Our Rivers of Knowledge Bring You the  Technology of Tomorrow

Plans for the 37th Annual Meeting and Technical Conference are well underway.  The Pittsburgh committee has been hard at work for the past year planning and arranging for the “best ever” IAS Technical Conference.  This will be the fourth Annual Meeting to be hosted by the Pittsburgh Section. 

Pittsburgh was the site of the Second Annual Meeting way back in 1967, when we were known as the Industry and General Applications Group of IEEE.  Tony Furfari chaired that meeting and approximately 100 papers were presented from 14 technical committees.  Thirty of those papers were presented in 12 various sessions that dealt with the latest technology in SCRs as applied to variable frequency systems.  Tours of Westinghouse’ East Pittsburgh Plant, the Sky Bus Project, and US Steel’s Duquesne Works were all part of the program.  In 1974, Bob Wagner chaired the meeting in Pittsburgh and the number of papers had grown to 150.  Charlie Gray chaired the 1988 Pittsburgh meeting and the technical sessions had grown to 60 with over 300 papers presented.  In 2002, we are expecting the number of papers to approach 400 in 65 technical sessions.

WOW…..what changes have taken place.   Along with the changes in IAS, Pittsburgh too, has changed. .  Looking back to 1967, all the industrial tour locations no longer exist

Pittsburgh, banked on all sides by tall, green hills, and cut by three mighty rivers.  The birthplace of American history.  Once, the gateway to the west, the final stop in America’s push into the unknown. Some of you may recall that steel mills once hugged our rivers. We were often called the “Smokey City”.

Today, Pittsburgh is proud and new.  A city of cut stone faces gazing down from weathered facades.  Glass castles with lively rivers for a moat. A square of brick and cobblestone exuding European charm. 

Pittsburgh’s compact downtown is truly remarkable.  The Golden Triangle is one easy walkable 11 by 11 block area.  In it you will find the HQ of 7 Fortune 500 companies, two of the nations largest banks, two major department stores, a state park with a huge fountain, a thriving cultural district, a wonderful sampling of architecture, shops of every description, century old churches, and the shortest, cleanest, free subway system in America.  (Yes…it IS free between downtown stops!).  Pittsburgh has emerged as one of America’s most gracious meeting cities.

The host hotel will be the OMNI William Penn, one of the country’s historic Grand Dames.  It has been restored to the resplendence of over 85 years ago when a dapper doorman welcomed guests.  Built in 1916, it was the dream of Henry Clay Frick.   He set out to build the greatest hotel between New York and Chicago. Indeed, the William Penn has more than lived up to Frick’s dream. High tea is served in the magnificent Palm Court Lobby, a Victorian jewel that suggests tradition and charm.  The elements of classic architecture have been restored with care and consideration.   And….the IAS Annual Meeting will be the ONLY EVENT in the hotel. 

Come and join us for the 2002 Annual Meeting.  You’ll have the time of your life!

Steve Swencki

Conference General Chairman