The International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA) has elected Dr. Péter Barna B. as its honorary president. The physicist is the retired scientific advisor of the Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science of the ELKH Centre for Energy Research (EK), a Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, winner of the Eötvös József Wreath, and Honorary Professor at Kossuth Lajos University (now University of Debrecen). In addition, the award for best young presenter at the triennial International Conference on Thin Films will now bear his name. The ‘IUVSTA Peter Barna Prize’ was awarded for the first time at an online conference with more than 250 participants, which took place in Budapest on November 22-26, 2020.

IUVSTA is one of the oldest and most important international scientific organizations. Its 35 national organizations represent a community of around 30,000 researchers and engineering experts. IUVSTA, which has been active since 1958 and was officially registered in Brussels in 1962, regularly organizes international congresses, conferences, schools and workshops for thousands of people. Hungary has been its member since 1965. IUVSTA’s main strength is that its work is interdisciplinary and innovation has been a key focus from the outset. It currently has nine divisions covering the cutting-edge vacuum-based areas of materials science and that of advanced technologies serving the rapid evolution of information technology, communications, logistics, robotics, medical diagnostics, medical devices, transportation, etc. Thus, the organization’s activities also include thin films and nanostructures, which has been Dr. Peter Barna B’s main research area since the 1960s.

Dr. Péter Barna B.

The justification of the decision highlights, on the one hand, that Dr. Peter Barna B. has made significant scientific achievements in the field of thin film structure evolution, which was recognized in 2010 with the IUVSTA Prize for Science. This is the Union’s highest scientific prize, and is awarded every three years. It was presented to Dr. Peter Barna B. at the 18th International Vacuum Congress in Beijing. On the other hand, this international recognition also refers to the significant contribution the outstanding researcher made to the development and effective functioning of the Union’s structure and forms of operation between 1970 and 2000. Dr. Péter Barna B. has chaired several committees of the Union, and served as member of the Executive Council between 1981 and 1986. As a member of the International Thin Films Committee, he was one of the initiators and the first secretary of the IUVSTA Thin Films Division, and was involved in the organization of the International Conference on Thin Films as part of the Thin Films Divisions’ program.

Based on the experience of the international schools he previously organized, he initiated and then launched the ‘IUVSTA Schools’ series by organizing the first three thin film schools (1993, 1996 and 1999) in collaboration with the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste. He was also one of the initiators and organizers of the Joint Vacuum Conference (JVC), a series of conferences organized at first in 1979 by the vacuum associations of Austria-Hungary and later other Central and Eastern European countries. Within the framework of IUVSTA, he has been involved in the organization of 32 international events, 11 of which he has chaired, directed or served as secretary of; 16 of these were held in Hungary.