Conferences & Exhibits

A Message from the Program Chairs

“Baptism by Fire”
by Wolfgang Decker - 2010 Assistant Program Chair

“Baptism by Fire” – a spewing volcano in Iceland gave this metaphor a somewhat literal meaning for some of us organizers of the 53rd Society of Vacuum Coaters Technical Conference.  The ash cloud over Europe made it impossible for many to come, including Ladislav Bárdos, the 2010 SVC Program Chair. It did cut my “apprenticeship” short.

Going into the weekend before the conference start on Sunday, the organizing team was facing a mounting problem; messages started pouring in from attendees and presenters unable to travel to the conference in Orlando. We were looking at gaping holes in the technical program; initially a total of 61 presentations were cancelled because the presenter was not going to be at the conference. In fact, for some of the sessions, such as HIPIMS, oral presentation losses of up to 80% were a real possibility.

In a truly collective effort, TAC Chairs, Moderators, colleagues and attendees alike stepped up to the plate; so much so, that this conference will be remembered not by how it almost got “blown to ashes”, but by how it was saved. The few Europeans, who avoided the travel restrictions by arriving in the U.S. days ahead of the conference, stepped in for their colleagues and presented papers on their behalf, as did some American colleagues for their European counterparts. In addition, 21 additional presentations were provided on short notice. The “holes in the program” gave some presenters the opportunity to extend their papers and provide a more in-depth presentation. So even if there was some flux in the schedule, we ended up with a strong program and overwhelmingly positive feedback from our attendees and presenters. This Program Chair cannot express enough gratitude for everyone who helped out.

In a strange coincidence, our Plenary Address, given by Peter Ward, offered information establishing a connection between volcanic activity and the effect of global warming. Ward tried to teach us the pronunciation of the name of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, meaning “Island Mountain Glacier” – but the more interesting aspect was his theory about the impact of sulfur dioxide, emitted by volcanic eruptions, on the greenhouse effect. The presentation certainly was interesting, demonstrating that the effect of global warming most likely has more causes than just the increase in carbon dioxide.

Our Keynote Address this year was presented by the SVC Technical Director, Carl Lampert, giving an overview on the situation of solar technology. Lampert presented in lieu of Magnus Odén, who like so many others, was not able to travel to the U.S.

New to the Technical Program this year were the Technology Reviews and a Business Topics Program. Feedback and interest for these new sessions was also very positive and we look forward to implementing them again next year. The TAC chairs will present detailed reviews of all the technical sessions in the upcoming Summer Bulletin.

Now that the conference has drawn to a close, the Society of Vacuum Coaters can look back and be proud of the strength of its community, and again, we extend our sincere thanks to all who contributed to the success of our 53rd Annual TechCon.

Ladislav Bárdos, Uppsala University, Sweden (46/18-4713034; Ladislav.Bardos@angstrom.uu.se) is the Program Chair. Wolfgang Decker, VAST Films Ltd. (724/827-8827; w.decker@vastfilm.com) is the Assistant Program Chair. Ludvik Martinu, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada (514/340-4099; lmartinu@polymtl.ca) is the Past Program Chair.

View the 2010 TechCon Slide Show

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