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The 2019 Annual Conference, titled ‘Zircon: where to next for downstream users?’, took place in Dubai from 3 - 5 September and was the largest and most successful to-date.
Widely recognised as the ‘heart-beat of the industry’, the conference offered unparalleled networking opportunities with over over 130 delegates attending, representing 96 organisations from 29 countries.
During the two-day conference, delegates heard 15 presentations delivered by industry experts and academics on a wide variety of topics related to the diverse downstream applications of zircon. The programme was carefully designed for maximum appeal, focusing on the latest developments and trends in the uses of zircon and its many derivatives.
The benefits of attending our conference are not just gained from the presentations alone. This year, delegates also enjoyed a site visit to two key consumers of zircon in the UAE, RAK Ceramics and Ceramin, each offering an insight into an industry that is the largest worldwide consumer of zircon.
Keynote addresses from RAK Ceramics’ CEO, Abdallah Massaad, and Robert Ward, Editorial Director of the Economist Intelligence Unit, set the tone for each day of the conference.Whilst presentations on zircon market dynamics, supply & demand and the outlook for the Chinese market offered delegates a global update on the industry.
The conference also featured presentations on zirconium, including a new process for the clean manufacturing of high-purity Zr metal delivered by Professor Jong-Hyeon Lee, and the critical use of Zr-based alloys in the nuclear power generation industry presented by Simon Marshall.
Local Dubai architect Deepak Prabakaran mesmerised delegates with his insightful review of building design trends to watch in 2020, while Dr Javier Garcia Ten highlighted the results from a ZIA-supported project on the current trends in zircon thrifting and substitution in ceramic tiles. Of great interest was the presentation by Birmingham University’s Emma Jones, who highlighted her research on new and advanced techniques for the better understanding zircon quality.
Work now begins on locating an exciting destination for the 2021 conference and designing an inspiring and thought-provoking conference programme that will continue to ensure that the annual zircon conference remains the heart-beat of the zircon industry.
Offering latest news updates, information on interesting uses of zircon and its derivatives or promoting events, ZIA aims to communicate the benefits of zircon and offer guidance on industry best practice.
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