GET READY TO RUMBLE….Metallurgist style!
by Amy Jacobsen, Secretary-Treasurer, MPD Executive Committee
Join BASS METALS with Dave Meadows, Joe Mercuri and a star-studded lineup of guests for a night of revelry!
Are you ready yet? Have you registered yet? What am I talking about? The 2018 SME Annual Conference & Expo, of course! Okay, many of you are thinking it isn't even Christmas yet – is she crazy or maybe just a little over-the-top enthusiastic…well, probably both!
Many of you probably don't realize it, but the MPD starts to plan our events at the next Annual Conference & Expo almost immediately following the last Annual Conference & Expo. The process starts with a review of the previous year's events and brainstorming of what needs to be done to make the next year even greater. By August, we are moving full steam ahead with putting together the technical sessions, finding sponsors and planning the Scotch Nightcap. We start the planning process early and so by December, we have a pretty good idea of where we are headed in February – that is why I am so excited! This year will prove to be great year!
Why is the SME Annual Conference & Expo so important? Well, it is driven by what our membership has clearly indicated is important to them. In a membership survey taken in August 2016, our membership specified that the MPD is a technical, information-driven organization and a vehicle for the distribution of that information. As such, the most important activity of the MPD was identified as the technical programming at the SME Annual Conference & Expo. Not only is the technical programming important, but the MPD membership also clearly designated professional development opportunities and the recruitment of young people into mineral-processing careers as key value-added membership activities.
During the SME Annual Conference & Expo, MPD has a number of great professional development activities in addition to the technical programming:
• Plenary sessions – this is the opportunity to showcase some of the best in the MPD. These presentations are given by the current year's recipients of the Antoine M. Gaudin Award, the Robert H. Richards Award and the Milton E. Wadsworth Award. This special session will be held on Monday afternoon, February 26, 2018.
• Scotch Nightcap – here is your chance to meet other metallurgists in a casual social environment. It starts at 8 pm on Tuesday evening, February 27, 2018, and the fun goes on until 11 pm. You don't even have to like Scotch to attend! You don't even have to be a metallurgist to attend! This is one of the MPD's most important fund raising events for our scholarship fund (remember the part about recruiting young people into mineral processing?!?). This year we are so excited to announce that the BASS METALS will be making an encore appearance with their British Invasion Concert. This is as good as it gets, and it proves that metallurgists are more than, well, metallurgists…. For all of you who enjoyed last year's performance by metallurgical greats like Dave Meadows, Joe Mercuri, Nick Hazen and John Marsden – THEY'RE BACK!
• Calendar – the 2018-19 Calendar will be available for all your time-keeping and planning needs! Another important source of Scholarship fundraising through the industry sponsors, having one or two of these hanging in your worksite is a great way to continue supporting the MPD.
• Poster competition – this is the chance that our up-and-coming undergraduate and graduate students have a chance to "strut their stuff." The poster session starts at 8:00 am on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. The posters are judged and the top students are given cash awards. In fact, everyone who participates in the poster competition gets a cash award for their efforts. Additionally, we all get the chance to meet the students at the luncheon as they are special guests of the MPD! We'd like to encourage any student interested in participating to get your registration in by January 31, 2018. All the information is available athttp://www.smenet.org/students/student-competitions/mpd-division-student-poster-competition
• MPD Luncheon – the MPD luncheon on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, is the capstone event of the SME Annual Conference & Expo where we have the opportunity to get together with a whole room full of metallurgists, eat a meal together, meet our award winners, recognize the poster competition participants and listen to a great talk. This year's luncheon speaker is Mike Glissman of PolyMet Mining Corp., and he will be speaking on "The PolyMet Northmet Project – An Overview." This luncheon is made possible by a number of outstanding sponsors.
So by now, I hope you are asking yourself – how do I get in on the action?!? Well, it's simple! Just go to http://www.smeannualconference.com/ and register. Advance registration started on Oct. 10, 2017, and on-site registration starts on Jan. 29, 2018. Be sure to get your tickets in advance for the Scotch Nightcap and the MPD Luncheon. Space is limited at the luncheon, so don't miss out. See you in Minneapolis!