FEMS as Society
FEMS is a not-for profit association of 28 European materials societies in 22 different countries. The size of these societies varies enormously, from fewer than 50 to more than 10,000 members. The total number of materials scientists and engineers represented by the FEMS Member Societies is approximately 25,000. However, most of the societies have fewer than 500 members and inevitably have limited influence. Perhaps the most important aim of FEMS is to overcome the fragmentation of the materials science and engineering discipline in Europe in terms of countries, specialities and disciplines. In contrast with the USA, where there are relatively few professional materials societies, Europe has over thirty (16 in Germany alone). By strengthening the interaction between Materials Scientists and Engineers across Europe, between different European Materials Societies, and between Member Societies and the European Union, FEMS aims to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and provide the critical mass needed to exert influence on a European scale.
How FEMS did come about
In June 1986, The Institute of Metals in London (IOM), the German Society for Metals (DGM) and the French Society for Metallurgy (SFM) agreed the need for European metals and materials societies to act more in concert and behave in a generally more “European” manner. After a few meetings, a memorandum of understanding to form the Federation of European Materials Societies was signed in January 1987. The first FEMS General Assembly took place in Paris on 11 December 1987, with IOM, SFM and DGM as the three founder members. In the years that followed, membership of FEMS grew steadily, and by 1993 there were fourteen full members in thirteen different countries.
How FEMS achieves its objectives
The Federation is probably best known for its series of FEMS EUROMAT conferences. These have been held in different venues every two years since the first took place in Aachen during 1989 with 800 delegates. Almost all aspects of materials science and engineering were covered in seven major topic areas:
- Functional and Nano Materials;
- Structural Materials;
- Characterisation and Modelling;
Benefits FEMS does provide to its member societies
To begin with, everyone belonging to a FEMS Member Society qualifies for a reduced registration fee to attend EUROMAT. The total value of these savings can greatly outweigh the membership fee paid by the society. The member societies can bid to host EUROMAT and are encouraged to participate in the organisation and selection of topics and symposia organisers. They can nominate candidates for election to the FEMS Executive Committee, and vote in the General Assembly. The members can also nominate outstanding people for the prestigious FEMS Awards, which include the European Materials Medal (in solid gold) and the Materials Science and Technology Prize. There is also a FEMS Lecturer Award, which provides visibility to excellent young researchers, and a new FEMS Technical Materials Innovation Award to recognise outstanding materials developments in industry. Member societies can use the FEMS website and FEMS News as platforms for information exchange with other societies and to publish job opportunities and student placements. Three years ago, FEMS introduced an annual FEMS Presidents’ Day, giving senior representatives of its member societies the opportunity to get together to exchange views and provide feedback to the Federation.
The key issues FEMS is facing for the future
A major concern is the need to increase further the visibility of Materials Science and Engineering in Europe. To achieve greater influence FEMS is actively recruiting more member societies. Also, FEMS is a founder member of the European Materials Forum. This coalition of more than 130 national and European materials organisations has been established to partner the European Parliament and Commission, thus providing a voice for materials to influence politics at the EU level and safeguard the future funding for materials research.
Dr Hugh M. Dunlop
Telephone : +33 6 62 15 81 79
Hugh Dunlop is a British citizen having spent most of his career in France after obtaining his BSc in geology and PhD in isotope geochemistry from Edinburgh University. Previously senior scientist at the Aluminium Company Constellium corporate research centre near Grenoble, he was in charge of the idea generation process for innovation within the organisation and responsible for European fund brokerage for Constellium’s Global Aerospace RTD. Prior to that he was head of the materials characterization facilities for nine years at Constellium CRV (formerly Alcan and Pechiney). Hugh Dunlop has more than 30 years’ experience in light metal surface and interface phenomena (oxidation, surface treatments, lubrication, bonding) and has published more than 50 papers in the field.. He is also experienced in project management, quality and EHS procedures, and the application of ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 standards. He served on ISO9001 expert committees TC201 and TC202 concerning the development of standards for surface and bulk analysis with techniques such as ESCA, SIMS, and EPMA. He has been on several conference organising committees and was chairman of the 4th International Symposium "Aluminium Surface Science and Technology", held in Beaune in 2006. He has served on the European Aluminium Association’s Technology Platform, and is member of the SF2M.