A Rewarding Week at NASF's Sur/Fin

Scientific achievement, merit and Top Shops awards handed out.

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We’re starting this month by congratulating the award winners at the National Association for Surface Finishing’s (NASF) Sur/Fin Technical conference, recently held in Chicago.

Dr. Melissa Klingenberg took home the NASF Scientific Achievement Award for her body of work over the years in research and development. Dr. Klingenberg is a principal process engineer at Concurrent Technologies Corp. in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She has delivered papers at numerous Sur/Fin events, as well as dozens of other metal finishing conferences and symposiums around the world.

Dr. Klingenberg has done it all for the industry: serving as AESF Foundation president, serving on the AESF Council, the NASF Research Board, the Emerging Technologies Committee, the Sur/Fin Technical Committee and as organizer and conference chair for the Surface Engineering for Defense and Aerospace Applications Conference.

She has been an active member of NASF since 1994, and in 2008 organized and co-chaired the first ASM International/NASF Surface Engineering for Defense and Aerospace Applications conference. Her award has been especially deserving because it has been through those activities with the NASF that many feel that Dr. Klingenberg was critical in “reinventing” the NASF to attract additional experts to conferences in the areas of innovative coating and new surface finishing technologies.

The NASF’s Award of Merit winners were three exceptionally deserving individuals: Michael Flanigan, John Sparano Jr. and William Nebiolo.

Flanigan, from ElectroLab II, previously worked with Freedom Metal Finishing, TechniFinish and Asterion. A Ball State University graduate, he is heavily involved with formulation and implementation of all types of metal finishing chemistry, especially in acid and alkaline zinc, electroless nickel and chromating chemistries.

Sparano is president of the Woodhill Plating Co. in Cleveland, and serves on the Ohio Association of Metal Finishers board of directors. He is the third generation of the Sparano family to run the company, which specializes in plating, polishing, buffing on brass and steel for the plumbing, hardware, appliance, electrical, marine and fastener industry.

And like Dr. Klingenberg, Nebiolo is a regular contributor to Products Finishing. He is product manager and sales engineer at REM Chemicals in Hartford, Connecticut, and is the author of the SME Mass Finishing Training Book and the REM Training Manual.

A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Long Island University, Nebiolo’s involvement with the NASF began as a member of the Waterbury Branch of AES in 1978, and he served as branch president in 1984–85 and secretary in 1991. He spearheaded the merger of the Waterbury, Bridgeport and Hartford branches into the Connecticut Branch in 2004, and was immediately appointed Connecticut Branch Secretary, a role he remains in today. He has served as a technical chair at several Sur/Fin technical sessions.

Also receiving an award at Sur/Fin was Craftsman Plating and Tinning’s Ted Kodama, who was given the Charlie Geldzahler Award by the Chicago Midwest Chapter of NASF. Kodama is the Quality Control Manager of Craftsman Plating, and the award is in honor of Charlie Geldzahler, who was active on the Chicago Midwest Chapter board of directors until his passing in 1993.

On top of the Sur/Fin award presentations, several of the shops who made the Products Finishing Top Shops were honored at a luncheon held Monday afternoon of the conference. Shops that attended were presented with large medallions to demonstrate their excellence in the plating industry.

The Sur/Fin show was also the first industry event for our new assistant editor, Jess Larkin, who joined the Products Finishing staff in late May after graduating from Xavier University in Cincinnati with degrees in communications and English.

Jess met a lot of plating industry honchoes and visited many of the supplier booths at the show, and helped us all celebrate at the Chicago Midwest Chapter’s fundraiser Monday evening. I’m sure she will enjoy meeting readers at future shows in coming years.

The presentations were all top notch at Sur/Fin this year. Special thanks go to NASF Technical Advisory Committee Chair Brad Wiley from Rolls-Royce and Vice Chair E. Jennings Taylor from Faraday Technologies and the committee members for sifting through so many presentations and picking the best of the best to put on.

We also enjoyed the keynote addresses, including blind-deaf adventurer Bill Barkeley, who told fascinating stories like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. His talk had nothing to do with surface finishing, but had everything to do with people fulfilling their dreams and reaching a little bit higher in their goals. All in all, a good week for finishing.

Originally published in the July 2015 issue.