No. 156, July - December 2004

President’s Inaugural Statement

It is a honor and a great  responsibility to take the Presidency of the IUVSTA for the triennium 2004-2007, of a Union with a long history and a great impact in science and technology. It is also a personal pleasure that this happens when the triennial congress is hosted in my home country.

I jointed IUVSTA for the first time in 1986 as councilor of Italy and after that I was involved in several activities of the Union. Many changes occurred during this period both in science as well in society, which had strong impact on the Union. In science , for instance, in those years vacuum technology made possible the tremendous growth of surface science, which profited a lot by the Ultra High Vacuum and allowed the growth of new interdisciplinary disciplines like nanoscience and nanotechnology. In society IUVSTA had to face not only with new political scenarios  which made much easier the scientific cooperation among scientists of different countries increasing the demand of scientific meetings and educational activities, but also with the new technologies of communications, like FAX and  the electronic mailing system,  which had a strong impact on the organizational structure of the Union. All those changes have been  managed with great ability  by all  my predecessors  who were able to continuously increase the strength of Union by ensuring a flexible and efficient structure able to responds to these changes.

It is mandatory for our Union to recognize two important facts that occurred in the last decade: the change in the political  structure of Europe and the tremendous economical growth in Asia. Both aspect should be strongly considered in the incoming years. The need of a better interaction among the European vacuum societies clearly appeared in occasion of the regional meetings of the vacuum societies presidents and some discussion on this topic has initiated  in the Long – Range Planning Committee  in the past triennium. The achieving of this goal might  require regular discussions among the representatives of the European societies. To facilitate exchange of views among the European vacuum societies IUVSTA will set up a standing committee which will  define issues of common interest and will identify aims to achieve in the short and long term. The growing of the technological developing countries in Asia is a second aspect which will demand strong attention in the next triennium. The Union had recently received two well structured offers from both China Vacuum Society and Korea Vacuum Society to host IVC 18/ICSS14 in 2010. This fact is a clear indication that in the incoming years there is a strong need of increasing in that area both the scientific activities as well the educational ones.  IUVSTA should promote more initiatives in that area as well strength the existing ones.

In these years there was a great development of the scientific activity which is mainly based on the organization of scientific workshops. I am certainly keen to support the Scientific Director to ensure that the programme of the IUVSTA workshops continues to flourish. The developing of the scientific activity is in the mission of the Union and being a successful  activity gives high visibility to the Union. During the next triennium there will be the ECM100 meeting. This meeting has a certain importance not only because is an important record (#100 !) but also because it coincides with the traditional Highlights seminars session.  It may become the occasion for a great scientific meeting. The Divisions are the scientific structure of the Union and have a fundamental role in the organization of the scientific events. They mostly have strong links with vacuum. However nowadays it may be appropriate to open also to non-vacuum communities.

The educational activities continue to grow and those taken in the last triennium had a very good response and were very successful. I keen to support the Educational Committee in this enterprise as well in exploring new ways to increase the educational activities.   IUVSTA should encourage the formation of new National Vacuum Societies in those countries which might be interested in setting up such an organization. IUVSTA will  strength the fruitful contacts made during the previous triennia by several individual members, by taking  specific actions. The Long-Range Planning Committee seems the most appropriate  committee for this matter.

The awards policy which has been followed by IUVSTA in the last years to recognize and encourage outstanding internationally achievements in science and technology was very successful and offered a large visibility to the Union. However to maintain the prizes is necessary to find new donors. In the next triennium the Chair of the Awards and Scholarship committee will try to find new donors. The possibility of creating new prizes/scholarships  will also be considered. 

IUVSTA will devote great attention to the development of the electronic communications. The use of the IUVSTA web site to disseminate information of the IUVSTA events will be increased and powered.

All the activities needs to be compatible with the financial resources of the Union. During these years the difficulties of the world economy and of the financial markets made impossible an increase of the resources  to be used for funding the IUVSTA activities but I am confident that this situation will change in the next triennium. The financial committee will devote great attention and care to create the conditions for growing the budget for the scientific and educational  activities.

I would like to acknowledge in advance  my predecessor MG Barthés  because I will profit in the next triennium of her experience and wise advices. A particular thanks is for the past President Phil Woodruff with whom I have worked in the Scientific Directorate. I have benefited from his experience  and learned  a lot about the Union.  Thanks to all officers and councilors . I assure my effort in guiding the IUVSTA for the next triennium and  I ask  you to continuously  support me  to make IUVSTA more  strong and more effective.  I need your cooperation and enthusiasm but in particular I need your suggestions and your criticisms. I thank all for entrusting me and I feel confident that with your support I will guide IUVSTA fruitfully  in the next triennium.

Ugo Valbusa
Venice Italy
June 2004