The AGMA Fall Technical Meeting (FTM) has been called a gear industry family reunion. This year’s gathering gets underway Sunday (Oct. 18th) in Detroit and concludes Tuesday with the start of the Gear Expo. Think of Gear Expo as the “after party.” Besides the cutting-edge papers being presented at FTM, AGMA is offering educational seminars during Gear Expo too. Full details are at the AGMA website (www.agma.org). Not to be left out, Gear Technology, your 24/7/365 source for gear information, has arranged for its volunteer technical editors to man the microphones for live Ask the Expert sessions during the Expo. We’ll be taking questions on a wide range of topics so check the schedule and bring your puzzler to our team of wizards. For first-time FTM or Expo attenders, I’m serious about this being our family reunion. The gear trade is a bit more spread out today but we are united by our love of these crazy toothed wheels. Some of the greatest minds in history dabbled in gears; some of them are still active today and you’ll find them extremely approachable and interested in what you are doing in your corner of the gear world. The FTM format includes many opportunities for interaction with audience members and presenters. Around the event’s headquarters hotel, feel free to introduce yourself to other name tag wearers. The same situation exists at Gear Expo; if you see a person with an FTM presenter’s badge, be sure to tell them what you thought of their paper. Don’t be surprised if an AGMA committee chairman approaches you about joining their team. Consensus standards need input from as many sources as possible. For young engineers, committee meetings are like a master’s class in your particular specialty. Participation is highly addictive — and can last a career.