President's Corner President's Corner

With the Closing Ceremony on July 5, a very successful IFAC World Congress drew to a close. The AACC, as the American National Member Organization of IFAC, served as the host for this Congress. Planning for this complex event began more than a decade ago. We are grateful to all the AACC officers and directors throughout that period for their time, efforts, and support on behalf of the Congress.

Detailed organization of the Congress was the responsibility of the National Organizing Committee (NOC), chaired by Hal Sorenson. Hal and his committee deserve our gratitude for their superb arrangements. A challenging assignment was carried out with great success. Thanks, NOC!

Another essential contributor to the success of the IFAC Congress was Abe Haddad, our AACC Secretary. Abe's assistance to the NOC, to the International Program Committee, to IFAC President, Steve Kahne, and in fact to all involved in the Congress is gratefully acknowledged.

IFAC has a new major award, the Nichols Medal. This award was proposed to IFAC by AACC to recognize major contributions to control system practice. AACC offered to fund the design and preparation of this medal, and to provide the first honorarium. IFAC quickly accepted, and IFAC President Kahne presented the medal to its first recipient, Jurgen Ackermann, at the San Francisco Congress. Steve Kahne and his wife Irena, a professional artist, supervised the design and production of the medal. Thanks, Steve and Irena!

The medal is named for Nathaniel B. Nichols, whose contributions to control are legendary, and include the Nichols chart, the Ziegler-Nichols PID tuning algorithms, and the classic book on servomechanisms with James and Phillips. Nick Nichols himself was present in San Francisco, and was introduced to the Congress attendees, a memorable moment for us all.

We now are preparing for the 1997 AACC, to be held in Albuquerque, NM, on June 4-6. General chair Naim Kheir and Program Chair Steve Yurkovich are leading our planning for this ACC. The AACC is making a major effort to increase industry involvement in the ACC, and several innovations to this end are being introduced for the 1997 ACC. The issue of enhanced industry participation in the ACC is a major concern of your officers and directors, and I invite your comments and suggestions by email to

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