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The Israel Vacuum Society - Science, Technology, and Applications (IVS) was constituted and registered as the Israeli Society for Vacuum Technology (ISVT) in October 1968 by a group comprised predominantly of technicians, and immediately applied for IUVSTA membership (The society name-change occurred in 1992, and was meant to reflect the breadth of our fields of interest). It was provisionally accepted as the 16th member of IUVSTA in January 1969 and has been an active participant in IUVSTA activities since then through its delegates, Councilors and Division Committee members. The Chairman of the first Board of Directors was Dr. Alexander Roth, who has since written well known books entitled "Vacuum Technology" and "Vacuum Sealing Techniques" and who later became our first Honorary Member. He was subsequently joined by 4 other past chairmen and members - Prof. Enrique Gruenbaum, Prof. Nicholas Klein, Prof. Yoram Shapira and Prof. Reshef Tenne. The initial enrollment in ISVT was more than 200 scientists, engineers and technicians. The present number of IVS members is now more than 400. These members are active in many branches of vacuum science and technology and related fields and work in various research and industry establishments in Israel.
Initially, the activities of the society were divided into national conferences (which after 3 initial autonomous conferences were held in conjunction with the Israeli Physical Society meetings); national symposia devoted to specific topics; and courses in vacuum technology. Although the number of society members has grown significantly over the years, and the number of participants in the conferences and symposia has also steadily grown, the nature of the symposia/conferences has varied with changes in the makeup of the board of directors who initiate and steer essentially all society activities. Thus, the technically-oriented symposia were largely abandoned during the early to mid-nineties, but brought back into play after a polling of the general membership showed a true interest in such meetings. In addition, the joint symposia with the Physical Society have been abandoned. In the mid- 1990s, the national conference was held jointly with the biannual conference of the Israel Materials Union, an umbrella organization of societies involved in varied aspects of materials (whose foundation was spurred and nurtured by IVS board members), but this also has been abandoned. Finally, correspondence with members has included, over the years, mailings with activity updates, bulletins with technical articles, and currently, electronic media is being used to disseminate information.
The organizational structure of the IVS was modified significantly through the 1990s due to the formation of formal divisions within the society. In 1992, the request of the Association for Crystal Growth to join the IVS as a division was accepted. Subsequently, the Hydride Society, whose size had dwindled to the point that a separate entity was unviable, became a formal division of the society. In 1999 the Israel Society for Plasma Science and Technology also became a formal division within the vacuum society. This alliance has served several purposes: the activities of the IVS, which include vacuum, thin films, hard coatings, dielectrics, sensors, surface science, photovoltaics, nanoscience, biointerfaces, overlap strongly with the activities of the divisions so that there were many common members of the different societies and interest in holding joint sessions in conferences; governmental requirements concerning nonprofit organizations have become very cumbersome so that this alliance reduces and consolidates the amount of bureaucratic work which must be tended to; the only paid help of the IVS was that of the secretary of many years, Ms. Yehudit Rousso, whose invaluable and dedicated services were thus extended to all divisions.
The societal activities have also developed over the years. As commercial entities have now appeared which provide instruction in vacuum technology, this service has become less emphasized and only one such course was sponsored by the IVS in recent years. This was actually run by a local training center. On the other hand, outreach to students has become more intense - prizes in memory of Dr. Roth and Prof. Esterman, and a prize donated by the Electron Device section of the IEEE are awarded at each national conference. Over the years the international Welch Scholarship of the IUVSTA has been awarded to Israeli students several times. An employment center has also been run on a trial basis during several national conferences. A very popular commercial equipment exhibition accompanies each national conference. This not only serves the vendors well, but the income received allows reduction of the registration fees to nominal value, thus encouraging all, particularly students, to attend.
With regard to international conferences and events, it should first be noted that foreign scientists and engineers are regular attendees at the society sponsored symposia. As for bona-fide international symposia, the first of these sponsored by the society was the 5th International Thin Films Congress, a biannual activity of IUVSTA's Thin Film Division, which was held in Herzlia on the Sea in September 1981 with attendance of more than 400 international participants. In 1994, a bilateral conference with the UK “Frontiers in Surface Science” was held near Jerusalem sponsored by the Ministry of Science and the Arts, with heavy involvement of the IVS. In 1998, one of the IVS divisions, the Association for Crystal Growth, organized and sponsored the 12th International Conference on Crystal Growth in conjunction with the 10th International Conference on Vapor Growth and Epitaxy. In 2000, the national conference was partially sponsored by the American Vacuum Society (AVS), which assist funding the visits of plenary speakers who are active AVS members .
The contribution of Dr. Sidney Cohen in retrieving the IVS history is gratefully acknowledged.
Assist us to maintain our history. If you know of any missing details, inaccuracies, or carry with you past photographs or even anecdotal information- do not hesitate and contact us.
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