The season of coatings conferences, symposiums and trade shows is upon us. Smart Coatings 2011 kicks off Feb. 23-25, in Orlando, FL. Coatings, polymers and related materials continue to be an innovative area in research and technology. Smart materials (adaptive, responsive, bioactive, photonics and nanotechnology-based coatings) are becoming the norms of the industry. The objective of this symposium is to provide a forum to stimulate new ideas, present and discuss fundamental and applied science of smart coatings, identify critical problems, provide promising solutions, and assess possible roadmaps.

The 38th Waterborne Symposium will be held Feb. 28-March 4 in New Orleans. Sponsored by the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi, this event has a reputation for excellent scientific presentations and discussions. Sixteen papers have been chosen as finalists for the Best Paper Award to be presented during the closing ceremonies of the symposium.

Coming up in March is uv.eb West 2011, a two-day conference and exhibition providing presentations and demonstrations by leading industry suppliers and users targeting the environmental, economic, energy savings and performance benefits of UV and EB. The event will occur March 8-9 in Santa Clara, CA.

And many of us are gearing up for the European Coatings Show, which will be held March 29-31 in Nuremberg, Germany. The parallel European Coatings Congress will begin one day earlier, on the 28th, and run through the 30th. In 2009, 806 exhibitors from 42 countries offered the 19,756 trade visitors from 100 countries a world-class range of raw materials, laboratory and production equipment, testing and measuring equipment, and services. The Congress invites the global coatings community to learn about the most recent results and industrial developments, covering the full range of processes and raw materials for the formulation of coatings, inks, adhesives, sealants and construction chemicals. 150 selected papers in 25 sessions, and 14 equally interesting poster presentations, offer potential contributions that add value to the coatings industry.

These are just a sampling of the many shows and conferences pertaining to the coatings industry that are taking place over the next several months. For a complete list of industry happenings, visit the Events section at Make plans to attend as many as you are able, as they will introduce new ideas and technology that will help, motivate and inspire you. I’m looking forward to reporting on these events, and PCI will be publishing select papers from many of them throughout 2011.