It is with both sadness and anticipation that we issue this final cumulative set of papers from the 16 HOTWCs. The U.S. Department of Defense's Next Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program (NGP), which assumed the sponsorship for the conferences from the New Mexico Engineering Research Institute (NMERI), has completed its mission and can no longer serve as host and sponsor.
From 1990, when Dr. Robert Tapscott of NMERI created the first of these meetings, to the past 5 years, when I have had the privilege of serving as Conference Chair, the "hot-wicks" have attracted the sponsors, scientists, systems engineers, fire suppressant and suppression system manufacturers, regulators, and technology implementers that ensured that new technologies were developed, evaluated, and implemented. The progress made in this field has been nothing short of spectacular.
As in many technological fields, there is a point at which the very success leads to a decrease in research. While there were 37 papers at HOTWC 2006, just over half of these were either summaries of DoD successes or of NGP results. The remaining number of papers, despite their quality, is at best marginally sufficient to support a dedicated conference.
Nonetheless, there is ample evidence of strong continuing interest in following any new developments and applications in fire suppression science and engineering. To this end, we have created a merger between the Fire Protection Research Foundation FPRF) annual conference on fire suppression/detection and the HOTWC. The first Fire Suppression and Detection Research and Applications (SUPDET) - A Technical Working Conference (SUPDET) will be held March 5-8, 2007 in Orlando, FL.The first two days will be devoted to fire suppression, the latter two to detection. Based on our survey of HOTWC aficionados and discussions at the past two meetings in Albuquerque, I expect a strong presence of our stalwarts.
In closing, I want to express my appreciation and admiration for the many who prepared and presented papers over the past 16 years, to the hundreds who listened to the papers and joined in the extensive discussions, to the NMERI staff and to Gamboa International Corp. for the skillful service they provided to all of us, and to the City of Albuquerque for providing an ambiance that kept us coming back for most of two decades.
Certain equipment, instruments or materials are identified in these Proceedings in order to document the research adequately. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the Nation Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment are necessarily the best available for the purpose.