The Return of the Inspection Summit

By Jeremiah Wooten, Managing Partner at Inspectioneering. August 25, 2022

In early August, after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, the API Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit finally returned. This marked the eighth biennial Summit, which had been previously held in Galveston every other year since 2007. Unfortunately, COVID forced the 2021 conference to be delayed until this point, but from what I observed first-hand, it was worth the wait.

The Summit is a special event for many reasons. It is the only conference of its kind in the U.S. that focuses exclusively on inspection and mechanical integrity of equipment in the oil & gas, and chemical industries. And when that specific focus is combined with a network of the leading minds in our industry, you get an exceptional technical program that is truly unrivaled.

This year, there were nearly 300 technical sessions covering the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors. Presentation topics included Engineering & Asset Integrity Management, Inspection/NDE/Monitoring, Metallurgy & Corrosion, Risk Based Inspection, Robotics & Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and Storage Tanks. There were 20+ panel discussions covering “hot topics” in the industry with a diverse group of over 50 experienced, knowledgeable SMEs participating. On top of all that, on Monday before the conference began, 20 different training courses were offered by recognized industry experts covering a variety of important MI-related topics.

The Summit is truly an incredible learning opportunity for all inspectioneers, regardless of facility type or experience level. But in addition to the training courses, presentations, and panel discussions, perhaps the greatest benefit to attendees is the opportunity to meet and network with our peers in the industry.

Mechanical Integrity SME and Inspectioneering Senior Editor, John Reynolds, once said that “the personal relationships forged through networking at the Summit pay big dividends long after the conference is over.” His personal network of colleagues he’s met at the Summit is well over 100 people now, and over the years they’ve routinely shared their personal knowledge and experiences with one another to help improve inspection and mechanical integrity practices.

Brent Ray, Summit Downstream Sector Chair, put it plainly: “I tell anybody asking about attending the Summit that this is without a doubt the best opportunity in our industry to network and learn from each other.”

I have been attending this event since 2013, and from the conversations I’ve had with countless attendees, John and Brent are spot on!

So, if you were able to attend this year’s Summit, I hope you enjoyed the experience as much as I did. And if you could not attend, mark your calendars for the next Summit, January 23-25, 2024, in San Antonio, where you can leverage numerous learning opportunities and hopefully take away at least a few “nuggets” that will make your job easier, make your facility more reliable, and make your company better.

Summit attendees were given a special edition of Inspectioneering Journal that includes some of our most popular articles over the past few years. If you were unable to attend the Summit or missed out on getting a copy of the Special Edition, you can download one here. 

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