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You could not have chosen a more difficult time to launch a turbomachinery & pump symposium and exposition. The price of crude oil is at its lowest level in decades, hovering below $40 U.S. per barrel, oil & gas drillers and suppliers have cut way back or have completely gone out of business. The U.S. shale oil sector is cutting production. And many other organizations that service and supply the oil & gas industry are resorting to mergers and acquisitions to survive.
Today there is 10-20% more crude oil than we need because global producers have yet to significantly cut back. Consumption is way down due to the mild winter, and users have become more environmentally conscious. Some industry experts believe the oil & gas market will not improve until 2020.
It was very risky. And yet they did it. On February 22nd, Texas A&M University’s Turbomachinery Laboratory inaugurated in Singapore the Asia Turbomachinery and Pump Symposium (ATPS), a world-class educational forum designed for working engineers. And the people came.
Some 1,094 practicing engineers, owners and plant managers took the time to break away from their jobs to attend 24 case studies, 10 discussion groups, 16 lectures, 10 short courses and 22 tutorials. Original equipment manufacturers of rotating machinery, technical service providers, and local universities participated as well, filling 75 booths showcasing prominent products.
The Turbo Lab extended 603 free passes to the exhibit hall. An overwhelming majority of the exhibitors (93%) ranked the event as most useful, recommended it to others, and will return in the near future. Most of the attendees came from Singapore and the neighboring countries (~ 700), while sizeable numbers arrived from Japan, China, Korea, Europe and the U.S.
Singapore’s top universities and organizations joined in to support the Turbomachinery Laboratory efforts: the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, and the Singapore Tourism Board. Other partners include the Korea Rotating Machinery Engineers Association and the Gas Turbine Users forum. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries sponsored the event.
“The future is today in Singapore,” said Dr. Luis San Andrés, Mast-Childs Chair Professor at Texas A&M University. “The Singapore Workforce Development Agency wishes our presence. Singapore is a know-how society that values education and works earnestly for its people to be trained to the highest level. The Turbo Lab can assist in bringing the best education, examinations and accreditation to practicing engineers in the region.”
The ATPS in Singapore will be a biannual event, its next offering scheduled for early 2018. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting comprised of about 30 members, all practicing engineers and managers, representing end users, service industries and OEMs will begin to promote the event, invite selected contributions for lectures, tutorials and case studies, organize multiple-day short courses with specific training, and oversee the organization of a second ATPS that promises to establish an outstanding tradition in Asia.
Besides traditional courses in rotordynamics, compressor and steam turbines design and operation, pumps design, operation and reliability, future ATPS events in Singapore will include design, operation and maintenance of rotating machinery applied to the maritime industry, off-shore O&G production with deep sea pumping factories, water management and production, including desalination plants.