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The First International Congress on VacuumTechnology (Premier Congrès International

desTechniques du Vide) held in Namur in June 1958 was judged to be a huge success.

The meetings were attended by 522 participants from 26 countries. There were

164 papers presented on all phases of vacuum science and its applications. For the first

time vacuists from all over the world had a chance to meet and discuss their common

interests informally as well as formally.There was an air of excitement and international

fellowship and an earnest desire by the participants to meet again on a periodic basis.

All of this encouraged M. W. Welch, President of the American Vacuum Society, to

recommend, at the opening session of the Congress on 10 June 1958, the creation of a

permanent international committee that would continue the work of the organisers of

the Congress. He also suggested that the seat of such a committee be established in

Belgium and that future congresses should take place in different countries.

These suggestions were later reproduced in a draft

resolution submitted to the participants at the closing

session of the Congress by J. Yarwood (GB), R. Champeix

(F) and G. Oetjen (D), which was unanimously adopted.

This resolution recommended an Executive Committee

composed of E. Thomas (B) (President), A. S. D. Barrett

(GB), K. Diels (D), J. M. Dunoyer (F) and M. W. Welch (USA)

with the following duties:

(1) to establish an international organisation for

vacuum science and technology, whose aims

would be:

(a) to organise and hold in various countries once

every three years an international congress on

vacuum science and technology;

(b) to promote the dissemination of information

and the advancement of education in vacuum

science and technology;

(c) to affiliate with other national and international

bodies to achieve these objectives;

(2) to organise and call the Second International

Congress on Vacuum Science andTechnology;

(3) to submit to the participants of the Namur

Congress for approval bymail adraft constitution

and bylaws.

Clearly, this action was the most important accomplishment

of the Congress and would lead to the formation of

an organisation which would eventually become the

International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and

Applications (IUVSTA).