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Exactly one week ago, the first annual EnviroTech Summit (#ETS2016) kicked off with Nicholas Albergo, P.E., DEE as our keynote.  Nick talked about the growing importance of software, while also giving all of us some practical advice about what matters in life and in a career.  Twenty-three additional speakers gave a talk about something that matters within the environmental industry, in front of an audience of about 85 people.  Ten exhibitors also showed their stuff, which included software, services, and hardware.

There were some common themes and key points made throughout the event, which included—in no particular order—the following:

  • Modern software technology is here to stay, and those who embrace it will benefit both personally and within their careers.  I especially liked Jesko von Windheim’s talk which compared the timelines of Cree and SnapChat, and how pure software plays can bypass traditionally-long timelines to wealth creation.
  • The environmental industry has been slow to adopt modern software tech.  An obvious statement, but this means that there are a lot of opportunities within the industry for those that step up to the plate, particularly software developers.  Just take a look at Quire.  They saw an opportunity for improving the way that most of us produce reports using Microsoft Word (which is 25-year old software, btw) and now have a tool that is growing in popularity in leaps and bounds.
  • It’s not just software, it’s about changing workflows.  Dan Chen showed us how he got tired of driving to a project site one hour away every week to spend 10 minutes checking for carbon breakthrough on a soil vapor extraction system.  So he spent a little bit of time tinkering with Arduino microcontrollers and Raspberry Pi’s, and built a $200 IoT unit that would take the PID readings for him remotely, and alert him when breakthrough was made.  This saved him from having to go to the site each week, which also saved his company about $20K/year in labor cost.  David Riese showed us how to extend a laboratory LIMS into a field tech’s pocket, eliminating paper chain of custody forms and data double-entry.  John Gobins showed us how easy it is to use a free iPad app to create boring logs and well construction diagrams.  The list goes on and on.

Most everyone I’ve talked to has had mostly positive things to say about the event.  Some lessons were learned (too many speakers, focus more on the why instead of the how, have some Q&A, etc), coupled with the exposure we’ve had so far with the event will make ETS2017 even better.  I am grateful to those who took the chance on us and participated in our event.  Whether you were a speaker, exhibitor, or attendee, thank you for making ETS2016 happen!

More coming soon

It’s clear to us, based on ETS2016, that the EnviroTech Summit fills a void and a need for such a conference.  This translates to a clear vision of what to do moving forward, including ETS2017, as well as additional ways of connecting.  For those of you that want to stay in the loop, keep an eye out for upcoming events and information.  Check the EnviroTech Summit website periodically.  We will be posting all the ETS2016 talks on the site, including speaker profiles, video clips of the speaker talks, and transcripts.  You can also subscribe to the EnviroTech Solutions group on LinkedIn.  We have almost 500 members now and growing. We encourage you to participate and start your own discussions in that group.

We will also be visiting some of the speakers and doing more in-depth video interviews, and posting those on the website.  For example, on May 2, we will be visiting BetaBox’s warehouse to interview Sean Maroni and his team so that we can get an up close and personal view of his BetaBox.  Additional relevant content will include webinar-style sessions and interviews with some of the speakers and exhibitors that were present at ETS2016.

Thank you again for making ETS2016 a success and a great start for what should become the premier conference about modern software technology within the environmental industry.

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