IUVSTA News Bulletin 150: Retiring President’s Message


D. Phillip Woodruff
President - IUVSTA


We have just returned from the triennial International Vacuum Congress in San Francisco where I spent my last few days as IUVSTA President. Around lunch time on Wednesday 31st October (Halloween!) we held the 14th General Meeting of the Union and I formally handed over the Presidency to Marie-Genevieve Barthés-Labrouse. MG, as she suggests she should commonly be known, has already been a very active member of the officers of the Union for 6 years and I am sure she will be an excellent President – I wish her well. I think  my own term was generally a fruitful period, but this is due in very large part to the efforts of others including the Committee Chairs and my fellow officers but also Councillors and Divisional officers who worked to ensure the various activities of the Union progressed successfully. A special thanks is due to John Robins, the previous President, who is the one retiring officer this year, and to Bill Westwood who, as Secretary-General, is the person who handles by far the largest workload and has been an enormous help to me, and indeed to many others, during the last 3 years.


The fact that the event defining the end of one IUVSTA triennium and the start of the next is the IVC and its associated satellites means that this is one time when we can be assured that committee meetings can be accompanied by an extended, broad based and high quality scientific meeting. This year was no exception. Of course, the AVS organises a large-scale and successful conference every year, so the challenge of co-hosting the IVC is less daunting for them. The last few months, however, have been unreasonably challenging. The events in New York and Washington on 11 September, which the conference chair, Bill Rogers, quite appropriately described as ‘unspeakable’, have cast a cloud over many international as well as American events, and also created a huge logistical problem for the AVS. Their main headquarters are located in Wall Street, just a few blocks from the World Trade Center, so the staff suffered tremendous trauma as well as practical problems, like the loss of the AVS WWW and email server. Subsequently, the conference did suffer a larger than usual number of cancellations of contributions and attendees. Despite all of this, the meeting was full of excellent science and ran smoothly and positively. I am happy to acknowledge the impressive and professional way in which the AVS staff together will Bill Rogers, Roger Stockbauer as Programme Chair, and all their colleagues, coped with, and smoothed over, these problems to the benefit of all of us.