ASED - History

Advancing the Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing


The first division within the Society was the Vacuum Metallurgy Division (VMD), which was formed in May 1961. The previous year, R.F. Bunshah approached the AVS Board with a suggestion that an existing group, which had organized annual Vacuum Metallurgy Conferences from 1957 through 1960, under the leadership of Bunshah, become a section within the AVS instead of forming a new Vacuum Metallurgy Society. This group had been founded in 1957 with the idea of serving as a common meeting ground for the small technical community devoted to the melting, casting, and processing of metals and alloys under sub-atmospheric conditions but it soon became apparent through the growth of the vacuum metallurgy field that production engineers, management, and research engineers were also interested in "vacuum effects and the behaviour of metals under vacuum at elevated temperatures."

The AVS by-laws had to be changed to include a division; until this change was approved in 1961, the vacuum metallurgy section was considered a special committee of the Society. In May, 1962, only 12 of the 1121 AVS members were VMD members but this had increased to 48 by August; by 1971, there were 250 members.

As surface engineering became more and more important to the ICMCTF and as the interest in vacuum melting decreased, it was recognized that the name of the Division did not reflect its main activities. Surface engineering was its main thrust, and Bill Sproul lead an effort to change the name of the division. In 2000, the VMD became the Advanced Surface Engineering Division (ASED).

The Division Chairs 

2015 - Andre Anders    
2014 - Joe Greene    
2013 - Christian Mitterer 1993 - Eric Schlienger  1973 - R W Buckman 
2012 - Jochen Schneider 1992 - Dennis T Quinto  1972 - R W Buckman 
2011 - Jörg Patscheider 1991 - William D Sproul  1971 - D T Bourgette 
2010 - Ali Erdemir 1990 - William D Sproul  1970 - Leonard M Bianchi
2009 - Daniel Gall 1989 - Gopal K Bhat  1969 - Ellis L Foster
2008 - Lars Hultman 1988 - Robert C Tucker  1968 - Ellis L Foster
2007 - Joe Greene 1987 - Douglas L Chambers  1967 - Ellis L Foster
2006 - Alan Stewart 1986 - David E Rigney  1966 - Michael A Cocca
2005 - Suzanne Rohde 1985 - R W Buckman  1965 - Michael A Cocca
2004 - Yip-Wah Chung 1984 - Harry A Beale 1964 - A M Aksoy
2003 - Allan Matthews 1983 - Clifford S Mosbacher  1963 - Rointan F Bunshah
2002 - Aharon Inspektor 1982 - H J Klein  1962 - Rointan F Bunshah
2001 - Ivan Petrov 1981 - J Roger Peterson 1961 - Rointan F Bunshah
2000 - Bruce Sartwell 1980 - Gopal K Bhat   
1999 - William D Sproul 1979 - John S Huntington   
1998 - William D Sproul 1978 - John R Morley   
1997 - Paul S Dunn 1977 - C Frank Elliott   
1996 - Anthony J Perry 1976 - Richard C Krutenat   
1995 - Brian K Damkroger 1975 - Richard C Krutenat   
1994 - Dale C McIntyre 1974 - R W Buckman   

The Division continued the Vacuum Metallurgy Conference for many years covering both metallurgical coatings and metals processing, and organized programs at the AVS Annual Symposium primarily on vacuum coatings and processes due to the interests of the Symposium attendees. Over the years, only part of the Division membership remained interested in liquid metals processing, and they organized a biannual conference on that subject. However, over the years, metallurgical coatings became the main interest of those involved in the division and other areas of vacuum metallurgy, such as vacuum melting processes, were not well represented in VMD.

The 1968 Annual Vacuum Metallurgy Conference was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California; there was one session on "Vacuum Deposition of Bulk Metal Coatings" but the rest of the conference dealt with vacuum melting and heat treatment.

An international conference was held at the Convention Center in Anaheim, California on 15-19 June 1970, jointly with the annual symposium of the Southwest Section. R. F. Bunshah was the General Chairman and sessions covered the growth, production, application and theory of thick metallic films, fundamental considerations and application of vacuum heat treating; electron beam melting and processing equipment; behavior of metals in vacuum environments; consumable electrode melting; vacuum induction melting and degassing; atomization, consolidation, testing of metal and alloy powders in vacuum or controlled environment; and general vacuum metallurgy. An abstract of 300 to 500 words had to be submitted to D. T. Bourgette, Program Chairman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Box X, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830. Exhibits were organized by E. F. Oswandel, Balzers High Vacuum Corporation, Box 10816, Santa Ana, California 92711 and the Arrangement's Chairman was L. M. Bianchi, TRW Inc., 23555 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44117.

The 1972 Vacuum Metallurgy Conference, in Pittsburgh, emphasized "new technology in vacuum melting and refining, vacuum casting, vacuum deposition of thick films, and behaviour of materials in vacuum environments".

However, vacuum metallurgy was still represented in the ICMC meetings; e.g. ICMC-6 was actually billed as the "6th International Vacuum Metallurgy Conference on Special Melting and Metallurgical Coatings" and was co-sponsored by the Thin Film Division and the Pittsburg Golden Triangle Chapter, of the ASM. The 1984 "Vacuum Metallurgy Conference on Specialty Metals, Melting and Processes" was held in Pittsburg. In 1989, the "Vacuum Metallurgy Conference on the Melting and Processing of Specialty Materials" was also held in Pittsburgh.

In 1974, the VMD held the "Conference on Structure/Property Relationships in Thick Films and Bulk Coating", which was repeated in 1975. In 1975, the name was changed to the International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings (ICMC). At the 1974 conference, Ron Bunshah, chair of the Vacuum Metallurgy Division and chair of the conference, remarked that the conference was "conceived and proposed as an experiment to see if one can put on a somewhat common footing the large amount of information that has been developed on this topic using several different technologies to produce the coatings." Bunshah recalled that the title of the 1974 conference was proposed by John Thornton to avoid any conflict with the Thin Film Division. Later, these first two conferences were retroactively counted as ICMC-1 and ICMC-2, based upon the numbering of the later conferences. The ICMC flourished, and the conference grew in size from just 31 papers at the first conference to 6600 papers at ICMC-30.

In 1990, the ICMC was held in conjunction with the International Conference on Thin Films, and the combination worked so well that, in 1991 under Bruce Sartwell's urging, the ICMC changed its name to the International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF). The General Chair alternated between the TFD and the VMD and the surplus was divided between the two divisions. After ICMCTF-1, a check for $12,000 was officially presented to the TFD Chair, Terry Bright, by Bruce Sartwell at the National Symposium in Seattle. The conference was co-organized with TFD from 1991 till 1999. ICMCTF continues to do very well, and it is the second largest annual meeting within the AVS, with only the annual AVS meeting being larger. More details on the number of papers and the exhibits are given in Conferences and Downloads.

At the 10th ICMC in San Diego, in 1983, Ron Bunshah was presented with a plaque as the "Founder and First Chairman of ICMC". He served as the Program Chair and as the General Chair for many of the conferences up to that point.

The VMD also sponsored or co-sponsored other related conferences. For example, it supported the TFD's first "Topical Conference on Sputtering" which was held in San Diego on the Sunday before the 11th ICMC in 1984. In 1985, it co-sponsored with TFD a workshop-style "Symposium on Physics and Chemistry of Protective Coatings", at the Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Vacuum Metallurgy Division had two main components – the melters and the coaters. The melters held their International Conference on Vacuum Metallurgy at 3-year intervals, and the coaters held their annual ICMC meeting. As the division entered the 1990s, it became apparent that changes were taking place. Vacuum metallurgy was a mature technology, and the interest in the subject was dwindling. On the coating side, the concept of surface engineering was taking hold. The melters changed their format for their meeting to emphasize computer modeling of the melting process, and they now hold a biannual meeting on this subject.

The ASED now sponsors the ICMC annually and a small melter's modeling conference every other year. Although the VMD/ASED has held its own meetings, the division has contributed to the annual AVS meeting encouraging the synergism that is a key part of these meetings. The division has been part of the annual Symposium continuously since 1992. The General Chair and Program Chair for the ICMC (ICMCTF) are listed below for the years 1974-2012.


Year Conference Name General Chair Program Chair
2015 42nd ICMCTF C. Rebholz S. Kodambaka
2014 41st ICMCTF Y.-W. Chung C. Rebholz
2013 40th ICMCTF   P. H. Mayrhofer Y.-W. Chung
2012 39th ICMCTF  A. Erdemir  P. H. Mayrhofer
2011 38th ICMCTF  S. Bull  A. Erdemir
2010 37th ICMCTF  K. Wahl  S. Bull
2009 36th ICMCTF  J. Patscheider  K. Wahl
2008 35th ICMCTF  J. Schneider  J. Patscheider
2007 34th ICMCTF  A. Voevodin  J. Schneider
2006 33rd ICMCTF  C. Mitterer  A. Voevodin
2005 32nd ICMCTF  B. Holloway  C. Mitterer
2004 31st ICMCTF  L. Hultman  B. Holloway
2003 30th ICMCTF  A. Stewart  L. Hultman
2002 29th ICMCTF  G. Exarhos  A. Stewart
2001 28th ICMCTF  A. Matthews  G. Exarhos
2000 27th ICMCTF  J. Zabinski  A. Matthews
1999 26th ICMCTF  I. Petrov  J. Zabinski
1998 25th ICMCTF  D. McIntyre  I. Petrov
1997 24th ICMCTF  R. Hillery  F. Urban
1996 23rd ICMCTF  R. Hoffman  R. Hillery
1995 22nd ICMCTF  R. Tucker  R. Hoffman
1994 21st ICMCTF  D. C. McIntyre  R. Tucker
1993 20th ICMCTF  G. J. Exarhos  D. McIntyre
1992 19th ICMCTF  S. V. Krishnaswamy  G. Exarhos
1991 18th ICMCTF  B. D. Sartwell  B. D. Sartwell
1990 17th ICMC (**)  W D Sproul  S. Rossnagel
1989 16th ICMC  B. D. Sartwell  G. McGuire
1988 15th ICMC  W D Sproul  D. Quinto
1987 14th ICMC  W D Sproul  W D Sproul
1986 13th ICMC  H. A. Beale  B. D. Sartwell
1985 12th ICMC  H. A. Beale  H. A. Beale
1984 11th ICMC  H. A. Beale  W. Class
1983 10th ICMC  R. F Bunshah  H. A. Beale
1982 9th ICMC  R. F Bunshah  H. A. Beale
1981 8th ICMC  R. F Bunshah  Boone
1980 7th ICMC  R. F Bunshah  
1979 6th ICMC (*)  R. F Bunshah  
1978 5th ICMC (L.A.)  R. F Bunshah  
1977 4th ICMC (S.F.)  R. F Bunshah  
1976 3rd ICMC (S.F.)  R. F Bunshah  
1975 2nd ICMC (a) (S.F.)  R. F Bunshah  
1974 1st ICMC (a)  R. F Bunshah  
  • (a) - Conference on Structure/Property Relationships in Thick Films and Bulk Coating
  • (S.F.) - Conference in San Francisco
  • (L.A.) - Conference in Los Angeles
  • (*) - Held in conjunction with International Conference on Special Melting and Casting
  • (**) - Held in conjunction with the 8th International Conference on Thin Films (ICTF-8)
From 1983 to 2006, the Division presented the R F Bunshah award for the best paper presented and published at a conference. The first award, which consisted of a commemorative coin in a suitable display holder and a $500 cash award, was given for the best paper at the 1983 ICMC; it was presented during the 1984 ICMC.

In 2007 the new R. F. Bunshah Award and ICMCTF Lecture was established, named after the founder of the ICMCTF, which recognizes outstanding research or technological innovation in the areas of interest to the Advanced Surface Engineering Division (ASED) of the AVS, with emphasis on the fields of surface engineering, thin films, and related topics.

In 2007 also the first ICMCTF Graduate Student Awards were given to outstanding graduate students in fields of interest to the Advanced Surface Engineering Division (ASED) of the AVS.

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