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[Image above] Attendees of the ACerS 2022 Structural Clay Products Division & Southwest Section Meeting in conjunction with the National Brick Research Center Meeting tour the Taylor Clay Products plant in Salisbury, N.C. Credit: ACerS

More than 100 attendees converged in downtown Charlotte, N.C., from May 9–11, 2022, to take part in the combined meeting of the ACerS Structural Clay Products Division (SCPD), ACerS Southwest (SW) Section, and Clemson University’s National Brick Research Center (NBRC).

The meeting was greeted with much enthusiasm by attendees because this annual meeting was canceled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of this year’s meeting is thanks to the combined efforts and teamwork between members of the ACerS SCPD and SW Section and the NBRC.

National Brick Research Center meeting

The meeting kicked off with the NBRC Spring Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday, May 10. NBRC director John Sanders, testing services manager Mike Walker, and research associate Nate Huygen provided members with updates on the Center. Sanders reminded the committee of the upcoming Clemson Brick Forum, Sept. 25–27, 2022.

NBRC director John Sanders leads the NBRC’s Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday, May 10. Credit: ACerS

Technical sessions

On Tuesday afternoon, attendees heard from industry experts on a wide range of topics, including raw materials, firing issues, lessons learned during the pandemic, testing, machine operation, and more.

Jed Lee of US Brick and ACerS SCPD chair welcomes attendees during the afternoon technical session. Credit: ACerS
Daniel Egge presented a talk on Brampton Brick’s company culture. He described ways in which Brampton Brick has engaged within the local community and how they have developed leadership within the company. Credit: ACerS

Plant tours

On Wednesday, May 11, attendees toured four plants—Statesville Brick (Statesville), J.C. Steele (Statesville), Old Carolina Brick Company (Salisbury), and Taylor Clay Products, Inc. (Salisbury).

Above: Attendees enjoyed a barbecue chicken lunch on Wednesday, May 11, courtesy of J.C. Steele. Right: Clemson’s NBRC staff pose for a photo at the Statesville Brick plant. Credit: ACerS

Networking and awards

Meeting attendees reconnected with old friends and built new relationships each evening in the hospitality suite, at the Suppliers Mixer reception on Tuesday, and at the awards banquet on Wednesday. Danser, Inc. once again took on the role of host for the hospitality suite.

During the banquet, ACerS SCPD chair Jed Lee thanked everyone for attending and recognized the presenters, plant hosts, ACerS staff, and sponsors for helping make the meeting a success. Lee then presented Mike Walker (Clemson University) a certificate of appreciation for his service as past SCPD chair.

Neil Kline (Acme Brick) received the 2019 SCPD Best Paper award for his presentation titled “Acme’s new scrubbers.”Harland Dixson (Acme Brick) accepted the award on Kline’s behalf.Mat Tamel (Acme Brick) received the SW Section Past Chair Award from current SW Section Chair, David Ziegler (Prince).

View more pictures from the meeting on ACerS Flickr page. Next year’s meeting is scheduled for June 5–8, 2023, in Austin, Texas.

Lee, right, presents Walker with the ACerS SCPD Past Chair certificate during the banquet. Credit: ACerS
Ziegler, right, presents Tramel with ACerS SW Section Past Chair Award. Credit: ACerS