More than 60 people from overseas attended this event and, at first, I worried that I was “˜out of my league’. After a while, though, I recognised some familiar faces and, having the gift of the gab, I was soon right at home.
The papers presented over the three days covered Safety and Risk, Design, Fracture, SCC, General Corrosion, Mechanical Damage and High Strength Pipelines. All papers were very well presented, especially given the wide range of presenters whose first language was not English. Over two thirds of the technical content was relevant to my current job role and the other third was relevant to the some of the other scholarship recipients.
During each break we had a chance to chat with the speakers, although quite often the useful and interesting conversation was interrupted by the bell to return for the next session. The breaks and social events were excellent networking opportunities. I personally met, or was introduced, to more than 30 people and have since been in touch with some of them either answering or asking questions. It was very interesting to see that Australia leads the way in a number of fields of research.
I believe that attending the JTM has improved my technical knowledge and resource pool through networking. I would encourage all pipeline companies to send as many young people as they can to events like the JTM as the benefit will be to the company and to the industry. In my opinion, the JTM was better than most training courses I have attended.
I wish to personally thank the APIA for the scholarship and hope that in the future they can continue to offer scholarships to attend the JTM, with the next one being held in Milan in 2009. Speaking at some length with George Tenley and Gerhard Knauf the respective heads of the PRCI and EPRG they were both quite impressed with what the APIA had achieved for young people and hope very much to see us all in Milan.
The other scholarship recipients who attended were: Nicholas Scott (Worley Parsons), Peter Barnett (GHD), Mark Dragar (Alinta), Hisham Bin Abu Bakar (Petronas) and Chris Jones (BlueScope).