I appreciate the opportunity to submit this article in this special
occasion of the successful conclusion of the 2003 IEEE International
Symposium on EMC! Struggle, pain, patience, and victory - these
are the phases we've passed through to make this Symposium become
a reality, marking a conclusion of over a decade of work coming
to its climax, in the beautiful city of Istanbul. And how eventful
these years were, more than I would have expected and surely more
than I could have wished for.
The Early Years: 1990 to 1995
A common EMC slogan states: "Design Engineers believe in
miracles; EMC engineers embed them in the design." As you
will see below, the fact that the Symposium came to occur at all
somewhat marks a miracle of its own merit.
It was more than 12 years ago, circa 1990, that Mr. Rafi Rubinstein,
then the Chair of the Israel IEEE EMC Chapter and myself, the
Secretary of the Chapter, filed a petition to the IEEE EMCS for
holding the International IEEE Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility
in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Considering that the Israel IEEE EMC Chapter
was the first outside Regions 1 through 6 of the IEEE (USA), it
seemed like it was "about time" that the Symposium become
global in the true sense!
However, the EMC Society of the IEEE DID NOT approve our petition
THEN, but encouraged us to hold a "small" regional symposium
to prove "we could do it." And, we did! In May 1992,
the Israel IEEE EMC Chapter held the 1992 IEEE Regional Symposium
on EMC, attracting 200 attendees from 18 countries, ranging from
Australia to the United States. With the EEC EMC Directive coming
into force that year, the slogan of the Symposium was: "From
a Unified Region to a Unified World."
with Moshe Netzer (left) and Charles Goldblum (right), recipients
of the Best Symposium Paper Award, dedicated to the memory
of Bob Haislmaier. This was presented at the 1992 IEEE International
Symposium on EMC.
We were lucky to have with us then Professor Michel Ianoz and
Mr. Georges Goldberg, both from Switzerland, who gave us much
help as members of the International Advisory Committee, and Mr.
Dick Ford, officially representing the IEEE EMC Society, who had
faith in us from start! (All three were with us in Istanbul, too,
somewhat of a déjà-vu, and I am grateful for their
continued support over the years.)
That Symposium set the foundation for the 2003 IEEE International
Symposium on EMC held in Istanbul!
In 1995, with the prospects of regional peace resting over the
region, a new petition was submitted to the EMCS, now with Elya
B. Joffe as the Israel IEEE EMC Chapter Chair. The request was
granted, and the Israel IEEE EMC Chapter was to host the 2003
IEEE International Symposium in Tel-Aviv, Israel. A steering committee
was formed as early as 1995, and plans for holding a symposium
began. Our hopes went sky-high that we could form a regional committee
with members from our neighboring countries.
Special thanks are due to Dr. Henry Ott, then the IEEE EMC Society
VP for Conferences and Symposia, for his guidance then and throughout
the years to come.
"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"
Cicero said: "The greater the difficulty, the greater the
glory." If this is true, then this is definitely a glorious
moment for us all.
The road to the Symposium was indeed a bumpy and rough road "under
construction" following eventful years of detailed planning
and hard work. In February 2002, after almost seven years we realized
that relocating the Symposium out of Israel was inevitable, due
to the terrorism and the subsequent events in our Region. The
escalation experienced during those days seemed to be only the
In a series of meetings held in March 2002, the Symposium Organizing
Committee made the very brave decision to relocate the Symposium,
as has been done with many other symposia and conferences, to
guarantee its chances for success.
Obviously, that was not an easy decision, and was devastating
for some. However, by a vast majority, the final decision of the
Committee was to proceed with relocating the Symposium venue.
Surprisingly, feedback was not always favorable. In fact, several
cancellations were received at this time in protest against our
"surrender to terrorism." The Committee stood by its
decision, which was correct in my opinion.
The Decision was Made: The New Site Was
Several alternatives were considered, all in the near vicinity
of the Eastern Mediterranean, for practical purposes. The decision
fell on Turkey, particularly Istanbul, for the following reasons:
New Difficulties Arise:
The "Winds of War" in 2003
With events following each other, the regional unrest due to the
Gulf War hit us again. Even though the war was over well before
the Symposium, "travel warnings" in the US and Europe
were a detriment to travel. Turkey, being a NATO member, apparently
was still not considered a "safe venue"
(25%) cancellation in attendance from the US and Europe followed
More Difficulties: SARS and Global Economics
Finally, since trouble always comes in three's, the outbreak of
SARS led to an additional 7% cancellation in attendance! Global
economics appeared to be the reason for an additional 16% cancellation.
Happy Ending: EMC'2003 (Istanbul) Begins!
Nevertheless, with determination, faith and persistence, work
went on. Following the philosophy embedded in two sayings: "Winners
must have two things: definite goals and a burning desire to achieve
them" and "The difference between the possible and the
impossible lies in one's determination," we decided to press
ahead, literally ignoring any "this is impossible" warnings.
Whenever someone said doing something was impossible, we went
ahead and did it! And behold the results!
Read about the Symposium itself in the article "Region 8
Celebrates its First IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Istanbul,
Turkey" in this issue of the Newsletter. EMC
|From a difficult beginning to a happy
ending! Elya Joffe (left), Symposium Chairman and Sagit Isay
(right), Symposium Coordinator, set up the sign of the Symposium
in the registration area.