Geo Week News

January 11, 2011

Speakers lining up for SPAR International conference

Brian Matthews - small headshot

Autodesk Labs, BP, Ghafari, Vectors, NASA just the start

HOUSTON—Are you going to be joining us at SPAR International here in Houston, March 21-24? Let us give you a couple good reasons to get on the plane. We’re lining up some of the brightest minds in the 3D industry and their presentations look terrific as they’re coming in.

Included in this first batch of speakers we’re announcing are executives from the IT, oil & gas, hospitality, law enforcement, and engineering sectors, plus many more. 

SPAR managing director Tom Greaves said he is excited to have Brian Mathews, VP at Autodesk Labs, as one of the keynote speakers. Mathews is best known as the inventor of a unique graphics compression algorithm that became the widely used DWF file format. 

“As the 3D imaging industry grows,” said Greaves, “being able to exchange information in standard format will be crucial.”

Among the other 50+ speakers we have on the table is Dave Lafferty, Chief Technology Office Technology Advisory for Information Technology & Services at BP, who will present his experiences using 3D imaging as part of BP’s global operations. Attendees can expect to hear about BP’s pursuit of 3D virtual environments – what Lafferty calls a “game changing” opportunity expected to add $50 million or more to the bottom line.

NASA’s using laser scanning to cut costs and manage risk, as well. James Beaman of Jacobs Group, who’s been working at the NASA’s Johnson Space Center here, will describe the process used to scan, produce point clouds and perform clash detection in facility upgrades at historic Chamber A, the largest thermal vacuum chamber at NASA-JSC.

Interested in BIM? Digby Christian, Project Manager at Sutter Hospital, and Samir Emdanat, Director of VDC Consulting for Ghafari, will present their use of construction-phase scanning, a relatively new and untapped opportunity for the use of laser scanning in which the project is scanned while in construction and the data is used to confirm that “as-built” construction is within BIM forecasted tolerances. This moves the needle forward in what of the hottest topics in 3D today.

Finally, you will not want to miss Robert L. Green’s presentation. His firm, Vectors Inc., will give a fascinating presentation describing spatial imaging along the U.S./Mexico border. This is an application that needs to be seen to be believed.

“Of course,” said Greaves, “this is just the tip of the 3D iceberg of information SPAR International has on tap. We’ll be announcing more speakers, focus groups, technical seminars and more over the coming weeks.”

For the full list of confirmed speakers, visit the SPAR International Web site at The SPAR International conference to be held here at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott, March 21-24 event.


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