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History of the ICU

The International Congress on Ultrasonics (ICU) was constituted in 2005 as the result of the merger of two existing international Congresses: The World Congress on Ultrasonics (WCU) and Ultrasonics International (UI). The ICU is currently an international affiliated member of the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), the parent organization of many national and regional acoustical societies. The ICA is a member of both the IUPAP (International Union for Pure and Applied Physics) and the IUTAM (International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics) and has as its mission to promote the international development and collaboration in all fields of Acoustics.
The history of the ICU, as the merger of the two previous Congresses on ultrasound, is thus relatively short because its first meeting was held in Vienna just back in 2007. However, the history of the two Congresses integrating ICU, is much longer: the UI started in the 1960ties and the WCU started in 1993. UI, the first international congress devoted to ultrasound, was linked to the journal “Ultrasonics” created by the group Butterworth-Heinemann in England and later acquired by the well known publisher Elsevier.
The WCU was created in 1993, as an independent world congress, by a group of ultrasound scientists from several countries. The first WCU meeting was held in 1995 in Berlin (Germany), under the leadership of the WCU Steering Committee, then composed of 17 renowned scientists from 13 different countries. The President of this congress was Prof. Joachim Herbertz. The attendance at this first ultrasonics world congress was 562 delegates from 37 countries. The following WCU was held in 1997 in Yokohama (Japan) under the Presidency of Prof. S. Ueha. The third WCU was held in Lyngby (Denmark) jointly with the UI. The President of this Congress was Prof. Leif Bjørnø. This meeting was a first attempt towards a merger of WCU and UI. The following WCU was held in 2001 in Atlanta (USA) jointly with the IEEE. This Congress was chaired by Prof. Larry Crum. In 2003, the WCU was held in Paris (France), and its President was Prof. Pascal Laugier. In 2003 WCU was held in Paris and the President was Prof. Pascal Laugier. Finally, the last WCU meeting, again jointly with UI, was held in Beijing (China); organized by Prof. Hailan Zhang and co-chaired by Profs. Ying Chong Fu and Leif Bjørnø. This meeting marked the starting point of the definitive merger of both Congresses into the present ICU. In fact, the first 2007 ICU Vienna was held at the Vienna University of Technology (Austria) with Prof. Ewald Benes as President. The second 2009 ICU Santiago was held for the first time in Latin-America, in the city of Santiago de Chile, organized by the University of Santiago de Chile under the Presidency of Prof. Luis Gaete Garretón. 2011 ICU Gdansk was again held in Europe, Poland, under President Prof. Bogumil Linde; in 2013 ICU was held in Singapore, Asia, under President Woon Sion Gan. In 2015 the ICU was held in Metz, France, under President Nico F. Declercq (a record number of 700 participants of 53 countries, almost 600 presentations).
During the presidency of Nico F. Declercq (2013-2015) a number of significant changes have occurred within the ICU. The bylaws have been modernized to include for instance the intention to maintain close, but still free, bonds with Elsevier to publish congress proceedings and to work closely with the editorial staff of the journal Ultrasonics. Other modernizations have been done, such as more attention to caring for the physically impaired participants, if any, and more actively supporting initiatives to promote the ICU congresses in underrepresented regions in the world. Steps were also taken to encourage more participation of all genders in the ICU congresses and their organization. To set an example a female secretary general was elected at the end of Declercq’s term as president. During the period 2013-2015 the number of topics to be covered by the ICU congress was also increased in order to better meet the expectations of the entire community of specialists in ultrasonics.
The next ICU will be held in Honolulu in 2017 (18-20 December), under President Suk Wang Yoon.

WCU World Congress on Ultrasonics
1995 Berlin, WCU, President: Joachim Herbertz,Germany
1997 Yokohama, WCU, President Sadayuki Ueha, Japan
1999 Copenhagen, WCU+UI, Presidents Leif Bjorno, Denmark, Wolfgang Sachse, USA
2001 Atlanta, WCU+IEEE-UFFC, Presidents Larry Crum, Bill O’Brian, USA
2003 Paris, WCU, President Pascal Laugier, France
2005 Beijing, WCU+UI, Presidents Hailang Zhang, China, Wolfgang Sachse, USA

UI Ultrasonics International
1993 Vienna, UI, Presidents Wolfgang Sachse, USA, Ewald Benes, Austria
1995 UI
1997 UI
1999 Copenhagen, UI+WCU, Presidents Wolfgang Sachse, USA, Leif Bjorno, Denmark
2001 Delft, UI, President Wolfgang Sachse, USA
2003 Granada, UI, President Wolfgang Sachse, USA
2005 Beijing, UI+WCU, Presidents Wolfgang Sachse, USA, Hailan Zhang, China

ICU International Congress on Ultrasonics
2007 Vienna, ICU, Presidents Ewald Benes, Stefan Radel, Austria
2009 Santiago de Chile, ICU, Luis Gaete-Garreton, Chile
2011 Gdansk, ICU, President Bogumil Linde, Poland
2013 Singapore, ICU, President Woon Sion Gan
2015 Metz, France, ICU, President Nico F. Declercq
2017 Honolulu, Hawaii, ICU, President Suk Wang Yoon