The technical structure of AVS is organized as a matrix. Members can participate in one or more Divisions or Technical Groups, each of which is focused around a major topical area. Members may also participate in Chapters and Student Chapters, which are regional organizations that focus on local area needs.

Minnesota - History of our Chapter


The Minnesota Joint Chapter, comprising Minnesota and the Dakotas, was approved by the AVS Board following a request in 1969 by T.E. Hutchinson for the formation of a joint chapter of the Surface Science and Thin Film Divisions; a group of 80 had attended a meeting in April that year. 

With the new AVS organizational structure in 1971, the Minnesota RAG covered the area of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The Minnesota Chapter was the only one in this RAG. 

When the Wisconsin Chapter was dissolved in 2000, some members were transferred to the Minnesota Chapter. 

Information on the Chapter and events are available on the Chapter’s web page on the AVS web site.

The Chapter Chairs were: 
1969 T.E. Hutchinson
1970 T.E. Hutchinson
1971 Gottfried K Wehner
1972 Lanny D Schmidt
1973 Paul W Palmberg
1974 James T McKinney
1975 David P Smith
1976 David P Smith
1977 Richard E Ericson
1978 Collin H Alexander
1979 Claire Hovland
1980 John R Arthur
1981 Philip I Cohen
1982 Mark K Debe
1983 Thomas J Moravec
1984 Gregory L Griffin
1985 Gregory L Griffin
1986 David G Wekie
1987 Katherine L Smith
1988 Donald J McClure
1989 Ganapathy K T Swami
1990 Paul Lindfors
1991 Gordon Jorgenson
1992 Greg D Halvorson
1993 John Evans
1994 Raul A Caretta
1995 Raul A Caretta
1996 Fred W Abrahamson
1997 Fred W Abrahamson
1998 Del L Smith
1999 Del L Smith
2000 James Schuetz
2001 James Schuetz
2002 Pamela K Gobran
2003 Pamela K Gobran
2004 Gary Korba
2005 Gary Korba
2006 Dave Carr
2007 Dave Carr
2008 Kent Maffitt
2009 Rajesh Radhakrishnan
2010 Rajesh Radhakrishnan
2011 Jim Burkstrand and Larry Davis
2012 Jim Burkstrand and Larry Davis
2013 Scott Bryan
2014 Anna Belu
2015 Bill Theilacker
2016 Ali Rafati
2017 Jeff Fenton
2018 Ben Schmidt
2019 Sachin Attavar
2020 Seth King
2021 Kateryna Artyushokova
2022 Kateryna Artyushokova

AVS Minnesota Chapter History
By Del Smith 

The Minnesota Chapter of the AVS was founded in 1969.  Although sometimes referred to as fly-over-land, Minnesota has been an active center of science and industry for many years.  Organizations represented by some of the early members of the chapter included 3M, Honeywell, Physical Electronics, Control Data, Sperry Univac, the University of Minnesota and Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University at Mankato).  
The charter meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Vacuum Society was held on Monday, May 12, 1969 in St. Paul, MN.  Between 15 and 20 people were in attendance. T.E. Hutchinson was nominated for President, G.K. Wehner for Vice-President, and David Smith for Secretary-Treasurer.  All were elected by a unanimous vote.  After a discussion of options, it was voted on and approved to call the new affiliate the Minnesota Section of the AVS.
The first regular meeting of the chapter was held on March 4, 1970 in St. Paul.  The second meeting, in November of 1970, was held in conjunction with the Electron Microscope Society of America.  This meeting included an invited talk by Professor T. E. Everhart of the University of California entitled “Electron Interactions at Surfaces as Related to Applications in Scanning Electron Microscopy”.  Minnesotan’s interest in surface science was demonstrated by an attendance of nearly 40 people.
The Chapter received initial financial support from the National office to get started but soon became self-supporting, primarily by sponsoring classes.  The earliest record of hotel costs for a meeting is for a March, 1971 meeting for which the hotel cost was $29.76.
The Chapter has grown through the years and has had several members take leadership roles at the national level.  Surface analysis has always been a significant interest of many chapter members, but several other vacuum applications have been, and are, represented in the membership.  Semiconductor manufacturing, optical  and other coatings, magnetic recording heads, capital equipment manufacturing, and  applications of vacuum technology in manufacturing processes are all important in the region served by the Minnesota Chapter of the AVS.

Past Events
On January,13, 1971, the Chapter co-sponsored a meeting on  “Metrication-How Soon?” at the Univ of Minnesota; there were 126 participants. The first regular Chapter meeting was held on May 20; Maurice Francombe gave a talk on “New developments in Epitaxial Films for devices”.

A 2-day “mini-course” on Vacuum technology” was held at the Midway Motor Inn, St. Paul October 5-6, 1978; the instructor was Robert M Anderson, jr., from Purdue University.  After discussion with Collin Alexander, Jon Fehr, of the 3M company, sent a letter to the instructor in August with a suggestion of the course content which was: Fundamental Theory, Vacuum pumps, Cryogenic pumping, Pressure measurement, Mass Spectrometer, vacuum leak detection, System Operation, System and Component Fabrication, Vacuum System Design Concepts and uses of vacuum equipment. The class was composed of 20 people from 3M, 3 from Honeywell and 1 from Physical Electronics. The revenue from the course was $3,000 and the expenses $1,600.16. The Chapter received an allocation of $320 from AVS and another $25 for a Science Fair prize, which was half of the value of the prize which the Chapter awarded.
A dinner and joint meeting with the Optical Society of America was held on October 5, 1978; J.A. Dobrowolski of the National research Council of Canada gave a talk on “Optical Multilayer Thin Films, Their fabrication and Applications. The expense of this meeting was $147.88; the expense for a spring meeting that year had been$134.50. The Chapter reserve increased from $425.15 on January 1, 1978 to $1,835.80 on December 31, 1978, due to the net revenue from the mini-course.
A 1-day symposium on  “Thin Films for Solar Energy Conversion” was held on April 1, 1980 at the Thunderbird Motel, Bloomington; talks were given by Larry Kazmerski, Ovshinsky, and Fred Wehner.
Bill Westwood recalls teaching a course on Sputter Deposition at the Thunderbird Motel, with Fred Wehner, the “father of sputtering” as a student sitting in the front row! John Arthur, who was then at Physical Electronics, was also in the class!
On May 25, 1983, a symposium was held at the  Radisson South, Minneapolis on  “Organics in the Future of Surface Science”.  Courses were given on “Vacuum Technology” (3 days), “Surface Analysis; Electron and other emerging spectroscopies” (2 days), “Ion Spectroscopies” (1 day), “Technology of Surface Preparation” (1 day), “Vacuum deposition technologies” (1 day), “Characterization of Films and Coatings”(1 day). Three travel scholarships of $500 were awarded to students to attend the National Symposium in Boston. 

In 1984, four awards of up to $500 were given for travel to the National Symposium in Reno. 


April 29-May 3: TRISA 85 (Tri-state Symposium and Exhibition on “Surface Analysis and Thin Film Technology” at the Olympia resort, Oconomowoc, WI was co-sponsored by the Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin Chapters. An AVS course program was held but was very poorly attended. 

A large number of courses (up to 22) were offered April 9-13, 1990 at the Sofitel Hotel, Bloomington. Since then, a number of the National courses have been given at the Sofitel each year. In 1991, they were held June 10-14; in 1993, June 7-10, in 1994, May 2-6. 

The annual meeting of the Chapter was held on February 6, 1991 at the Univ of Minnesota.

On May 8, 1996 an Equipment exhibit was held at the Sofitel Hotel and National courses were given 6-10 May. 

On May 14, 1997 an Equipment exhibit was held at the Sofitel Hotel and National courses were given 12-16 May. 

On June 3, 1998 an Equipment exhibit was held at the Sofitel Hotel and National courses were given June 1-5. These courses were so well attended that eight courses were given November 16-19. 

On May 5, 1999 an Equipment exhibit, and poster papers was held at the Sofitel Hotel; in the evening, Joe Greene gave a talk on modelling of film growth, as part of the Distinguished Lecturer Series. National courses were given 3-7 May. 

National courses were given 8-12 May, 2000 at the Sofitel Hotel.

National courses were given 7-11 May, 2001 at the Sofitel Hotel. 

National courses were given 10-14 May, 2002 at the Sofitel Hotel.

 A Spring joint meeting with the Minnesota Microscopy Society (MMS), the American Society for Metals (ASM) and SEMI-MN was hosted by the Medtronics Corp; over 150 people attended. National courses were given 19-23 May, 2003 at the Sofitel Hotel. The AVS Board met on the Sunday, 18 May, preceding the courses.