Rope Technology Workshop

The biennial workshop sponsored by the MTS Ropes and Tension Members Professional Committee consists of informal and formal presentations on all aspects and uses of ropes and tension members.

MTS Ropes and Tension Members Professional website:


2011 Rope Technology Workshop Has Several New Twists

Last year’s 9th International Rope Technology Workshop offered a “good mix of synthetic and wire ropes,” which, according to Evan Zimmerman, was a change of pace from past workshops. Zimmerman is chair of the MTS Ropes and Tension Members Professional Committee, which puts on the workshop every 18 months. Last year the workshop was March 22–24 at Texas A&M University-College Station.

Above, David Richards (left) presents Simeon Whitehill with the Rope Pioneer Award. The workshop's presentations drew a record 153 people.   

Normally, the workshop leans heavily toward synthetic ropes, but this year it was held in conjunction with the Organisation Internationale Pour L’etude de L’endurance des Cables (OIPEEC), whose members are more focused on wire rope. OIPEEC is a French-based international organization for the study of the endurance of ropes.

The two organizations drew a record 153 registrants—twice as many as the Rope Technology Workshop normally attracts—and lasted a half day longer. Zimmerman said the Ropes and Tension Members Committee was interested in combining with OIPEEC in a future workshop, potentially every second or third event. Among the high points was the workshop banquet during which Simeon Whitehill was presented with the Rope Pioneer Award by the 2009 recipient, MTS member David A. Richards, with Holloway Houston. Whitehill pioneered the use of synthetic fibers in high-performance ropes 30 years ago. He is a recognized leader in the development, design and testing of high-performance synthetic lines. He has several patents, numerous papers and has won many industry awards for his role and knowledge in the synthetic rope industry.

The smooth operation of the workshop is attributable to MTS member Debbie Oakes, senior administrative coordinator with the Offshore Technology Research Center (OTRC), which has been a sponsor and facilitator of the workshop since 2006. The center conducts basic engineering research and develops systems for the offshore oil and gas industry.

In an exciting development, the professional committee and OTRC are using a large portion of workshop proceeds to create the OTRC/MTS Ropes and Tension Members Committee Scholarship, which will continue to be funded by future workshops. To qualify, students must be MTS members who are junior or senior undergraduate ocean engineering majors with experience working on a research project or significant participation in other research projects that involve physical testing in a laboratory.

Archived Workshop Papers

Papers from 1990-2005:

Papers from 2005-2010: Click here, then click the name of the workshop. 

Papers from 2011: Click here.


Printable Version