2012 American Vacuum Society Symposium and Exhibition

Frequent readers of my blog will recall that I provided an update of the AVS-57 Symposium and Exhibition in 2010  I am writing this blog while on a flight between Atlanta Georgia and Albany New York – returning from the AVS 59 Symposium and Exhibition which was held in Tampa, Florida from October 28 to November 2.

Being the past chair of the  Applied Surface Science Division (ASSD) of AVS in 2012 my tasks this year were to chair the ASSD nominations committee and to serve as the ASSD program chair for the AVS 59 Symposium and Exhibition.  I am pleased to report that we had an exceptional slate of candidates and had a very close election.  I also defined an exceptional ASSD program committee which worked as a team in order to identify new session topics, new invited speakers for our division, and brought in a very high number of exceptional abstracts.   The ASSD technical program ran all week, was very well attended, and brought in very positive comments.   We also worked with other divisions to co-sponsor sessions and lead many of the focus topics.

Plenary speaker Joel E. Kostka, Georgia Institute of Technology
Plenary speaker Joel E. Kostka, Georgia Institute of Technology

As 2012 started, and as we were finalizing the plans for the AVS 59 Symposium and Exhibition, I recall thinking that in 2013 my ASSD rotation would be over and I would be attending the 60th anniversary symposium and exhibition (AVS 60) as a member.   Well… Shortly thereafter I was asked to be the program co-chair for AVS 60 (and the program chair for AVS 61); two weeks ago I also found out that I was elected as a director.  I look forward to working with  Jim Fitz-Gerald the AVS 60 program chair, AVS staff, and the AVS 60 program committee to assemble an exceptional 60 anniversary celebration in Long Beach CA Oct 27 to Nov 1  2013.   I enjoy giving back to the organization which played a large part in my professional development.

A total of 1448 Abstracts including 74 late breaking abstracts were submitted for the AVS 59 symposium; this is the highest number of abstracts since 2004!

As always the meeting was technologically stimulating for me. AVS is an interdisciplinary professional society, which addresses the Science and Technology of materials, interfaces, and processing.   The plenary speaker for the symposium was Joel E. Kostka, Georgia Institute of Technology who spoke about “The BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: Are Microbes Helping to Clean up the Mess?”  Two professional leadership workshops were offered: “Skills for a Successful Industrial Career” and “Townhall Meeting: Federal Funding and Research Opportunities”.   Workshops were also offered on “Nanomanufacturing: Current Status and Future Prospects”, 14th Topical Conference on Quantitative Surface Analysis”, “Biomaterial Interfaces Division Plenary Session”, and the “Electronic Materials and Processing Division Industrial Forums”.  I attended the Sun night Biomaterials Plenary – “Bioimaging: in vacuo, in vitro, in vivo”, Tougards Albert Nerkin Award Lecture “Characterization of Thin Film Nanostructures by XPS”, Sherwood’s invited talk “Valence band XPS: A valuable but underexploited Tool for the Identification of Subtle Differences in Surface Chemistry”, Schnekenburger’s invited talk “Clinical Application of Surface Analysis Techniques – Needs, Requirements, and Challenges”, Stocks invited talk “3D Analysis using X-ray Computed Tomography”.  On Thur morning, Vickerman Skyped in from Manchester (his flights were cancelled due to Sandy) to give his invited talk “Molecular SIMS – Revolutionized by Cluser Primary Ion Beams?”  This was also the first time AVS had a presentation via Skype!

Between the invited talks mentioned above, I attended contributed talks in the various Applied Surface Science Division’s sessions, the Energy Frontiers Focus Topic, the Helium Ion Microscopy Focus Topic, and the Scanning Probe Microscopy Focus Topic.  It was a very busy week for me!

At the symposium, I also had an opportunity to have first hand discussions with legends in their respective field of research. These discussions will help shape research projects being considered by some of my colleagues.  I also enjoyed seeing many of my colleagues. One important benefit of societies such as AVS is the ability to interact with leading scientists and to engage in detailed scientific discussions.  Many of my successful scientific collaborations  grew from discussions at past AVS Symposia.  You may remember that I had a blog on the value of professional societies “Why you should join a professional society”.

I encourage all researchers to become involved in a professional society and to consider attending the annual AVS Symposium and Exhibition (as well as local AVS chapter meetings). For the AVS’ers reading this blog, I will see you in less than a year.  I am interested in comments and suggestions for new topics/sessions, please share any thoughts you may have below.

Left to Right: Stella Pang, chair of AVS awards committee, Cedric Powell being named an honorary member of AVS, AVS President Alison Baski
Left to Right:
Stella Pang, chair of AVS awards committee, Cedric Powell being named an honorary member of AVS, AVS President Alison Baski