78th Executive Council Meetings (ECM 78) of the International Union for
Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA) was held in Debrecen,
Hungary, on 25 May 1997, and the 79th Executive Council Meeting (ECM 79)
was held at Port Stephens, Australia, on 23 November 1997. This a brief
summary of some of the many issues discussed at those meetings and at the
associated Committee and Divisional meetings.
All those who are interested in the activities of our Union are encouraged to view the details on our Web Home Page, the address of which is:
Birmingham Congress: IVC-14/ICSS-10/NANO-5/QSA-10: These Congresses are the most comprehensive scientific events presented by IUVSTA and occur once during each triennium. The scientific program is organised by the Divisions' International Program Committees in conjunction with scientists from the host country. Full details of this Congress including registration, abstract submission, accommodation, and travel are displayed on the Web. This information can be used to plan attendance and participation.
IUVSTA Scientific Workshops: The high level scientific workshops, organised by the Divisions, are a major part of our current scientific activity. Eighteen have now been held, with final reports for Nos. 15 and 16 and preliminary reports for Nos. 17, 18 and 19 being presented at these ECM meetings. Grants were made available for two further Workshops:
20th IUVSTA Workshop: "Terrahertz Technology: from Classical THZ-Devices to Few Cycle THZ Emission from FS-Excited Semiconductor Structures" (NS Division).
21st IUVSTA Workshop: "Hydrogen Recycle at the First Wall of Magnetic Fusion Research Devices" (PST Division).
Conferences: It is pleasing to note that yet another conference (QSA-10) is to be combined with our 1998 Congress in Birmingham which now becomes IVC-14/ICSS-10/NANO-5/QSA-10. Those attending the ECMs were assured that planning for IVC 15/ICSS 11 in San Francisco (2001) is on schedule, and that notices had been sent to all National Societies inviting them to bid to host IVC 16/ICSS 12 in 2004.
IUVSTA Sponsorship: The granting of IUVSTA Sponsorship is an activity that is aimed at promoting and acknowledging high standards in national and international conferences. After previewing the proposals submitted, it was agreed to offer Sponsorship to the following:
"4th European Summer School on Surface Science", Humlebaek, Denmark, 16 - 22 August 1997.
"3rd International Conference on Electric Charge in Solid Insulators", Tours, France, 26 June - 3 July 1998.
"3rd Iberian Vacuum Conference", Lisbon, Portugal, 22 - 24 September 1997.
"17th European Conference on Surface Science" (ECOSS-17), Enschede, Netherlands, 16-19 September 1997.
"3rd International School on the Applications of Surface Science Techniques", Erice, Italy, 4 - 10 April 1998.
Highlight Seminars: The IUVSTA Highlight Seminars were presented by representatives of our eight Scientific Divisions on 26 May 1997 in Debrecen, Hungary. These Seminars which report on significant developments that have occurred in the fields covered by our Divisions over the preceding three years, were presented immediately following our ECM-78 and in the opening session of the 7th Joint Vacuum Conference of Hungary, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia (JVC-7).
Short Courses: The presentation of Short Courses has continued with five being presented in Salamanca, to about 53 participants, in connection with the EVC/ICTF conferences. Further courses will be presented at the Congress in Birmingham. In the Education Committee meeting, it was also suggested that we should consider the possibility of developing programs of Short Courses which are independent of conferences, in both developed and developing countries.
IUVSTA/ICTP Educational Workshops: After renewed consultation with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, it seems unlikely that we will be able to mount the third IUVSTA/ICTP Educational Workshop, even in 1999. This is due to financial restrictions within ICTP, who are now requesting a greater financial input from our Union. We are currently emphasising that, by its nature, our Union has limited financial resources at its disposal and that the strength of its contribution is in being able to supply and organise high calibre scientists who would be willing to be presenters at this type of workshop. We will continue to negotiate with ICTP.
Welch Scholarship: There were 17 applicants for the 1998 Welch Scholarship which has now been awarded to Michael Keidar of the Tel Aviv University, who will work at the University of California, Berkeley with Dr. Ian Brown. Whilst acknowledging this award, the Executive Committee renewed its expression of appreciation to the Bro family (Mrs. Bro was the daughter of Dr. M. W. Welch) for their continued endowment of this Scholarship.
Visual Aids Material: It was reported that requests to purchase our Visual Aids material are continuing to be received. There are now five Units that are being revised or re-written.
IUVSTA/Elsevier Student Grants: It was confirmed that the 1997 Elsevier Science donation would be used to support students attending the ECOSS 17 meeting in the Netherlands in September of that year.
IUVSTA Prize: A formal Protocol has now been drawn up and accepted by the Executive Council. This sets out procedures for the nomination of applicants and the awarding of the IUVSTA Prize. This protocol and the procedures can be viewed on our Web Page. The full compliment of eight sponsors had now been obtained and it was also confirmed that announcements and invitations for nominations for the first of these Prizes, which will be awarded at the Congress in Birmingham, had been distributed to all National Societies.
UNESCO: The restructuring within UNESCO, as reported at ECM 77, is now complete. As expected, we are classified as an NGO (Non-Government Organisation) and we have "Operational Relations" status. This has given us a higher profile within UNESCO than we had previously. However, the indications received by Professor Robins and Dr. Croset during a visit to the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in September 1996 were that there was little chance of receiving funding support directly from the central Headquarters. It may be better to solicit support from UNESCO's Regional or National Offices. We await a report from Dr. Croset who will attend a meeting of the UNESCO-NGO committee in November 1997.
ICTP: Our Liaison Officer with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) is Dr. Sancrotti. Current developments with the ICTP have been described above under the heading of IUVSTA/ICTP Educational Workshops.
ICSU: The International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) is scheduled to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting in Vienna in April 1998 to consider making a number of important changes within its organisation. These include a possible change of name to the "International Council for Science". There is also a proposal to interpret the criteria for scientific membership in a less restrictive manner, which could, if adopted, clear the way for IUVSTA to move from Associate to Full Membership at some time in the future.
ISO: Our Union maintains representation on two International Standards Organisation committees. The Applied Surface Science Division has Category A liaison with the ISO TC 201 committee on Surface Chemical Analysis. The Vacuum Science Division liaises with the ISO TC 112 committee on Vacuum Technology. The latter reports continuing progress with preparation of Draft Standards for Vacuum Technology.
IUVSTA's Home Page on the Web: The IUVSTA Web page (http://www.vacuum.org/iuvsta) now contains most of the available information on IUVSTA, its membership, its organisational structure, its Committees and Divisions, its scientific and technological activities and its educational activities. Statistics show an ever increasing number of "visits" being made to the site to access this information, presumably by our members. This is reassuring as we are continually making increased use of our Web page to distribute information to our members. Thus our members are urged to monitor the Web regularly to keep up to date on IUVSTA affairs.
IUVSTA Publications: The final three printed editions of our News Bulletin have now been prepared, printed and distributed. These constitute the Issues numbered 136 to 140. They cover activities up to December 1996 and pave the way for the transition to an electronic version. It is anticipated that the first electronic version will be available on the Web prior to ECM-80. A new version of the Directory has been prepared and distributed to Council Members in printed form. It is not the Union's policy to display full details of members on the Web. A new version of the Procedures Manual, with a much more uniform format, is currently being prepared. The flyer, advertising the Union, is to be reprinted. However, the former Activities Booklet will not be published in future, as the information contained in it is now available on the Web.
National Vacuum Societies: We are continually seeking ways to be of greater service and support to our member National Vacuum Societies and we will always appreciate hearing suggestions of how this can be achieved. One proposal was to bring together the Presidents of the National Societies in a given region and this has now been achieved for a second time. In August 1997 the Swedish Vacuum Society hosted such a meeting at which seven European vacuum societies were represented. There was a strong feeling of mutual interest and potential for continued collaboration amongst those present, and it is to be hoped that the interaction established there will continue to grow. It was also reported at the ECMs that 10 National Vacuum Societies have now contributed detailed information to our Union's Web page and it is strongly requested that other national societies contribute so that this becomes a comprehensive data set.
25th Anniversary of the SVS: In August 1997 the Swedish Vacuum Society celebrated the 25th anniversary of its foundation. The IUVSTA President, Professor Robins, was pleased to be invited to attend to present the Union's congratulations to the SVS for their achievements over the past 25 years and to thank them for their strong support of IUVSTA throughout that period. The anniversary celebrations were combined with the 2nd Swedish Vacuum Meeting which was held in Linköping.
Nomination of Councillors and Representatives: All National Vacuum Societies have now been requested to send to the Secretary General, Professor John Colligon, the names of their chosen Councillor and Alternate Councillor for the 1998-2001 triennium. The name of a representative for each Division on which the National Society wishes to be represented must also be forwarded to the Secretary General.
Hosting ECM Meetings: After much discussion by the Long Range Planning Committee, it was concluded that we would continue to adhere to our current practice of holding our large IVC/ICSS Congress every three years and coordinating the General Meetings with them. The triennial system is entrenched. However, to compensate for the fact that smaller countries will rarely have an opportunity to host these big meetings, it was decided to encourage such countries to host ECM meetings and benefit from drawing participants from a wide range of countries to attend a national or regional scientific meeting which would be held just prior to or following the ECM. Professor Woodruff has drawn up guidelines for bidding for, and hosting, ECM and associated meetings. These will become available on the Web.
DCC Data Base: On behalf of the Developing Countries Committee, Dr. Monika Jenko has arranged to coordinate a data base of scientists associated with IUVSTA. Participation is voluntary and access to the information is to be restricted to IUVSTA members. The purpose is to facilitate contact between scientists in developed and developing countries, where such collaboration is required by funding agencies. Whilst this currently relates primarily to collaboration of EU and NATO countries with countries in central Europe, eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, scientists from all countries are encouraged to register to facilitate general collaboration. Details of how to register and use this DCC Data Base can be found on our Web Page.
Statutes: Progress is being made towards having a uniform set of statutes for all Divisions, with provision of extra clauses for special activities that are unique to a particular Division. It is expected that these will be finalised before the General Meeting in Birmingham.
Welch Trustees: Professor Flodström has now completed his term as a Welch Scholarship Trustee and will be replaced by Professor Westerberg.
Future ECMs: ECM 80 was scheduled to be held on 23 March 1998 in Bratislava, Slovakia, with the associated Committee Meetings starting on Friday, 20 March. A one-day Seminar on "Thin film nucleation, growth and analysis", hosted by the Slovak Vacuum Society, was arranged to be held at the Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, on Tuesday, 24 March 1998. ECM 81 and 82, as well as GM 13, will be held in conjunction with the Congress in Birmingham, England in August/September 1998.
Congratulations: The Union was pleased to be informed that the following scientists, who are associated with IUVSTA, had been honoured in various ways. John Colligon (our Secretary General) and Jim Murday (Nanometer Structures Division Chair) were made Fellows of the American Vacuum Society, John Weaver (Surface Science Division Vice-Chair) received the R&D Magazine's Scientist of the Year award, Bill Westwood (Welch Scholarship Administrator) was made an Honorary Member of the American Vacuum Society, and Joe Greene (Education Committee Chair) received the Adler Award for Materials Physics from the American Physical Society. In addition, the Swedish Engineering Science Academy awarded Gold Medals to Lars Bagge and Roland Jacobsson. In offering these colleagues our congratulations we note also, with appreciation, the reflected glory that their successes bring to our Union.
Closing Remarks and Appreciation: Whilst bringing both the ECM 78 and ECM 79 meetings to a close, the President, Professor Robins, expressed thanks to all those who had worked tirelessly for the good of the Union, including both those present and those who had been unable to attend the meetings. He again emphasised that it was the collective effort of individuals that gave our Union its combined strength and ability to serve the international scientific community. With regard to ECM 78, he thanked our hosts the Hungarian Vacuum Society and especially the principal organiser Dr. Sandor Bohátka, whilst with regard to ECM 79 he thanked the Vacuum Society of Australia and particularly Professor John O'Connor. On both occasions we had experienced overwhelmingly warm hospitality and efficiently organised meetings.
(Report by John L. Robins)