Last Updated: December 2005
Maintained by: Professor Leila Notash, Editor

Presidents Column

This year the Executive Council met in Besançon in order to meet with the Organizing Committee of the 2007 World Congress, and visit the facility we will be using. Besançon is a beautiful and historic city located within a bend of the Doubs River. It is close to the Alps and can be reached by many different routes. The facility we will be using is a first class conference center owned by the city. We believe that everything is in place for an exceptionally successful congress.

The year 2005, which is the year “opposite” the World Congress in our four year rotation is traditionally a quiet year for IFToMM sponsored meetings and other events. It is, however an important year because it is the end of the terms of all chairs of technical committees and permanent commissions and therefore the time at which we appoint new chairs of those groups. In the context of this newsletter I should draw attention to one among a number of new leadership appointments. Leila Notash, our efficient newsletter editor will shortly step up to much larger responsibilities as the incoming chair of the Permanent Commission on Communications.

I recently had the pleasure of representing IFToMM at an event in Moscow celebrating the centenary of the birth of Academician I.I. Artobolevsky who was one of the founders of IFToMM and our first president. This occasion was celebrated by an academic workshop at which many eminent scholars made presentations and a celebratory luncheon. It was an appropriate moment to reflect on IFToMM’s thirty-five year history and the current status of the organization. Our 46 member committees represent a huge expansion of the organization. We now have technical committees in areas like mechatronics and MEMS that were not even thought of when IFToMM was founded. I think Academician Artobolevsky would be proud to view the progress that IFToMM has made, were he still with us.

One challenge we attempted to address at this year’s Executive Council meeting is improving the fiscal viability of the organization. This is not a pleasant topic since most of IFToMM’s funding comes, as it must, either from its member committees, or from individual members of the professional community. However, IFToMM cannot continue to function and deliver services to the community unless it is fiscally healthy. We are both seeking new avenues to generate funds, and tightening up our procedures to ensure that the organization actually receives the member committee dues upon which our budgets are based.

It is the time to think about nominations for the next Executive Council, including the President, Vice-President, Secretary General and Treasurer. During the coming year the Nominating Committee is charged with assembling a slate of candidates to present for election at the General Assembly meeting in Besançon. Jorge Angeles is chair of the Nominating Committee and would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to make a nomination for a member of the Executive Council or one of the officer positions.

Kenneth J. Waldron
President

Editor's Message

Dear readers:

This issue of the Newsletter contains a message from Professor Kenneth Waldron, IFToMM President, highlighting the IFToMM activities in 2005; a message from Professor Marco Ceccarelli, IFToMM Secretary General, regarding the IFToMM Executive Council and the IFToMM activities; as well as a couple of contributions from IFToMM Officers.

In the Winter of 2006, the IFToMM pages will be transferred to Queen’s University. Please note that the URL for the IFToMM webpage will remain as www.IFToMM.org. It is my pleasure to inform you that the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science, Queen’s University, has approved hosting these pages on the faculty server until the IFToMM finds a permanent host for its webpage files.

As many of you might recall, the IFToMM webpage was first developed in late 1990’s, by Professor Jorge Angeles, and included the IFToMM Newsletter during the period 1995 – 2000. In 2001, Associate Professor Dinos Mavroidis accepted the Chair of the new Permanent Commission on Communications, and has improved and maintained the IFToMM pages since then. These IFToMM pages have been very valuable. As the new Chair of PC Communications, I will try to further improve the IFToMM page and keep the information current; updating the information in all the pages if more than one page conveys the same information (e.g., the contact information for the Chairs of Permanent Commissions and Technical Committees), reporting the date each page is updated, protecting the posted email addresses from Spam-Crawlers, possibly adding a “site map”, and so on.  I will need the help of the IFToMM Officers, including the Chairs of PCs and TCs, to keep the contact information for the officers and also for the members of PCs and TCs up-to-date. I would appreciate any suggestions for further improvement of the IFToMM pages and I will try to accommodate as many as possible.

I would like to expand the previous years' initiative, on inviting the Chairs of Permanent Commissions and Technical Committees for submitting entries to the Newsletter, by encouraging the scholars interested in the history of mechanisms and machines to submit short articles on the historical development and application of mechanisms. Depending on the timing of the submissions, I will either include them in the IFToMM Newsletter or post them on the IFToMM webpage.

I would like to thank all IFToMM Officers who contributed to this issue of the IFToMM Newsletter, and I look forward to receiving your contributions for the 2006 issue, preferably as a WORD document or in PDF format. Please note that the contributions are published in any of the four IFToMM official languages, English, French, German, and Russian. Contributions submitted in official languages other than English are expected to be accompanied by an English abstract.

Wishing you all a prosperous and peaceful Year 2006,

Leila Notash
notash@me.queensu.ca

2005 Meeting of IFToMM Executive Council

The 38th IFToMM Executive Council Meeting was held in Besancon, France on 29 and 20 September 2005. As usual, the status and problems of IFToMM activity were discussed according to a very rich agenda. Main points of discussion can be considered as related to reports of activity by Permanent Commissions (PCs) and Technical Committees (TCs), appointment of new Chairs of PCs and TCs, establishment of new TC for Multibody System Dynamics and new TC for Tribology, report of the Task Force for IFToMM Journals, the Treasurer’s report, and report of the Organizing Committee for the 12th World Congress in 2007.

In particular, problems have arisen for appointments of new Chairs of TCs after the second term of current Chairs. Nominees have not been submitted in due time and appointments have been postponed through e-mail postal ballot among EC members with the hope to obtain results in due time for the start of the 2006-09 term. This problem has stressed once more the need to enroll as many individuals as possible into TCs and PCs as representatives from each IFToMM member with the aim to have more and more active conscious participation to IFToMM activity and leadership. The Task Force for IFToMM Journals has reported a successful work in making order in the delicate matter of IFToMM publications through affiliate journals and other journals. A Memorandum of Understanding between Elsevier and IFToMM has been signed to clarify the work and aim of MMT that has been therefore reorganized accordingly. Other important aspects have been defined in the form of Constitution amendments that will be discussed by IFToMM General Assembly. However, still other aspects related with other types of publications and journals are required to be discussed and clearly regulated. Therefore, the Executive Council has extended the mandate to the Task Force for an additional year of work. Treasurer’s report has detailed the finance of IFToMM by stressing some problems that are related to due arrears from few IFToMM members. This delicate situation has been analyzed and still is pending the action to be taken to solve it by avoiding expulsion from IFToMM for those members with too many arrears, as Constitution will require.

Particular attention has been addressed by the Executive Council on the organizing aspects for the next IFToMM World Congress, as requested by IFToMM Constitution. Thus, the Executive Council has visited the conference site together with the chairs of the French Organizing Committee and several aspects have been discussed to have better perspective of successful efficient organization.

In addition, an agreement for bilateral cooperation has been approved between IFToMM and FeIbIM (Iberoamerican Federation of Mechanical Engineering) as result also of a preliminary joint activity for MUSME Symposium on Mechatronics and Multibody Systems that has been held in Uberlandia Brazil on March 2005 as second event of a series started in 2002.

The candidature of Tunisia Society for Mechanical Engineering has been positively evaluated by the Executive Council and it has been proposed for approval through e-mail postal ballot among Chairs of IFToMM members.

The next meeting of the IFToMM Executive Council has been scheduled for June 19-20, 2006 in Warsaw.

Minutes and corresponding appendices regarding with details of the many discussed subjects are available at the IFToMM webpage www.iftomm.org for public consultation.

Prof Marco Ceccarelli
IFToMM Secretary General

IFToMM officers at the 2005 EC meeting: (from left to right) first row: Prof. Carlos Lopez-Cajùn, Prof. Marco Ceccarelli, Prof. Vincenzo Parenti-Castelli, Prof. Marc Dahan, Dr. Jean-Pierre Merlet, Prof. Irina V. Demiyanushko, Prof. Bodo Heinman; second row: Dr. Joe Rooney, Prof. Burkhard Corves, Prof. Tian Huang, representative of Besancon City, Prof. Kenneth J. Waldron, Prof. Manfred Hiller, Prof. James Travelyan, Dr. Theodor Ionescu, and Prof. Miroslav Vaclavik