It is a great honour and privilege for me to address you as the 21st President of IFAC and to inform you about our activities. I would also like to invite you to participate in our Federation, an experience that many in our profession have found to be highly rewarding and enjoyable.
Founded in Paris in 1957, IFAC is the worldwide organization tasked with promoting the science and technology of automatic control in all systems, whether for example, engineering, physical, biological, social or economic, in both theory and application. IFAC is also concerned with the impact of control technology on society.
IFAC’s greatest strength is in its people and the volunteers who devote so much of their time to make IFAC function as well as it does. Maintaining the highest technical level of scientific excellence is a major concern for IFAC. This is achieved through the technical excellence of our events and publication and technical committees, and excellence in terms of the efficiency and effectiveness of our secretariat and administrative systems and processes.
The next IFAC triennial World Congress will be held in Toulouse, France from 9-14 July 2017 (http://www.ifac2017.org/). It will be the occasion to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of IFAC. Plan now to participate in what promises to be a highly rewarding, memorable and enjoyable event. In the meantime, come to other IFAC events and/or contribute to our journals. Join a Technical Committee in your field of expertise. You are bound to find your participation in IFAC’s activities professionally and personally rewarding.
The membership of IFAC consists of National Member Organizations (NMOs) who are responsible for furthering the aims and objectives of IFAC within their respective countries. IFAC provides NMOs with full international participation, whilst at the same time preserving local customs in the development of their activities.
Individuals can participate in IFAC in many ways: as Affiliates who receive the Newsletter; as Technical Committee Members through nomination either by the NMO or by the Technical Committee Chair; as members of the International Program Committees of IFAC events; as authors of papers for IFAC events; as Executive Committee Members; as attendees of IFAC events; as authors, reviewers, and editors of the IFAC journals; and, ultimately as officials of IFAC.
Promotion of the science and technology of automatic control and all of its technical, educational and social implications is of paramount importance for IFAC. This is achieved mainly by organizing and sponsoring technical meetings, and through technical publications. IFAC organizes about 40 high-quality technical meetings per year, whose scheduling, scope, and ways of participation can be accessed through our webpage. Technical meetings are proposed by NMOs, sponsored by one or more of the 39 IFAC Technical Committees, and reviewed by the IFAC Technical Board. Every third year, IFAC organizes a World Congress. Papers presented at IFAC technical meetings are published, in partnership with Elsevier, on IFAC-PapersOnLine website, at no cost to the event organizers. Papers archived in this form can be viewed and downloaded at no cost, and can be cited using the site ISSN, the event ISBN, and the individual paper DOI (digital object identifier).
A fundamental role in the dissemination of automatic control science and technology is also achieved by IFAC through the editorship of seven prestigious archival journals: Automatica, Control Engineering Practice, Annual Reviews of Control, Journal of Process Control, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Mechatronics, and Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems, which are known as IFAC Journals and published in partnership with the official IFAC publisher, Elsevier.
Extraordinary contributions to automatic control science and technology are acknowledged by IFAC in various ways. Lifetime contributions, with either a theoretical or practical emphasis, are honoured by means of the Giorgio Quazza and Nathaniel Nichols medals, awarded every third year. The High Impact Paper award acknowledges the impact of a paper published in any of the official IFAC journals. The Industrial Achievement award is presented to an individual, or a team of individuals, who has made a significant contribution to industrial applications of control. Distinguished individuals may be honored by the Council as IFAC Fellows. This recognition is given triennially to a restricted number of individuals who have made outstanding and extraordinary contributions in the fields of interest of IFAC as engineers/scientists, technical leaders or educators. The relevance of education is emphasized through the Harold Chestnut Control Engineering Textbook Prize. At the time of the triennial World Congress, the best research articles published in each IFAC journal, with the exception of Annual Reviews of Control, are acknowledged and awarded. The best papers presented at the Congress in the area of applications, by a young author, or as an interactive paper, are also awarded. Long-term service to the Federation is recognized by the Outstanding Service Award, and by presidential appointment of a restricted number of individuals as IFAC Advisors.
The Technical Board relies on the highly competent efforts of more than 2000 volunteers, and is responsible for managing the technical activities of the Federation. Its main purpose is to manage the portfolio of IFAC technical meetings. In addition, the Technical Board advises the Council on all technical matters related to technical meetings, publications, and the technical contents of the Triennial Congress. It is also responsible for reviewing the technical activities of IFAC.
The Executive Board coordinates and supervises the executive activities of IFAC through various Executive Committees. It also coordinates the external relations of the Federation, including applications for IFAC membership. The Awards Committee regulates and controls all award-related activities; The Policy Committee advises the Council on matters of general policy, long-range planning, and the external relations of the Federation; The Publications Committee regulates and controls all IFAC publications; The Administrative and Finance Committee is responsible for directing the work of the Secretariat and controls the use of IFAC funds in accordance with the budgets approved annually by the Council.
The IFAC Council conducts the day-to-day business of the Federation, having been empowered to do so by the General Assembly, which is composed of all NMOs. You are more than welcome to approach members of the Council electronically, or in person at an IFAC meeting, to discuss any issue related to IFAC activities. Please also feel free to contact me at email@example.com about any matter pertaining to IFAC. The most important goal of IFAC is to serve all of you who are part of the large Automatic Control community.
University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne
President of IFAC