Celebrating its 50th year, the conference covered a wide range of topics, from superconducting electronics detectors and magnets to a consideration of power applications and advances in materials. Nearly 1,700 abstracts were submitted, according to the program committee, most in large scale categories.
“I don’t like the if you build it they will come attitude,” says Cooley. “I would rather understand how the market can pull and have a need that superconductivity can uniquely fulfill. As David Sutter at the DOE said, you don’t use superconductivity unless you absolutely have to. And for rotating machines, in flux per kilogram or flux per dollar, superconductivity cannot be challenged in that metric. So, if you want to get bigger, you absolutely have to use superconductivity and once that’s understood then an end use pull will come about.”
Another plenary talk, from CERN’s Dr. Michael Benedikt, discussed the superconducting needs of the planned Future Circular Collider. On page 13 of Cold Facts Vol. 32 No. 5, his colleagues from CERN examine in more detail the FCC study of Nb3Sn superconductors for the development of 16 T dipole magnets, and on page 15, Dr. Carmine Senatore from the University of Geneva discusses the development of other future magnets.
ASC 2016 also featured several special sessions that examined in detail many recent developments including HTS magnets, high-current HTS cables and no-insulation HTS coils.
In one special session, sponsored by Luvata Superconductors, scientists from electronics, large scale and materials shared experiences and lessons learned while looking back over ASC’s first 50 years. Luvata’s Dr. Hem Kanithi used his time at the session to discuss five decades of achievements and non-achievements from NbTi R&D, a topic he considers again on page 17 of Cold Facts Vol. 32 No. 5.
Poster sessions and coffee breaks throughout the week were hosted on the exhibition floor, where companies from around the world displayed products and discussed services related to superconductivity. Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc. (CSA CSM) was among them, its representatives showcasing a new series of PLC input modules discussed in detail on page 14 of Cold Facts Vol. 32 No. 5. “There’s no buttons or anything,” says Marshall Calhoun, a regional sales manager at Lake Shore. “You set it up and it just operates.”
Calhoun says the conference provided a great opportunity to reconnect both with researchers and partners in industry, a sentiment shared by many exhibitors including Vincent Grillo, co-president of Cryofab, Inc. (CSA CSM) and exhibits chair at ASC 2016. “It keeps us in touch with the industry, with the end users and with other vendors that are exhibiting,” says Grillo. “It’s staying in touch, keeping up on relationships, finding out what else is potentially down the road and making sure that people are happy with the products.”
Several exhibitors used the conference as an opportunity to introduce new products. Hypres Inc., for example, had its new ICE-T unit (described in detail on page 32 of Cold Facts Vol. 32 No 5) on display. “This is a product that will improve the field of digital electronics, in particular, and also high frequency superconductor applications,” says Dr. Deepnarayan Gupta, executive VP for RF circuits and systems at Hypres. “To involve students more, what I want to do is lower the barrier to entry to the field of electronics by making available a superconductor test bed that will make testing easy and joyful and convenient for students and researchers worldwide.”
Dr. Richard E. Harris received the IEEE Max Swerdlow Award for Sustained Service to the Applied Superconductivity Community, Dr. Danko van der Laan took home the IEEE Council of Superconductivity Carl H. Rosner Entrepreneurship Award and Professor Luisa Chiesa received the Cryogenic Society of America Roger W. Boom Award.
“I’m really proud,” says Chiesa “because I know [Dr. Boom] was a great professor and I really care about teaching and passing on skills to future generation engineering and physics students.”
Student awards were also presented, with Dr. Gupta, the chair of the best student paper contest, announcing winners during a ceremony on the final day of the conference. His article provides additional details.
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