So with all of the excitement of my awesome trip, as well as returning to a country wild with soccer fever, I’m sure I can be forgiven for not blogging of late! So lets start from the beginning…the ASME meeting in Pittsburgh.

So I left SA on the 3rd and flew through London, Washington and finally to Pittsburgh! After running around the airport looking for an info desk, lugging my bags behind me (you have to pay $4 for a trolley) I managed to get a shuttle to the 5star hotel they put us in. Coincidentally, I ended up sitting next to someone from the conference in the shuttle, who just happened to be on the board of directors of ASME! Now that was very cool and I got to get a breakdown on what ASME is all about and some of the exciting new initiatives that are being launched like the Ideaport.

http://www.asme.org/

The Ideaport is an online system where just about anyone can submit a bright idea to the society…As long as the idea alligns with ASME’s vision and mission statement, it will be seriously considered for implementation! Right now, ASME is working on key proposals dealing with Energy, sustainability and many more!

The conference was great and I met tons of people from all over the world. From Japan to Lebanon to Mexico, all sorts were gathered at the beautiful Omni William Penn hotel. I already have my work cut out for me as it looks like I will be taking on the head of one of the subcommittees as well as looking into setting up a South African students’ section at UCT! If you think all of this is really exciting, you’re right! It really is.

After three nights in Pittsburgh, I was off to Chicago…Getting food poisoning from the conference food wasn’t really great but luckily I’d met some awesome people who were just so helpful, including my roommate Wendy and another committee member from Pakistan, Usman. Despiite this hiccup I managed to see a bit of the city from a river cruize that I took with two other members.

Pittsburgh turned out to be quite an interesting little place, having been a thriving industrial hub of steel production (before cheap Chinese imports put them out of business). Evidence of this golden age remains in the 400+ bridges that can be found around the city. Being at the apex of three rivers, Pittsburgh has a unique geography that necessitates the hundreds of amazingly designed bridges that can be found.

I really wanted to visit the Carnegie Science Centre and Andy Warhol Museum but didn’t have the time. If I ever again visit this quint, city, at the forefront of the USA’s technology industry, I’ll be sure to do more sight-seeing, and maybe take in a game at the local baseball stadium!