A short introduction to IUVSTA



This document has been produced using extracts from two papers respectively presented by Prof. John Robins and Prof. Phil Woodruff at the occasion of the 13th and 14th General Meetings.


What is IUVSTA?

IUVSTA (International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications) is a Union of national member societies whose role is to stimulate international collaboration in the fields of vacuum science, techniques and applications and related multi-disciplinary topics including solid-vacuum and other interfaces. It is involved in the organisation and coordination of conferences, workshops, educational activities and publications, and general advancement of the interests of the national societies and their members.


How does IUVSTA function?

The General Meeting (GM) is the highest authority of IUVSTA and is convened at about 3 year intervals, usually in conjunction with the joint International Vacuum Congress and International Conference on Solid Surfaces (IVC/ICSS). The period between two GMs is commonly referred to as a triennium. Each National Vacuum Society which is a member of IUVSTA sends a Delegation (up to 3 people) to the GM.

The GM elects the Officers for the coming triennium and ratifies the national representatives who have been proposed by their National Vacuum Societies as the Councillors and Alternate Councillors for the same period. The GM also hears reports on the activities of the previous triennium, approves activities and a Budget for the coming triennium, determines the share value (subscriptions) and votes on changes of membership.


The Executive Council administers the affairs of IUVSTA during the triennia between GMs. It consists of the Officers and Councillors. The Officers are: President, two Vice-Presidents (President-Elect and Past President), Secretary General, Treasurer, Scientific Director and Scientific Secretary.

The Executive Council usually meets twice per year and each of these Executive Council Meetings (ECM) is held in a country to which it has been invited by the local National Vacuum Society.


Under the direction of the President, the activities of IUVSTA are conducted by various Committees.


Executive Council Committees and their role

Awards and Scholarships Committee is responsible for overseeing the award of the annual Welch Scholarship, an award to help a young scientist of engineer working within the fields represented by IUVSTA to spend one year working in a country other than his/her own (the selection of the candidate is made by a group of trustees). It is also responsible for the organisation and selection (through an ad hoc panel) of the winner of the triennial IUVSTA Prizes to recognise achievement at an international level. The very first IUVSTA Prize was awarded in 1998 and this year (2001), for the first time, there will be two such awards, one in Science and one in the general area of Technology. This committee also selects the conference at which the Elsevier Student Awards, providing partial travel support for conference attendance, will be made each year.

Congress Planning Committee is responsible for the procedures involved in seeking and evaluating bids to host the triennial IUVSTA International Vacuum Congress. It also makes recommendations on these bids to the Executive Council, and oversees the arrangements for the organisation of forthcoming IVCs following acceptance.

Education Committee is involved in a broad range of activities under the general heading of education. These include the visual aids programme, with a successful switch from the old sets of viewgraphs to modern PowerPoint-based CDs, organising short courses in connection with some IUVSTA-sponsored conferences, and organising educational workshop meetings, notably in collaboration with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. This committee is also the focus of attempts to develop activities to support developing countries, and liaison with UNESCO.

Long-Range Planning Committee is chaired by the President-Elect and provides a forum for more wide-ranging discussions of changes in procedures, structure and new activites for IUVSTA. In practice many of the topics first raised at this committee lead to quite short-term actions.

Publications Committee is responsible for the publications of IUVSTA which are now strongly focussed on the IUVSTA web site at www.iuvsta.orgalthough pamphlets to publicise the activities of the Union and its member societies are also produced, and a new history of the Union is being prepared. The www site has enabled the Union to make far more information readily available for its members and the individual scientists and engineers which it seeks to serve.

Statutes Committee maintains a constant watching brief over the Unionís statutes, ensuring that newly-discovered ambiguities are removed and the statutes and working practices (as defined and laid out in the Procedures Manual) are modified to take account of changing situations.

Scientific and Technical Directorate also operates as a committee of the Executive Council, although it has its own Director and Secretary and comprises representatives of the eight Scientific Divisional Committees. It provides a forum for discussion between these committees, and for the general scientific and technical professional activities of the Union. It is responsible for the selection of the topics and venues of the IUVSTA Scientific Workshops from proposals made by the Divisional Committees. These workshops, unlike IUVSTA-sponsored conferences, do receive modest financial support. The STD also makes decisions on the IUVSTA sponsorship and endorsement of conferences and oversees the scientific organisation of the IUVSTA International Vacuum Congress and other meetings partly or wholly IUVSTA sponsored (notably the European Conferences on Surface Science (ECOSS) and theEuropean Vacuum Conferences (EVC), theInternational Conferences on Thin Films (ICTF)).