A letter from Houston: Pumps & Pipes


Pumps & Pipes is a platform that brings together professionals of diverse technical backgrounds by affording views into “the other guy´s toolkit”.

This is how P&P presents itself, and, as we were about to discover when we attended Pumps & Pipes 9 in Houston, what really is the main message in this consortia.
The essentials of this year’s conference were passed on from one of the founders, William E. Kline, that the main ideas leading to insight is:
  • Learn as a celebration of diversity
  • Associate with people that do great things
  • Pass it on!

There were about 200 people in the audience, ranging from medical doctors, to petroleum researchers but also teachers and young kids from the local high school attending medical research programs.

The first speaker was a former astronaut from NASA, Ellen Ochoa, who gave us a wonderful introduction to some of the challenges that lies ahead concerning the MARS exploration program.    
The program was packed with great talks, and throughout the day we were introduced to many aspects involved in P&P, such as the P&P mentor program, preservation and research on moon rock material and the historical pathway for transcatheter heart valves. We were introduced to spectacular 3D simulations of the heart by Mahesh Kailasam from Dassault Systemes. They also do some interesting work on 3D reservoir simulations.

After lunch, we had the pleasure of participating in a live case were the heart valve of a patient was replaced from a hybrid operating room with great success.

Next, was a live presentation from Keele University observatory, where we learnt about the youngster Tom Wagg, who discovered a new planet as a 14-year old.
Other speakers were Dr. John Simpson, who invented the first over-the-wire coronary balloon angioplasty catheter device, which have saved numerous of lives since it was first introduced back in early 1980´s, Fran Perez from Sfile technology, who introduced us to usage of Big Data.
For the delegation from Norway, it was a pleasure to introduce Pumps & Pipes Norway, presented by Kristin Reitan Husebø (Greater Stavanger) and Ole Ringdal (CEO, IRIS).
The Americans were exited about this extension of the P&P concept, as “Pass it on!” is one of the main ideas within the P&P concept.
The day was ended with wonderful talks about diverse topics, such as the dangers of radiation both for astronauts and for cardiovascular interventionalists and the challenges faced when introducing automatic drilling tools to drilling personell. We were introduced to the pioneer of multiple organ donations, Edward B. Dietrich and his life story.

We learnt about oil spill response and the use of surfactants, and the seminar was ended by an excellent presentation by the former astronaut Stanly Love, who gave us a thrilling adventurous talk concerning the aspects we have to deal with when going to Mars.
Overall the seminar was a success, and serves as a great inspiration as we are preparing for the next P&P event located in Norway!

Written by IRIS-researcher Ingunn W. Jolma, present in Houston.
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