The 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control | Cape Town, South
Africa | 24-29 August 2014
Promoting automatic control for the benefit of humankind
In September 1956, the German VDI/VDE-Fachgruppe Regelungstechnik organized an International Conference on Automatic Control at Heidelberg.
At that conference 30 participants signed a declaration in which the need to create an international organization of automatic control was clearly defined. The signatories pledged to promote the formation of national organizations, if not already existing at that time.
At the end of the Heidelberg Conference a Provisional Committee was established under the chairmanship of Victor Broida (France) to draft a constitution for the planned International Federation of Automatic Control.
On September 12, 1957, the First General Assembly convened at the constituent meeting in Paris. Delegates from 18 countries representing their national organizations assembled at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers under the chairmanship of Victor Broida. They voted on the Constitution and By-Laws; they elected the first President, Harold Chestnut, as well as the members of the Executive Council; and they appointed committee chairmen.
IFAC has had nineteen Presidents:
Note: A * after the name of a president means deceased.
The 20th President, Ian Craig (South Africa) was elected by the General Assembly convening in Milan, Italy on August 29, 2011, for the 2011-2014 term of office. The IFAC Secretariat has a permanent home. By invitation of the Austrian Government it has been situated in Laxenburg near Vienna (Austria), since 1978.
...for IFAC to be the worldwide federation for promoting automatic control for the benefit of humankind.
...to promote the science and technology of automatic control through technical meetings, publications and other means consistent with the goals and values of IFAC.
The International Federation of Automatic Control, founded in September 1957, is a multinational federation of National Member Organizations (NMOs), each one representing the engineering and scientific societies concerned with automatic control in its own country.
The purpose of the Federation is to promote the science and technology of control in the broadest sense in all systems, whether, for example, engineering, physical, biological, social or economic, in both theory and application. IFAC is also concerned with the impact of control technology on society.
The primary objective of the Federation is to serve all those concerned with the theory and application of automatic control and systems engineering, wherever situated. To further this aim, it maintains working relationships with other organizations, national or international, especially with other non-governmental professional federations.
IFAC provides a framework for collaboration between those working in automatic control and systems engineering, irrespective of race, creed or colour, or of geographic location, and promotes free exchange of ideas and experts within its professional fields.
The Federation does not become involved in any kind of political activity, nor does it take a position in any such issue.
IFAC does not take part in any commercial activity with the explicit aim to acquire financial gain.
IFAC pursues its purpose by organizing technical meetings, by publications, and by any other means consistent with its constitution and which will enhance the interchange and circulation of information on automatic control activities.
International World Congresses are held every three years. Between congresses, IFAC sponsors many symposia, conferences and workshops covering particular aspects of automatic control.
Information on activities appears on the IFAC homepage and in the IFAC Newsletter which may be obtained free of charge (ON-LINE REGISTRATION FORM) from the IFAC Secretariat or can be downloaded from the web.
The official journals of IFAC are Automatica, Control Engineering Practice, Annual Reviews in Control, Journal of Process Control, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, and the Journal of Mechatronics, to which one may subscribe by writing to the publisher, Elsevier Science Ltd. There is also a number of IFAC Affiliated Journals.
Until recently, IFAC publications further included paper-based proceedings volumes of congresses, symposia, conferences and workshops. At the World Congress in Seoul, July 2008, IFAC PapersOnLine was launched, the website from which papers of IFAC events can be downloaded.
Professional Briefs, technical committee reports, a multilingual dictionary, as well as brochures of particular interest, such as guidelines for organizers of workshops, symposia, conferences and congresses (Organizers'Guide) are additional publications of IFAC
IFAC closely cooperates with many other international organizations, by mutually co-sponsoring technical meetings.