leveraging MTI resources and networking to successfully complete the Project Thor 2507 Reactors. According to the value case application, Alloy 2507 is a difficult material to form, fabricate and heat treat. By combining MTI resources, contacts and presentations, Nouryon was able to collect supporting justification (Chemours) to identify a supplier capable of providing the required plate size and annealing procedure (AccelorMittal lndusteel) to a fabricator (Enerfab) with the necessary expertise and capabilities to handle, form, fabricate and heat treat an extremely intricate, complex vessel design in a timely manner for a customer’s vital project (Nouryon).
“The sense of information sharing and cooperation truly exemplified the spirit of MTI, what it means to be a member and why that membership has such value,” explains Ed Naylor, Senior Materials Engineering Associate at Nouryon. “Often times so great that it’s difficult to accurately quantify. We could have made a few really catastrophic decisions regarding this project if not for this cooperation between (at that time four) member companies.”
“Being an MTI Grand Champion Award Winner is beyond a doubt an epic accomplishment for our team at Enerfab,” says Kelly Wyrough, Technical Sales Specialist. “Like I said during the awards ceremony, you can come to MTI and sit next to the brightest in the Process Industry and hope that seat gains your company value. Or you can choose to get involved in projects and work towards being the trendsetter in the industry for solving critical process equipment problems and advance the industry to the next level. MTI provides unmeasurable value. We gain two-fold back from what we put in, and we put in a lot on all projects we feel can add great value to the industry.”
Three other Value Awards were presented during the MTI Symposium. Wells and Wendy McGowan, Senior Manager of Business Development at Neotiss, accepted an award for the recently completed Best Practices for Reactive and Refractory Metals in the CPI project. Their significant efforts helped generate a comprehensive guidebook that covers the intricacies of working with titanium, zirconium, niobium, tantalum, and clad metals for CPI applications.
In addition, Tricor received a Value Award for using MTI library resources to train its team to become more helpful to customers and to increase Tricor’s position as a technical source for materials of construction (MOC) information for the CPI. Tricor also uses this information as part of any literature review to develop possible MOC alternatives for end users/producers.
“This award shows the value of MTI publications and how members and non-members can use them to answer technical questions,” notes Chuck Young, Business Development Manager at Tricor Metals and an MTI Board Member. “I would recommend that anyone in the membership get familiar with the eLibrary and use it to their advantage.”
Finally, DuPont was awarded a plaque for knowledge gained during MTI’s Guidance for Failure Mechanisms in the CPI, a project
providing an overview of the most prevalent failure mechanisms in the Chemical Processing Industry. The recently published guide is designed to complement API 571, Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry, by focusing on CPI types of damage mechanisms. The book’s 39 chapters, which include data shared by many of MTl’s member companies, describe where, how, and why
corrosion, erosion and other problems occur, how they can be inspected and detected, and how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
“This is a truly collaborative project highlighting the team spirit within and power of MTI,” according to Project Champion Lars Rose, a Materials Engineer with DuPont. “Overall, 57 members from almost as many MTI member companies participated directly in the project, making this a truly valuable tool to all membership companies.”
Perhaps more than anything else, the MTI Awards Ceremony highlighted the many accomplishments that occurred during the pandemic, a time when members weren’t able to meet face-to-face. From March 2020 until June 2021, all MTI meetings, including global TAC meetings, were virtual. Yet members found a way to carry on, complete major projects, answer critical questions on the forum, and even network to create value for their companies. That perseverance in the face of a worldwide crisis made the 2022 awards ceremony all the more special for those able to attend in person. For those who weren’t there but took part in these projects, we congratulate you for your efforts and look forward to seeing you again soon. Originally published in MTI CONNECT 2022, Issue 1