The EPMA’s last face-to-face event of 2020 was the Euro PM2020 Technical Programme Committee in February, where an array of abstracts were arranged to form the basis of another great Powder Metallurgy Congress. It was clear from this point, that no matter what the obstacles were for physical meetings, that this program should be shared with the PM world. It quickly became apparent that delivering the content online was the only feasible method, and after several successful PM webinars, the Euro PM2020 Virtual Congress was ready to deliver. The online platform hosted an active three days of presentations and discussions, representing all areas of powder metallurgy – additive manufacturing, functional materials, hard materials and diamond tools, hot isostatic pressing, metal injection molding, new materials processes and applications and conventional press and sinter, helping to attract an audience of attendees from all over the world.

The program comprised more than 160 oral and 40 poster presentations, attracting a strong attendance in excess of 270 participants. Delegates benefitted from the opportunity to join technical sessions live, participating in Q & A sessions with speakers and session chairs, but also to watch presentations on-demand, allowing them to enjoy every session for the first time. 

'Moving to a digital platform was a big challenge, but I am delighted with the event we were able to deliver,’ said Lionel Aboussouan, EPMA executive director. ‘We had such a strong technical program this year that it would have been truly unfair to the speakers not to have the opportunity to present their work. Our members are always enthusiastic about the latest research in PM, and I think we found a great method of delivering it to them.' Aboussouan was also keen to credit the involvement of some EPMA member companies. 'The support we received at a critical time was invaluable. I will be personally thanking all our sponsors this year for bringing the congress to fruition, as well the media partners who helped us promote the event to industry.' 

Ralf Carlström, EPMA president, opened the plenary presentations with an ‘Overview of the Status and Trends in the European PM Industry’. This was followed by Jean-Marie Reveille of Automotive Benchmarking company A2MAC1 presenting 'Current and new opportunities for PM components in New Mobility'. Following on from the key speakers was the annual EPMA Theses Competition, featuring the PhD category winner, Dr Miguel de Dios, Carlos III University & ICV CSIC  (Synthesis, Processing and Mechanical Characterization of Titanium Carbonitride based cermet through the combination of Colloidal and Powder Metallurgy techniques). 

As well as the Masters category winner, Juan Alfonso Naranjo Simarro, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (Rapid Prototyping Of Metal Parts Based On Fused Filament Fabrication Technology),  The EPMA Board and Council’s Fellowship Award help to recognise the significant contribution to PM industry development from the scientific/academic community. The EPMA Fellowship Award not only provides a fantastic recognition from the PM community for such tremendous work, but also looks to exemplify the continued involvement in PM science and technologies.

The 2020 Fellowship Awards were presented to

  • Prof. Dr Elena Gordo (University Carlos III of Madrid) 
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Petzoldt (Fraunhofer IFAM) Distinguished Service Award 2019
  • Philippe Gundermann - VP Strategy and Financial Communication (Eramet) 
  • Dr Steven Moseley - Key Expert and Chief Scientist, Business Area Electric Tools and Accessories (Hilti AG) 

Work is already underway for next year’s Euro PM2021 Congress & Exhibition to be held in the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon, 17-20 October 2021 at the modern Lisbon Congress Centre (CCL).

This story uses material from EPMA, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.