This year Pittcon started early for me – I’ve been doing a couple of motivational short courses for a number of years at Pittcon and the ½ day course on sampling was scheduled for Saturday morning on March 1st – two days before the main exhibition opens.  So a flight from T F Green on February 28th involving my alarm being set at 03:30 am…And Pittcon this year is in cold Chicago – on the shores of the Great Lakes with the ever present ‘lake effect’ bringing down polar arctic weather.  This year was typical, 7 F (-13 C) and snowy.  This was the view from my hotel room high on the 26th floor:

Room with a snowy view

The cold weather is soon warmed though.  For me, Pittcon is about meeting old friends and acquaintances, interacting with the customers and the competition, and learning what’s new and exciting in the world of science.  That reacquainting started early on.  We have a great relationship with Particle Technology Laboratories (PTL) based in Downers Grove, Illinois (basically a suburb of Chicago).  Malvern refers to PTL those US customers that require sample analysis work only and are not likely to buy an instrument in the short or medium term.   Well, at my first short course on sampling, Bill Kopesky was with three of his PTL colleagues attending the short course on “Sampling for Particle Size Analysis”.  A nice surprise even though it’s local for Bill – who wants to get up on a cold Saturday morning to listen to me for 4 hours?  At least the beach isn’t attractive at this time of year…  And old ex-Pat friend, Martin Thomas of Quantachrome had loaned me a spinning riffler sample divider to show at the sampling short course.  I won’t talk about lugging it down from my room…  But thank you, Martin.  Very much appreciated.

Count the particles contest

For Malvern, this year, then there are lots of exciting new products to show.  The Nanosight N300 is sharing pride of place with the Morphologi G3-ID.  And for visitors to the stand a chance to win a $500 Amex card with a “Guess the number of particles in a large jar” competition.  See the links to particle counting? The particles are spherical candy particles (Hey!  Toy soldiers next time.  What about shape?!).  And of course the  ‘Old Faithful’ light scattering products of the Mastersizer 3000 and Zetasizer ZS.    And masses of paper… But there’s more on that theme tomorrow.  Come and see us on Stand 1648 at Pittcon 2014.

Read Part 2 of Alan’s adventures at Pittcon here.