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A Belgian group, “Vacuum Techniques Section”

formed in 1954 within the framework of the

Research Committee of the Société Royale Belge

des Ingénieurs et des Industriels, also gave serious

thought, in 1956, to holding an international

vacuum congress.

They appointed a Congress Organising

Committee to study the matter further

under the leadership of Emile Thomas,

Director of the Centre for Nuclear Sciences

at the Royal Military School. In January

1957, this Committee conceived the idea

of holding the First International Congress

on Vacuum Technology on 10-13 June

in Namur, Belgium, in connection with

the 1958 Brussels World Fair. The official

languages of the Congress were to be

French, English and German and Congress

proceedings were to be published. The

necessary funds to get the Congress

underway were to be supplied by

Belgian, Luxembourg and Swiss industrial

organisations. These plans were reviewed

inside and outside Belgium and, with the

cooperation of several scientific societies, it

was agreed to proceed with the Congress.

Mariano ANDERLE with

Cameca IMS3f - August 1986