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SPE International Polyolefins Conference Returns to Galveston

Thought leaders from the global polyolefins industry share insights in a hybrid format that welcomes in-person and online attendees.

Bruce Adams

January 17, 2024

3 Min Read
SPE International Polyolefins Conference poster
Image courtesy SPE

The preeminent polymer gathering dedicated to polyolefins — the 2024 SPE International Polyolefins Conference — will be held Feb. 18 to 21, 2024, in Galveston, TX, in a hybrid format. It brings together producers, suppliers, marketers, application developers, regulators, and thought leaders in the polyolefin industry from around the world.

900 people attended last year

The in-person conference will be at the Galveston Island Convention Center, which hosted last year’s event that attracted 900 attendees. A virtual platform offering presentations, on-demand videos, virtual exhibitor booths, and interaction functionality with speakers is available for those who prefer to attend remotely.

“The conference this year will be primarily an in-person conference in Galveston, where exhibitors will have approximately 60 in-person booths,” David R. Hansen, president of SBC Polymers Consulting and Principal, Global Energy Mentors, told PlasticsToday. “We are also selling virtual registrations where people will be able to access the program schedule, slides from all the talks, information about speakers and attendees, and virtual exhibitor booths. They will also be able to contact the speakers or other attendees during and after the conference through the platform. Since this is an international conference, we found that the virtual component is important so people in different parts of the world can participate and decide whether they would like to attend in-person in the future.”

The virtual exhibitor booths contain information about each exhibitor, brochures, contact information, and videos, he said. None of the talks will be streamed live this year, however. 

“Last year about 12% of the 900 registered people were virtual attendees,” Hansen told PlasticsToday. “All attendees — in-person and virtual — will be able to access the website for at least three months after the conference to see everything that was available during the conference and [watch] videos of some of the talks.” 

The program will kick off on Sunday, Feb. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. with tutorials, followed by a networking social from 5 to 7 p.m. and a student dinner from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Keynotes begin each day

Three keynote speakers are scheduled to begin each full day of activities.

On Feb. 19, Venki Chandrashekar, VP, Research and Technology, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., will discuss “Propelling Circularity and Climate Action Through Innovation and Technology.” 

On Feb. 20, Anne-Marie Boulay, professor at Polytechnique Montreal and General Director of the International Life Cycle Consortium of the CIRAIG, will speak about the “Life Cycle Assessment as a Tool to Help Avoid Misconceptions Around the Environmental Performance of Plastics and Their Alternatives.” 

On Feb. 21, Alison Keane, president and CEO of the Flexible Packaging Association, will address the “State of the Flexible Packaging Industry — Policy Driving Innovation.”

The exhibition hall will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 19 and 20, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 21. A welcome networking social is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 19.

About 150 technical presentations scheduled

Approximately 150 technical presentations are scheduled from Feb. 19 to 21. Topics include:

  • Machine learning and AI in the polyolefins industry;

  • new mechanical and chemical recycling processes;

  • modeling and experimental advances in applied rheology;

  • polyolefin processing fundamentals;

  • new sorting technologies that enable recycling;

  • sustainability incubators;

  • plant-based feedstocks;

  • processing diverse feedstocks in recycled material;

  • design for recyclability;

  • polyolefins in infrastructure;

  • automotive applications;

  • 3D printing. 

The conference is organized by the SPE South Texas Section, SPE Polymer Modifiers and Additives Division, Thermoplastic Materials and Foams Division, Engineering Properties and Structures Division, Building and Infrastructure Division, Applied Rheology Division, and Flexible Packaging Division.  

Go to the event website for more information or to register to attend.

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