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Interviewing Ron Bargiel, Pittcon President 2013

Feb. 01, 2013
Ron Bargiel,  Pittcon President 2013
Ron Bargiel, Pittcon President 2013 more
Ron Bargiel,  Pittcon President 2013 Fig. 1: Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA. 

Starting 16 March, Pittcon 2013 will open its doors in Philadelphia, PA. Traditionally Pittcon attracts more visitors when its venue lies in the north eastern states of the US. The restored Pennsylvania convention center now is big enough for hosting the world's most important conference on laboratory instrumentation. Like every year you have the opportunity to meet all manufacturers and experts in the field at one place. And - it's a nice place. Philadelphia alone is worth a visit. With Pittcon on top, there is no excuse to be elsewhere from March 16th to 21st. Like in the past, the G.I.T. Laboratory Journal had an interview with Ron Bargiel, Pittcon's President in 2013, to give you an impression on the reasons why you should visit Philadelphia in March. We hope to meet you there!

G.I.T. Laboratory Journal: Pittcon is a non-profit organization. What are the projects you plan to support with the revenues of Pittcon 2013?

Ron Bargiel: Each year, together with its co-sponsoring technical societies, The Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP) and The Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP), and funded by the Pittcon event, these societies award The Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grants (PCMNCG) to small college science departments. The awards are approximately $10,000 for the purchase of scientific equipment, audio-visual, teaching aids, and/or library materials for use in the teaching of science at the undergraduate level for colleges and universities throughout the United States. The award program has grown over the years to include 10 - 12 colleges that meet the nearly 300 grants have been awarded through PCMNCG since its inception in 1974. In addition to this award, Pittcon generates over $1 million dollars for the SSP and the SACP to provide financial and administrative support for various science outreach activities including science equipment grants, research grants, scholarships and internships for students, awards to teachers and professors, and grants to public science centers, libraries and museums.

G.I.T. Laboratory Journal: What are the most important topics at Pittcon 2013?

Ron Bargiel: As many of our long-time attendees know, Pittcon through the years has grown beyond its roots in analytical chemistry and spectroscopy. It now serves a diverse constituency of all laboratory scientists encompassing life sciences, pharmaceutical discovery, food science, environmental, and much more. The event basically has "something for everyone;" however, as current events unfold, one of the strategic goals of our Program Committee is to include technical sessions which address these topics of special interest. The focus this year will be on food science, specifically traceability and sustainability, and environmental science and energy with presentations discussing shale gas and alternative fuels. Nanotechnology continues to be a "hot" topic, and we are very pleased to have our Wallace H. Coulter Plenary Lecturer, Nobel Laureate, Sir Harry Kroto presenting "Exameter Objects to Nanometer Ones and Back Again."

G.I.T. Laboratory Journal: In 2013 Pittcon takes place in Philadelphia. Do you expect an increase in the numbers of visitors, exhibitors and booth space in comparison to 2012?

Ron Bargiel: I believe it is important to make a distinction in our attendance figures. For the most part, the number of exhibitor personnel, as opposed to the stable conferee number, is the number that has been experiencing a steady decline for the past several years. We are not really expecting too much of an increase in this number. In recent years, it is a prevalent trend that has permeated throughout all types of tradeshows - exhibiting companies are sending fewer personnel to events due to budgetary restraints and the increased cost of travel and housing. Since 2009, there have been major factors outside of our control that have impacted Pittcon's attendance such as increased travel costs, economic challenges, and reduced travel budgets. In spite of these issues, Pittcon attendance remains stable and continues to attract a high quality of attendee. With that being said, we are expecting a boost in conferee attendance, exhibiting companies, and booth spaces. We gain a large number of regional attendees as we move from city to city, and one of the reasons we selected Philadelphia is we anticipate a considerable interest from our target market in the Northeast. In addition to a being a first-time location for us, Philadelphia is centrally located in the heart of an abundant life science, pharmaceutical and fuel/energy corridors and is easily accessible from anywhere in the world.

G.I.T. Laboratory Journal: Pittcon was always very creative and busy. What's new at this year's show?

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Keywords : Analytical Chemistry Chemistry G.I.T. Laboratory Journal Europe harry Kroto Nanotechnology Pittcon Pittcon 2013 Pittcon President Ron Bargiel Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Wallace Coulter

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