ATLANTA – The annual conference for NACE International, CORROSION 2009, welcomed more than 4,500 attendees to the world’s largest conference and exposition focused on battling the effects of corrosion on the world’s infrastructure.
At the conference opening, NACE International Executive Director Tony Keane welcomed the audience saying, “This is a great week to meet industry experts, a great week to learn.”
Mark Byerley Sr., President of NACE International, then added that despite current economic woes, NACE International continues to grow. As of the opening of the conference, NACE International membership had reached 21,235, representing a 43 percent increase since 2005 and an 8 percent increase over this same time last year.
Byerley went on to say that NACE International membership, as well as the conference, offers those in the business a competitive edge. Byerley then introduced Mike Helton, President of NASCAR, as the NACE International CORROSION 2009 keynote speaker. Helton opened with an inspiring video about NASCAR, its technical focus through racing and its R&D facility in Concord, NC.
According to NASCAR, it is the number-one spectator sport in the United States, holding 17 of the top 20 highest-attended sporting events last year.
Helton entertained the audience with stories about NASCAR’s beginnings on the beaches of Daytona, FL, in the 1940s. He talked about how corrosion caused by the salt and sand on early race cars may had an effect on engineering decisions for both cars and tracks.
Helton noted that the influence of technology has had a major impact on NASCAR, which continues today through its R&D center. NASCAR, he said, immerses itself in engineering technology through development of safety and racing; it also views green initiatives as important to its future.