Documenting the Early Development and Commercialization of Membrane Technology
After three and a half years, thousands of travel miles, and over 100 participants, the American Membrane Technology Associations “Chats with the Pioneers” project is finally completed. The professionals we identified as Pioneers run the industry spectrum, from polymer chemists, to engineers, inventors, mechanical equipment whizzes, consultants, electricians, programmers, and entrepreneurs.
For me, this historic project was a labor of love, and truthfully, I had the easiest role. I showed up at the appointed place, introduced the guests, threw out a few questions, then sat back and let the videographer capture every priceless moment. Participants “chatted” amongst themselves, divulging insider knowledge on how many of today’s “standards” came about and the personal and technical challenges of a burgeoning industry.
The bulk of the work and management of the improbable logistics was accomplished by Doug Eisberg. He took on the momentous task of qualifying candidates, coordinating the schedules of Pioneers, the videographer and AMTA staff, and personally attended every interview, holding his breath until each one arrived and was comfortably seated and ready to go. I shall be eternally grateful to Doug and to Avista Technologies for sponsoring his time and providing financial support. They understood the historic value of this effort and were as committed to the project as we were.
My first Chats interview highlights ROGA Pioneers Dick Sudak, Bob Reilly, and Randy Truby as they regale us with stories about the early days of RO membrane development and applications. I must have been kind to Randy that day because he reciprocated with every courtesy when he had the opportunity to interview yours truly months later for the very last session in the series.