No. 153, January - June 2003

What's been happening (November 2002-April 2003)

The Chinese Vacuum Society hosted ECM-92 at Tsing Hua University's Unicentre Hotel in Beijing, 20-22, March 2003. The Highlights Seminars, which are held in conjunction with the ECM at the mid-point of the triennium, was held on Sunday, March 23, 2003 at the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since this was the day before the CVS conference on Nanoscale Science, it was very well attended with over 200 scientists present. The Highlights Seminars had a somewhat different format; as well as talks by the eight IUVSTA Division chairs, or their representatives, on the major developments in the fields covered by the division, corresponding talks were given by division representatives of the Chinese Vacuum Society. Although this meant a rather long day, with 16 half-hour talks, the talks were very good and were well received.

The CVS hospitality was exceptional and the visit to Beijing was memorable. The university-owned hotel was first-rate and all the attendees were impressed by the huge campus of the university. Visits to a few appropriate labs at Tsing Hua and Peking universities, as well as the Institute of Physics were organized one afternoon, followed by a dinner hosted by the vice-president of the university. The CVS hosted a banquet at the Beijing Roast Duck Restaurant and organized a visit to the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall; the weather was perfect for the outing and a few brave souls became "heroes" by climbing to the top lookout on the wall.

The ECM was well attended despite the long travel time to Beijing, and the outbreak of both the Iraq conflict and SARS!

The Croatian Vacuum Society will host ECM-93 in Dubrovnik on September 19-21, 2003, and we look forward to another excellent meeting.

An invitation to host ECM-94 was received from the French Vacuum Society and this was accepted. The meeting will be held in Chateau de Pizay, north of Lyon, on February 13-15, 2004; 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 in Genova on the following day, February 16, 2004. The travel time from Lyon to Genova by car or train is about 4 hours.

We 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!

One of the "hot" topics of discussion recently has been a proposed change in name of one of the IUVSTA divisions; Vacuum Metallurgy to Surface Engineering to better reflect the actual activities of the division which deal mainly with surface coatings for wear and protection rather than vacuum melting. All the other divisions of IUVSTA have agreed to the change and the Electoral College has approved the new Statutes which incorporate the new name of the division.

A number of changes to the IUVSTA Statutes were approved by the General Meeting in 2001 and these have now been approved by the Belgian Ministry of Justice by publication in their new web-based "gazette".

The IUVSTA web site is now hosted on the French Vacuum Society server, after being transferred from the AVS server. The Directory of addresses and the e-mail alias lists are once again operational.

The annual IUVSTA report to ICSU (the International Council of Science) was submitted. It is now a web-based publication, with links to the members' sites.