Our time in the limelight is temporal. The only way to innovate and advance technology is to pass knowledge to the next generation of eager and inquisitive minds.

It’s easy to get jaded and complacent working in a technical industry. We see companies moving their operations overseas or shutting their doors. Fewer and fewer of our youth are pursuing science degrees, while more and more emphasis is being placed on service industries such as the hospitality and medical fields. Seems these trends might spur an experienced professional to withdraw into one’s own little world and grind it out until retirement.

Fortunately the coatings industry has always fostered an engaging spirit of technical exchange. The technical conference season is upon us. A dazzling array of conferences and courses are offered in a number of different events. My hometown, Cleveland, plays host to the SUR/FIN show this month. In addition to a vast number of exhibits extolling the latest innovations in finishing technology, a comprehensive technical program will cover all major issues impacting the metal finishing industry. Be sure to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the culinary delights of the Warehouse District and the pubs and clubs in The Flats before heading back home.

Next month another Midwestern venue, the Indianapolis Convention Center, plays host to the debut of FIN-X 2007. This indispensable conference boasts a wide-ranging series of talks and educational events touching all aspects of finishing technology. Check out our preview on pp. 44-49 in this issue.

BNP Media,Finishing Today’sparent, just finished sponsoring two essential annual technical events. Powder Coating 101 and the Coatings for Plastics Symposium were held in Chicago in June with an outstanding group of formulators and engineers. The technical exchanges among presenters and attendees were lively and engaging. Look for announcements on the 2008 conference dates to be released soon.

None of these events would be possible if technologists, scientists and engineers hid their technical luminescence under a bushel basket. Perhaps some of us realize that our time in the limelight is temporal, and the only way to innovate and advance technology is to pass knowledge to the next generation of eager and inquisitive minds.

In this season of finishing events, please take the time to connect with your fellow technologists. I look forward to meeting you at one of the upcoming shows.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. -Pericles