What's been happening (April-October, 2002)

Since the first full Executive Council Meeting of the new triennium (ECM-90) was held in Regensburg, Germany, March 8-10, 2002, business of IUVSTA went fairly quietly. The 2003 Welch Scholar was selected by the Trustees in June and he should have begun his research year by the time you read this. The annual scholarship is funded by donations from Medard W Welch’s family.

The Slovak Vacuum Society hosted ECM-91 at Smolenice Castle, 13-15 September, 2002, immediately before the International Conference on Thin Films (ICTF-12) in Bratislava. The castle site was excellent for a meeting of the council, proving opportunities for discussion over wine tasting, etc. One of the hot points of discussion was the proposed change in name of the Vacuum Metallurgy Division to Surface Engineering, to reflect the actual activities of the division in protective and wear coatings. The vacuum melting activities of the original name are not a significant topic and the Division committee is strongly in favour of the change in name. AVS made a similar name change in 2000. Of course, “surface engineering” eliminates the melting but it is also open to interpretation!

The Taiwan Vacuum Society sent an observer to ECM-91 and are keen to become involved in IUVSTA. However, the IUVSTA Statutes limit the membership to one society per country and Belgium, where IUVSTA is officially registered, does not recognize Taiwan as a separate country. Closer cooperation with Taiwan is possible without formal membership.

The Chinese Vacuum Society will host ECM-92 in Beijing in March, 2003. The triennial Highlights Seminars will be held in conjunction with ECM-92. Representatives of the 8 divisions will talk on the important advances and directions in the fields covered by the divisions and a Chinese speaker will discuss the activities in China. Judging by the initial response, the meeting will be well attended.

Three invitations to host ECM-93 were received from Croatia, Spain and Switzerland. At ECM-91, the Croatian Vacuum Society invitation was accepted. The meeting will be held in Dubrovnik, September 12-14, 2003. ECM-94 will be held in February, 2004 due to the requirements of the Statutes and the date for IVC-16 in Venice. The French Vacuum Society have indicated they wish to host this meeting; tradionally, one meeting during the triennium is held in the country of the current president, which is France. The Program Committee for IVC-16 will meet at a time and venue close to the ECM.

Since IUVSTA is affiliated with ICSU (International Council of Science), ISO (International Standards Organization) and UNESCO, we receive many mailings regarding their activities, from speeches by the UNESCO Director General to draft standards; the latter are probably most relevant since some deal with surface analysis methods. Some of the mail is slowly being replaced by electronic communication; for example, ICSU now have a free electronic “Data Science Journal” on the web (www.datasciencejournal.org). UNESCO provide a Directory of all 190 National Commissions; if you want to deal with UNESCO in your country, this gives the appropriate office contact. The Pakistan Vacuum Society have applied to UNESCO for financial support for a conference; we will see how UNESCO reacts.

We also receive many brochures and invitations from convention centres all over the world hoping to house conferences and exhibits. Of course, it is the member societies of IUVSTA which should be the targets of these invitations, except they already know where they can hold conferences in their countries!

A number of changes to the IUVSTA Statutes were approved by the General meeting in 2001 but these must be approved by the Belgian Ministry of Justice before they are truly official. That process is almost complete.

Four students who presented papers at ICTF-12 in Bratislava received Elsevier Student Awards; the students were from the Czech republic, Italy, Mexico and Spain.

Bulletin 152