IWCS 2019 Focused on the Future Highlighted New Technologies and Supported Future Innovators IWCS 2019 International Cable & Connectivity Symposium, the premier venue for new technologies in cable and connectivity products, processes and applications, welcomed attendees to the 68th annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 29 – October 2, 2019. 

“In spite of international macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges, we overcame them and were more than pleased with our symposium in Charlotte,” said Scott H. Wasserman, PhD., of Dow, Inc. and IWCS Chairman. “Vital advances in our industry on the horizon, such as 5G networking, systems and cable innovation, along with the requisite need for new materials to enable them, demand a forum for us to discuss that technology. IWCS remains the premier global technical forum for open discussion and collaboration that will fuel our industry into the future,” he concluded.

The Executive Session, a perennial highlight, included CRU’s Richard Mack providing an overview of the global markets for metallic wire and cable as well as optical fiber markets. Michael Finch, also of CRU International, discussed optical cable markets and trends in broadband network construction and Robert Fry, of Robert Fry Economics, LLC, gave a global economic outlook.

Robert Canny, of Marmon Wire and Cable Group, led the Executive Panel Session, which was a lively, informative discussion between the panelists on the topic “CTO Crystal Ball - Telecommunications in 2025 and Beyond”. Panelists included Morgan Kurk of CommScope, Claudio Mazzali of Corning, and Srini Siripurapu of the Prysmian Group.

IWCS 2019 Charlotte had 110 unique presentations over the four days of the Symposium, along with 8 Professional Development Courses led by industry experts. Presenters and attendees came from 27 countries with 80% of attendees from the Americas, while Europe and Asia each contributed 10% of the attendees.

Technical Sessions topics included Materials; Reliability and Network Management; Data Center and Central Office; Multimode Fiber; Advancing Power and Data Transmission over Copper; Special Applications; Optical Fiber Design and Ultra Low Loss; Codes and Standards; and two sessions on Advances in Optical Connectivity. Each session had between five to eight papers presented, with the exception of Advances in Optical Connectivity I and II that had twelve papers. One paper this year was written and presented by students from North Carolina University, which fit in well with the IWCS emphasis on encouraging and supporting the next generation to enter the industry.

The Plenary Keynote Speaker was Morgan Kurk, Chief Technology Officer, CommScope, North Carolina, USA, who presented “Our Future Connected World: Network Architecture to Support 5G and Data Traffic Growth”. He held everyone’s attention by discussing topics such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics, automation and Industry 4.0.

Always a highlight of the Plenary Session was the recognition for the best papers and presenters of the prior year, presented by Eric Whitham, of OFS, Carollton, GA, USA and Chairman of the IWCS Symposium Committee. The Jack Spergel Memorial Award for Outstanding Technical Paper on “Strain Sensing of an In-Road FTTH Field Trial and Implications for Network Reliability” was presented to co-authors Riley Freeland and Martin Hempstead of Corning Research and Development Corp., New York, USA and Joe Jensen, Corning Inc., North Carolina, USA.

The Outstanding Poster Paper on “Data Cable Category 6 with Green Polyethylene Jacket Produced from Sugarcane” was presented to co-authors Mauricio Nardi, Denys de Souza Scheiner, Matheus Gabrial de Assis, Paulo Massao Ito, Raquel Maia de Andrade, Leonel Martin Rodrigues and Tatiane Grassi Senderski of Furukawa Electric LatAm, Paraná, Brazil.

The Kitts-Kingsley Award for Best Presentation was awarded to Chuck Grenier of Hitachi Cable America, New Hampshire, USA, for “Recent Innovations in 48 AWG Micro-Coaxial Design & Manufacturing”

IWCS Board Chairman Scott Wasserman honored Dr. Akira Murata, of Fujikura Ltd., Ibaraki, Japan, and a retiring member of the IWCS Symposium Committee.

Sixteen students who were the recipients of the student scholarship awards for the 2019/2020 academic year were also acknowledged at the plenary session and honored at the Hospitality Reception. The awards are now directed toward supporting student research projects focused on topics in the cable and connectivity industry at the following Universities: University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Georgia institute of Technology, all in the USA, and De Montfort University in the UK. Contributions toward the scholarships came from the Wire & Cable Industry Suppliers Association (WCISA), The Christopher Kenneth Eoll Memorial Endowment, and the Wire Association International (WAI).

IWCS 2019 - ReceptionThe two-day Supplier Exhibition at IWCS 2019 had 90 exhibitors with exciting new innovations to support the growth and advancements in the cable and connectivity industry. Within the exhibit area was a separate section where 7 New Product Introduction presentations were given on Monday and where the Poster Paper Session with 21 Poster Papers was located on Tuesday. 

“IWCS 2019 Charlotte provided for an outstanding presentation of the latest technologies and business drivers for the cable and connectivity industry,” summarized David Kiddoo, CEO/Director of IWCS. “Including the inspiring and unique vision of the Executive Session CTO Panel, along with an interesting perspective of our future connected world through the eyes of our Plenary Keynote Speaker, CommScope’s Morgan Kurk,” he continued, “our attendees were certainly enriched through the excellent content presented throughout the Symposium. Along with the Supplier Exhibition and the fun evening Reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, this year provided for a valuable networking event.”

The IWCS 2020 Cable & Connectivity Symposium will be held in Providence, Rhode Island, USA on October 11 – 14, 2020. Information can be found on The UL and IWCS China 2020 Cable & Connectivity Symposium will be held in Shanghai, China on March 24-26, 2020 at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. Information can be found on the English website, which has a link to a website in Simplified Chinese. At the Plenary Session, Kiddoo reminded everyone that the Call for Papers for the UL and IWCS China 2020 Cable & Connectivity Symposium is open, with the abstract deadline at the end of November. This will be the fourth year of the conference in China.