Our man in Washington

Winning IGEM’s prestigious 2017 Young Persons Paper Competition meant that Matthew Maclennan, Mechanical Design Engineer at Steve Vick International (SVI), got to visit the World Gas Conference 2018 held in Washington DC in June.

“It was a bit mind blowing!”, said Matthew describing his impression of this most important global gas industry gathering of influential leaders, policy-makers, buyers, sellers and experts. “I met really interesting people that had a completely different way of seeing the value of natural gas. According to my watch I walked an average of five miles a day at the exhibition!” he added.

Chevron made good use of their TV screen to broadcast the England V’s Belgium match

Matthew won the title for his Paper on the development of the SMARTester, a fully integrated wireless pressure testing system composed of: SMARTester handset, app and Dashboard database. It provides a searchable bank of definitive test evidence, giving the user reassurance of absolute traceability.
The highly accurate stainless-steel sensor sends data to the app where every step of the test is recorded, helping to drive competency and give engineers the confidence that their good practice is verified.

Among the speakers he heard, Matthew singled out Michael Hardy of GRTgaz, France, who demonstrated that a consolidated and well organised innovation team could deliver very high quality solutions to real world challenges in the gas distribution industry.

He found Wim Van Grunderbeek’s account of Gasunie’s innovation award winning product engaging. “Using ground penetrating radar and machine learning allows them to build a highly accurate view of the sub-surface world”, explained Matthew. “The highlight of the presentation was seeing the augmented reality technology used to display information back to the user”.

Speaking about the impressive stands at the exhibition, Matthew said “I had a go on the DNV-GL virtual reality stand, extinguishing a methanol fire with all the right PPE on! And Chevron used their enormous TV screen to broadcast the Football World Cup which drew big crowds as England took on Belgium”.
Having played a key role in developing SVI’s SMARTester, Matthew was particularly interested in metering products on show. “Examples of tooling and intelligent bracketry caught my eye”, he comments.

In his spare time, Matt fulfilled an ambition to see the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Away from the World Gas Conference, Matthew fulfilled a lifelong ambition to see the Space Shuttle Discovery


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