It’s always a pleasure to report good news, and I’m happy to say that I have some good news to report. One of our long standing members and a former Society President, Hal Flescher, received the IEEE Emberson Award at the IEEE 125th Anniversary Honors Ceremony held in Los Angeles, California last month. This is one of IEEE’s most prestigious awards for service to the entire organization, which he received in honor of his contributions in making IEEE more fiscally sound during difficult economic times. Hal has also done a great service to our Society, and is currently the Vice President of the IEEE Technical Activities Board. We all congratulate Hal on this notable recognition, and thank him for all that he has done for both NPSS and IEEE.
There are also several other notable NPSS members who are taking on some new functions within IEEE. Bill Moses was elected to the IEEE Conference Committee, and Peter Clout is a candidate for Division IV Director in an election that will take place later this year. Both Bill and Peter are past Society Presidents and have been active in TAB and other IEEE activities for a number of years. We wish Peter good luck in the election and Bill success in his new job on the Conference Committee. I have also appointed Rob Reinovsky, our Society’s Vice President, as our Strategic Planning Representative to TAB. Bob will be helping to develop a strategic plan for our Society’s future activities, and is also heading up a committee to review our Constitution and Bylaws. I would like to thank Bob for taking on these important duties that will help forge our plans for the future.
It looks as if some of Hal’s financial strategy has paid off since, although the economy is still struggling, our Society, as well as all of IEEE, is holding up rather well in terms of its finances. While we have lost about a third of our reserves due to the economic downturn, we are still quite viable and healthy, thanks to our many successful conferences and publications. This conclusion was echoed in the report of the Society Review Committee, which praised us on being an efficient and well run organization. Our membership is also growing. We recruited 250 new NPSS members at the 2009 Particle Accelerator Conference held in Vancouver in May, and more at several of our other conferences. I’d like to thank Uwe Bratzler, our Membership Chair, Vernon Price who has been of extraordinary help in processing new applications, and all those others who helped him, in their highly successful membership efforts. We would like to encourage even more new membership, and also find ways of retaining these new members. One possibility we have been discussing is to hold certain “Members Only” events at some of our conferences. This would be an excellent way to meet fellow members, and would be one more thing to add to the list of the benefits of membership.
The results are now in on our latest membership survey which was carried out for the first time electronically using a web-based program called Survey Monkey. This was really a great success, due mainly to the efforts of Eric Frey who set up and conducted the survey for us. We received 1335 responses out of more than 3000 survey requests that were sent out by E-mail, which is an excellent response ratio. The results not only provide the data we require to allocate the proper number of AdCom seats based on the technical interests of our members, but also give us valuable feedback on how our members feel our Society is working. The results have just come in, and a detailed report will appear in a future Newsletter. I should also note that we plan to carry out future AdCom elections using electronic means, so it looks as if paper ballots and survey forms are becoming a thing of the past.
I would also like to announce the formation of a new NPSS Chapter in Seoul, Korea. This effort was spearheaded by Prof. Hee-Joung Kim from Younsei University, and the Chapter received formal approval in June of this year. We would like to thank Prof. Kim for his efforts to form this Chapter and extend our presence into this part of the world, and we look forward to more NPSS activities there in the future.
As I mentioned in the last Newsletter, we decided that we would remain a member of the Biometrics Council, and that David Abe would be our representative. The change in our representation on the Council is related to the rapid development of terahertz technology which is of increasing interest to our Plasma Science and Applications community.
Also, TAB approved the W.R.G. Baker Award, which is presented annually for what is deemed to be the best paper within all of IEEE in a given year. This presents an opportunity for NPSS members to achieve a high level of notoriety for work that is recognized throughout IEEE. We certainly produce some highly regarded publications in our Society, and I hope that some of our members will be candidates for this award.
A number of NPSS members recently attended the IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (POCO) Conference in Prague in the Czech Republic. This was a meeting dedicated to virtually all aspects of holding conferences, which is a major activity of our Society. There were a number of important issues discussed there, including holding conferences outside the U.S. (and particularly in China), the upsurge of requests for Technically Co-sponsored conferences, VAT and financial issues, and many more. We currently sponsor 11 major conferences, either annually or biennially, and co-sponsor many more. We take pride in the fact that these are some of the most highly regarded conferences in our fields. We wish to strive to maintain that high level of quality for both our members and nonmembers. Keeping up with today’s rapidly changing world of networking, communication and modern technology in terms of holding conferences will help us do that.
Finally, it is with deep regret that I note the passing of our dearly beloved member, Lou Costrell who was one of the founding fathers of the NPSS and spent more that 40 years working within our Society and serving its members. He made enormous contributions to the establishment of standards within IEEE, particularly in the area of NIM, CAMAC, and other forms of electronics and readout systems. He also led the effort to organize the first Nuclear Science Symposium back in the early 1960s. This is one of our flagship conferences today. This issue of the Newsletter is dedicated to him, and he has been well eulogized in Ken Dawson’s opening article. We will surely miss Lou, and we greatly appreciate all that he has done for us.
Craig Woody, NPSS President, can be reached at the Physics Dept. Bldg. 510C, Brookhaven National Lab, Upton, NY 11973, Phone:
+1 631-344-2752; Fax: +1 631-344-3253; E-mail: email@example.com.