SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 26

North America RePort

Rick Willardson

Engineering Fellow, ELM Energy LLC
rick_willardson@live.com

Hey Rick - you just became President of SAMPE North America, what are you going to do now? I am going to
Disneyland! ...or at least across the street. OK, becoming President of SAMPE North America may not be the
same thing as winning the Super Bowl, but it is momentous and I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the
society.
Now seriously, it is going to be great to be back in Anaheim for CAMX 2016! SAMPE hasn't been to Anaheim for a
number of years and we are returning stronger than ever. This will be our 3rd CAMX event and it has truly become
the premier composites and advanced materials event in North America. It is only fitting that my first event as
President of SAMPE North America would be in Anaheim, because that is where my involvement with SAMPE first
began. I attended my first SAMPE conference there as a student in the early 90's.
I made the journey from Provo, Utah to Anaheim with a van full of fellow BYU students. We stayed in a little
place called the Alpine Inn on the other side of Katella Avenue from the convention center. I believe it is still
there today, although a little harder to find. In those days, it was in the corner of the Disneyland parking lot. We
packed several students into a couple hotel rooms and survived on peanut butter sandwiches to save our money.
I was in complete awe of the exhibition hall. Getting to see all the things I had only been able to read about was
exhilarating. The trip had a great impact on me and cemented SAMPE in my brain forever. I will always be grateful
to the people who made that trip possible. I will discuss more about my SAMPE mentors in a future column.
Those relationships have been central to my SAMPE experience and I think they deserve a dedicated column.
I know we do more for our students now with contests, competitions and receptions; but I hope we are still
able to inspire that sense of wonder that I experienced with my first SAMPE event. It really was like a grown-up
Disneyland for me.
It is a little surreal for me to think that I am now leading a major part of that society and that it continues to inspire
me. At our last event in Long Beach I was inspired by a number of things. I will discuss a couple of these in more
detail. First was the engagement of our Board of Directors and members at large in the road-mapping committees.
I saw a level of concern and commitment that I wasn't sure still existed in our society. I saw our people coming
together to improve our society and keep it relevant in a time when some would say a society like ours is out
dated and obsolete.
Finally, I was inspired by the response of our young professionals. We asked several of our newer members to
serve on a Young Professionals committee and to also serve on the three road-mapping committees. Every single
one responded with enthusiasm and excitement. Furthermore, I saw those young professionals make significant
contributions with their energy and unique points of view. It gave me confidence that the future of SAMPE is in
good hands!
In conclusion, I am excited to lead such a vibrant organization that is adapting to better serve its community and
members in an ever-changing world. I look forward to seeing the progress we can make this year and beyond.
I am also eager and a bit apprehensive to share my thoughts with you in this column for the next year. I would
appreciate your feedback on the column or your thoughts on how to make SAMPE North America the best it can
be.

26

SAMPE Journal, Volume 52, No. 4, July/August 2016



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016

Contents
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Cover1
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Cover2
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Contents
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 2
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 3
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 4
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 5
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 6
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 7
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SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Cover3
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Cover4
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