From the inception of the Forging Industry Educational and Research Foundation (FIERF) in 1961, technology development and transfer have been core values. Charles Smith Jr. of SIFCO and Gordon Walker of Walker Forge, then president and vice president respectively of FIA, were moved to champion the need for a foundation to engage research universities with the forging industry.

That tradition and collaboration has continued and deepened over the years. This year’s Technical Conference, to be held Sept. 19-20 in Columbus, Ohio, will report on industry-relevant research and insights from leading North American engineering and research universities, customers, technology providers and thought leaders.

Speakers and participants will consider the current state, challenges and future of the forging industry; focus on educational trends and development of the future workforce; showcase the best in forging technology with presentations relevant to different processes, materials and end-use markets; report on FIERF-funded research projects; and offer a networking opportunity between industry, academia and research partners.

Rob Mayer, FIA Technical Committee chairman and president of Queen City Forging Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, sees the conference as a place to become informed about the development of technology for the forging industry.

“It’s a misconception that there is no new technology being developed,” Mayer said. “By participating in prior technical conferences we’ve been able to discover technologies that have opened new markets to Queen City Forging. Being aware of current and future technology trends is vital to assuring the sustainability of our business and is an integral part of our business plan. Topics and technologies such as additive manufacturing and lightweighting allow us to think 5-7 years down the road to new opportunities.”

Invited speakers will open the conference by sharing their international expertise and insights on the future of materials, research and disruptive technologies. The second day of the conference will be divided into Research and Development and Applied Technology tracks. Session topics will address areas frequently discussed today in industry meeting rooms, such as additive manufacturing, lightweighting, forging materials, and process and heating control.

The conference, sponsored by FIERF and FIA, will be held at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in northern Columbus. The facility will provide ample opportunities for meetings, exhibits and personal interaction with speakers and others in the forging community. Leading industry suppliers will exhibit new technologies and services in the exhibition space.

Visit for a complete agenda, list of speakers and presentation content. Registration information is available online or by contacting the FIA/FIERF offices at 216-781-6260.