By MTI Admin posted 08-22-2023 10:51 AM

An active member of MTI at 92 years old, Bill Salot, a Senior Reliability Engineer at Advansix, wakes up most mornings, reads scriptures, has a little breakfast, and gets to work. It’s a routine that he has followed religiously for most of seven decades, one that has turned him into a candidate for a GOAT (greatest of all time) award in his field of reliability engineering. 
As you might imagine, Salot is quite a character. He is a pragmatic pro who gets to the point quickly. He has certainly earned a big ego for his many achievements, yet he displays humility and a wry sense of humor that can be self-deprecating at times. When asked what he was looking forward to next as he lives his best life in his 90s, he quipped, “tomorrow and the next day.” Inquire about retirement, and it’s a non-starter for him – inconceivable at this point in his long career. He jokes that he’ll probably be buried under Advansix’s Learning Center or his own private parking space at the plant, both which have signs posted that already bear his name.

Delving back to his introduction to the Materials Technology Institute, remarkably, Salot is able to start with the organization’s founding.

“After MTI was conceived, my company, then known as Allied Chemical, was one of the first to join,” he recalls. “Allied Chemical already had an in-house mini-MTI, represented by an active group called AIMEC (Allied Interdivisional Materials Engineering Committee). So, we hit the ground running. My early attendance was as a representative of a division facility where I am still employed, not of the corporation, which has changed corporate (once Honeywell) or division names more than a dozen times.”

In addition to the recognition he has received at Advansix, Salot has also made a name for himself at MTI. Among his industry honors are MTI’s Distinguished Service Award, established by the Board of Directors in 2018 to recognize extraordinary service to the organization. He’s made many significant contributions to numerous projects, but perhaps more notable, Salot began participating in the MTI Forum (formerly TAC Forum) in January 1988. His Forum activity is approaching 600 posts, in which he has offered insight on the full range of issues faced by operating plant personnel. A review of his comments reveals contributions on metallic and non-metallic materials and equipment in a wide range of circumstances.

Although Salot has amassed a vast amount of materials engineering knowledge over 70 years, he continues to seek answers from MTI’s deep well of resources. For example, he recently posted a forum question on the Corrosion Under Insulation resistance of a product called Pyrogel. The post generated five responses within the first 30 minutes, three more within the second 30 minutes, and a total of 12 in less than a week. Salot thought that quick and helpful response was solid evidence of the Forum’s potential benefits.

“There is an art to asking 'answerable' questions on the Forum,” he points out. “A recent question of mine received no response at all until it was re-worded.”

The flip side of the coin, answering questions, is part of the forum’s unwritten rule of quid pro quo. But you had better know what you are talking about, according to Salot.

“If a question expresses a need for guidance, rather than for a solid solution, and I have a related opinion, it is hard for me not to express that opinion,” he confesses.
“Express enough opinions, and questioners will seek you out. It will assure that you are either an expert or a fool.”

To ensure his considerable materials-related expertise doesn’t become stale, Salot continues to participate in the MTI forum and keeps up with the latest technology and techniques.

“Knowledge rapidly becomes outdated,” he notes. “MTI involvement helps us stay abreast of trends in a number of engineering fields.”

Over its 46-year existence, MTI has launched many projects that have garnered Salot’s attention. He shares an initiative that was particularly interesting.

“MTI sponsored the first ever symposium on Mechanical Integrity, just a few months after OSHA passed its PSM Rule in 1992,” he recalls. “From that sprang numerous, still-thriving enterprises, introducing new inspection programs, systems, and techniques, and an acronym called RAGAGEP.”

Having access to other talented peers through the MTI network has also been helpful to Salot over the years, and he provides one example.

“I do recall the discovery, by long-ago surveying my network, that industry practices widely favored both welded tubes and welded pipe over seamless in most instances,” he says. “It helped us justify changing our standards, resulting in large, continuing savings over many subsequent years.”

MTI recently completed a Knowledge Management Project, Best Practices for working with SMEs. Salot and his treasure trove of materials engineering knowledge is exactly the type of subject matter expert that the project team had in mind as it worked to build the new guidebook and its interview templates. Not only is he an icon
at Advanxix (his colleagues revel at the simple yet elegant solutions that he often comes up with), but he is a highly respected member of the MTI technical community.

Although Salot doesn’t travel to AmeriTAC meetings these days, we hope that he continues to contribute questions and answers to the MTI Forum — as long as his daily routine and Father Time allow him to keep up the good work.

Originally published in MTI CONNECT 2023, Issue 2

1 comment



08-22-2023 09:52 PM

God bless you, Bill.  Thank you for your continued commitment to MTI and the industry as a whole.  Keep on keepin’ on!