International Coal Testing Conference

The International Coal Testing Conference (CTC) was conceived and planned by the corporate staff of Std Labs in the fall of 1980. The idea was to enhance the company’s image both nationally and internationally by initiating a trade show to create a special identity for coal testers and coal testing equipment manufacturers. This effort, perhaps more than any other marketing attempt by the company, helped establish the name and reputation of Std Labs. Karen Gallagher was named manager for the event and she coordinated all aspects of planning and implementation.

The announced purpose of the CTC was expressed by Troy Stallard in an address to attendees was threefold. First, is the idea that the role of coal tester is very important to the world as available energy is heavily dependent on the efficient use of coal. Secondly, the coal testing profession has become increasingly more professional, and finally, a sense of community needs to be developed in the coal testing segment of the industry

The first conference was held in Lexington, Kentucky on March 2 and 3 of 1981. The conference was entitled “A Symposium and Exhibition Sponsored by Standard Laboratories” and the entire worldwide coal laboratory participants were invited to attend. Additionally, over 100 exhibitors were invited to display innovations in the coal testing field. A group of 24 experts in their respective fields were scheduled to speak in nine different sessions covering various aspects of coal testing. Charles H. Daly, publisher of Coal Age magazine, was to deliver the keynote address on the state of the coal industry. Also scheduled was a tour of the University of Kentucky Institute for Mining and Minerals Research (IMMR) facilities. A copy of the Standard Statement (A Standard Laboratories Newsletter) describing the event is shown in Appendix T.

The first conference was an unqualified success as 566 persons attended and 25 exhibiting firms displayed their equipment. This included representatives from thirty-two US states, District of Colombia, and Canada. 85% of attendees indicated in a survey that they would be willing to attend a second conference.

A second conference was then planned for 1982 at the same location. The agenda for that conference can be seen in Appendix T. This conference attracted 660 people and the Standard Statement describing the proceedings is also in Appendix T.

As a result of the second conference a new for profit venture was formed by creating a magazine entitled “The Journal of Coal Quality” as the official, year-round publication of the CTC. The Journal is discussed in the “Diversifications” section.

A further Std Labs diversification was initiated by the CTC when Jim Howarth of Mineral Consultants of Australia presented a paper on On-Line Analysis on coal streams.

This spurred Troy Stallard to visit Australia to inspect Howarth invention and then to establishing a new venture, Coalscan Sales, Inc., in the United States. This venture is discussed under the “Diversifications” Section.

The CTC continued for eleven years and was finally terminated in 1991 in the midst of a cyclic down turn in the industry.