On January 8, 1991, Randy Caswell, then Chief of the Ionizing Radiation Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST), invited a number of representatives from various academic and industrial associations and from different government agencies to attend a meeting at NIST on Tuesday, February 26, 1991.
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the formation of a new group that could bring to the Ionizing Radiation Division some “outside” perspective on the needs and longer term goals involving almost all uses of ionizing radiation. This group would be patterned after the Council on Optical Radiation Measurements (CORM) that had been formed in 1972 to provide such guidance and commentary to the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), which subsequently became NIST, in the area of optical measurements and technology.
“Letters we have received and many discussions have pointed to the need for a committee to coordinate activities by NIST and others in the area of ionizing radiation measurements and standards.”
Randy Caswell, Chief NIST Ionizing Radiation Division January 8, 1991
Of concern to those 27 attendees at this meeting was that the budgetary pressures of the time would shrink and diminish the effectiveness of Federally funded coordinating committees and councils, such as the Committee on Interagency Radiation Research and Policy Coordination (CIRRPC), chartered in April, 1984.
This could leave a void in providing coherent direction to the scientific and technology efforts in ionizing radiation. Also of concern was how the now designated National Institute of Standards and Technology would integrate its added congressionally mandated tasks of supporting the development of commerce and industry to these efforts. The 16 organizations and associations present at this formation meeting all endorsed the concept of forming such a council, as did others who could not attend.
Besides NIST personnel, this included representatives from DOD, FDA, FEMA and NASA. The name of the council, the Council on Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards (CIRMS), was decided upon and a short list of possible functions was agreed upon. In addition, an Organizing Committee was formed to develop a structure for this new council and provide an initial slate of officers.
This committee was composed of Randy Caswell as Chairman, Tom Heaton from the FDA, Bill Eckelman from NIH and Tony Berejka, from the industrial association, RadTech International North America. Convening at a June 17, 1991, meeting, the Organizing Committee went about the business of developing DRAFT By-Laws, filing papers for incorporation in Maryland and applying for CIRMS 501c3 tax-exempt status from the IRS, with a substantial amount of detail being handled by NIST retiree, Elmer Eisenhower.
A key point all had agreed upon was that the Council would be a distinct, privately funded entity, not dependent upon any specific allocation of government funding. A modest dues structure was developed, separating membership into three categories: corporate, organizational and individual. In the development of the CIRMS By-Laws, an Executive Committee consisting of the President, a First Vice-President, a Second Vice-President, a Secretary-Treasurer, and a NIST representative were spelled out, with the Vice-Presidents succeeding each other and the President on a one year basis.
As a matter of policy, the Organizing Committee felt that it would be best for the Council to rotate the elected officers from amongst the three main constituencies of the Council: industry, academia and government. A committee and subcommittee structure as it still stands was incorporated into the By-Laws.
By early 1992, the Organizing Committee had received acceptance from candidates for the elected offices in CIRMS and met at NIST on March 31, 1992, with these officers:
President Marshall Cleland, then with Radiation Dynamics, Edgewood, NY.
First Vice-President Peter Almond, University of Louisville, KY.
Second Vice-President Tom Bell, DOE in Germantown, MD.
Secretary-Treasurer Elmer Eisenhower, NIST retiree.
As the first CIRMS President, Marsh Cleland sent out letters of invitation on May 14, 1992, to various organizations, agencies and individuals to officially join CIRMS and to attend CIRMS first annual meeting, to be held at NIST on October 22 and 23, 1992.
This inaugural day and one-half long meeting drew 63 participants and focused mainly on what CIRMS was and where it could be most effective. Following opening remarks by Katharine Gebbie, Director of the NIST Physics Laboratory, and Randy Caswell on “The Objectives of CIRMS,” President Cleland chaired the opening day’s major session.
This was a panel presentation on “The Diversity of Ionizing Radiation Needs.” Needs in 1) nuclear medicine, 2) radiation oncology, 3) diagnostic radiology, 4) industrial processing, 5) industrial radiography, 6) nuclear energy radioactivity, 7) nuclear power materials dosimetry, 8) defense, 9) radon, and 10) environmental radioactivity were addressed by a series of distinguished panel members. Bert Coursey followed this with a presentation on “The Commonality of Measurement and Standards Problems.” As First Vice-President, Peter Almond then led an open discussion on “Bringing Diverse Uses and Common Interests Together.” Elmer Eisenhower closed the day’s activities by reviewing the CIRMS By-Laws. Tom Bell, as Second Vice-President, led the following morning’s open discussion of the CIRMS committee structure and of what kind of tasks these committees could undertake.
By mid-February 1993, the chairmanships of the various committees had been sorted out. Bill Koch, a retired Chief of the NIST Radiation Physics Division and long-time Director of the American Institute of Physics, now at the University of Colorado, assumed the Chairmanship of the Science and Technology Committee. Tom Heaton, FDA, lead the Medical Subcommittee; Carl Gogolak, EML, the Public/Environmental Radiation Protection Subcommittee (PERP); Ken Swinth, then with Battelle PNL, the Occupational Radiation Protection Subcommittee (ORP); and Walt Chappas, then at the University of Maryland, the Radiation Effects Subcommittee.
These were then and are still the designated subcommittees of the Science and Technology Committee as determined by the Committee Chair in consultation with the Executive Committee. Tony Berejka became Chairman of the Program Committee; Elmer Eisenhower Chair of the Finance Committee; Bill Casson, then at ORNL, Chair of the Communications Committee; and Second Vice-President Tom Bell, Chair of the Membership Committee. The NIST representative on the CIRMS Executive Committee was Randy Caswell (upon Randy’s retirement in 1994 he was succeeded by Bert Coursey).
With the its initial officers in place and the Chairmanships of the Committees spelled out in the By-Laws filled, CIRMS became a functioning organization.
Annual Meetings: Following the initial meeting in 1992, annual meetings have been held every fall at NIST with the then President presiding over the meeting. Over the years these have evolved from topical presentations to focusing the major portion of the meeting on a single subject. As subcommittee participation has increased and the impact of the subcommittees became more noticeable, more time has been devoted to the subcommittees themselves reviewing and discussing their programs.
|Oct. 22-23, 1992||Marshall Cleland||Formation meeting|
|Nov. 8-10, 1993||Marshall Cleland||Medical Uses|
|Nov. 16-18, 1994||Peter Almond||Measurement Quality (MQA)|
|Nov. 28-30, 1995||R. Thomas||Bell Advanced Techniques|
|Nov. 12-14, 1996||Anthony Berejka||Academic Contributions|
|Nov. 12-14, 1997||Larry DeWerd||Secondary Laboratories|
|Oct. 19-21, 1998||Robert Loesch||National Labs / Agencies|
|Oct. 13-15, 1999||Thomas Slowey||Subcommittee Activities|
|Oct. 30-Nov.1, 2000||X. George Xu||Advanced Radiation Measurements|
|Oct. 29-31, 2001||Joseph McDonald||Radiation Standards for Health & Safety|
|Oct. 21-23, 2002||Arthur Heiss||Traceability & Standards in Measurements|
|Oct. 27-29, 2003||Geoffery Ibbott||Radiation/Radioactivity Measurements and Standards in Industry|
|Oct. 25 - 27, 2004||James A. Deye||Biological Dosimetry Measurements and Standards|
|Oct. 24 - 26, 2005||R. Craig Yoder||Impact of New Technology on Radiation Measurements and Standardes|
|Oct. 23 - 25, 2006||Mohamad Al-Sheikhly||Implications of Uncertainty in Radiation Measurements and Applications|
|Oct. 22 - 24, 2007||Shawna Eisele||Measurements and Standards for Radiation Based Imaging|
|Oct. 6 - 8, 2008||Manny Subramanian||Radiation Measurements and Standards at the Molecular Level|
|Oct. 19-21, 2009||Nolan Hertel||Radiation Standards & Measurements for Incident Response|
|Oct. 18-20, 2010||Kim Morehouse||Ionizing Radiation Sources: Uses, Availability, and Options|
|Oct. 17-20, 2011||Chip Starns||Public Perception of Radiation|
|Oct. 22-25, 2012||Dr. Roberto Uribe||Confidence Through Measurement Traceability|
|Mar. 10-12, 2014||Robert Rushton||Advanced Manufacturing & Technology|
|Apr. 27-29, 2015||Dr. Kim M. Morehouse||Fundamentals of Ionizing Radiation|
|Apr. 18-20, 2016||Dr. Walter E. Voit||A Matter of Scale: Measurement Standards from the Nano to the Giga|
During the CIRMS second annual meeting in 1993, the Science and Technology Committee agreed to prepare what was expected to be a series of regular reports on National Needs in Ionizing Radiation Measurements. Bill Koch, the Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee worked with the chairmen of the four subcommittees who in turn developed 22 Measurement Program Descriptions (MPDs) in collaboration with their subcommittee membership.
These subcommittee chairmen were:
Medical Subcommittee: Tom Heaton
Public/Environmental Radiation Protection: Carl Gogolak
Occupational Radiation Protection: Ken Swinth
Radiation Effects: Roger Clough
The process of developing a format as well as content took a number of months. After full review by the CIRMS Executive Committee, President Peter Almond, and concurrence will all subcommittee chairs, the first report on National Needs in Ionizing Radiation Measurements was published in January 1995.
This report was widely distributed not only amongst NIST management and CIRMS membership, but also to key decision-makers in other Federal agencies. CIRMS decided to periodically review the progress on the programs described in this report and to produce such a report on a triennial basis. Joe McDonald succeeded Bill Koch as the Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee and thus assumed editorial responsibility for the second report on National Needs in Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards.
Progress was noted on various MPDs, some being completed, and new ones being added, with there being 23 MPDs in the new report. More extensive introductory sections were written and some pictures incorporated into the text to show equipment and facilities used in conducting the work needed to meet the objectives described in these program descriptions. Each subcommittee prepared a roadmap for one of the MPDs in their section. The overall text increased from the 62 pages of the first report to 106 in the second.
Again, the actual coordination in pulling together these MPDs was lead by the subcommittee chairs: Medical Subcommittee: Tom Heaton Public/Environmental Radiation Protection (PERP): Dave McCurdy Occupational Radiation Protection (ORP): Ken Swinth Industrial Applications and Material Effects (IAME): Paul Farrell Following a similar CIRMS review process, this second National Needs in Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards was released by President Bob Loesch in time for the 1998 annual meeting.
Since then, the entire report has been converted into an electronic format and made available on the CIRMS web site: www.cirms.org. The third “Needs Report” was issued in October 2001.
CIRMS sponsorship or co-sponsorship of topical workshops has facilitated the implementation of many of the MPDs. These have been held at NIST or at other appropriate venues. The Medical subcommittee has worked in cooperation with the American Association of Physicists (AAPM).
The PERP subcommittee interacts with appropriate subcommittees within the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that deal with radioactivity measurements. The ORP subcommittee collaborates with the Health Physics Society (HPS). Such collaboration, as well as responsiveness on the part of NIST’s Ionizing Radiation Division, has brought some MPDs to successful conclusion and enabled significant progress to be made on others.
Over the years, CIRMS has sponsored or co-sponsored over 30 workshops, averaging three or four per year. These workshops can also help bring together a community of interest in a particular topic and begin to form the basis for new Measurement Program Descriptions (MPDs).
In order to foster the development of young scientists and technologists in the various aspects of ionizing radiation, during 1999 CIRMS developed a Student Awards program, being guided by then First Vice-President George Xu. At the annual meeting last fall, CIRMS presented five awards to students who presented summarizes of their work during the meeting. These are also highlighted on the CIRMS web site. This program will form an integral part of the annual meetings and will flourish with sustained sponsorship from some of CIRMS corporate members.
Organizing for Achievement:
From its inception, CIRMS implemented several organizational procedures to assure that this new forum, that covers all aspects of ionizing radiation, would remain open and operate smoothly. Monthly conference calls amongst the members of the Executive Committee were immediately initiated. Now the chairs of the subcommittees of the Science and Technology Committee are invited to participate and guide the organization in its day-to-day activities.
At the second annual meeting that was held in 1993, Elmer Eisenhower accepted the role of Executive Secretary. His functions as Secretary-Treasurer were then taken over by Ken Inn who was elected by the membership to that post. Ken served in that capacity until the 1998 annual meeting when John Micka was elected Secretary- Treasurer. In mid-1995, Elmer Eisenhower expressed his desires to fully enjoy his retirement from NIST.
The CIRMS Executive Committee thereupon began to search for a replacement. With good fortune, CIRMS found Katy Nardi and commenced to retain her as the Council’s Executive Secretary. As CIRMS has grown, Katy has assumed more and more of the administrative tasks in keeping the organization going. For example, she works closely with NIST’s conference management personnel to assure that the annual meetings proceed without flaw.
As CIRMS has grown, three of the subcommittees of the Science and Technology Committee have found it beneficial to be co-chaired so that there is not that heavy a reliance on any one individual. The Medical Subcommittee is now co-chaired by Tom Heaton and Past-President Larry DeWerd, the Public and Environmental Radiation Protection Subcommittee by Dave McCurdy and Ken Inn, and the Industrial Applications and Materials Effects by Roberto Uribe and Ken Koziol. Ken Swinth chairs the Occupational Radiation Protection subcommittee.
On September 11, 1995, CIRMS President Tom Bell held a meeting of the Executive Committee and subcommittee chairs at NIST to review the overall goals and objectives of the organization. By then, having several years of operational experience, CIRMS reformulated its Mission Statement and tightened the language of some of its original goals and objectives.
These are now also posted on the CIRMS web site. Since then, every year the CIRMS Executive Committee convenes, prior to the annual meeting, to hold its annual retreat. With the chairs of the subcommittees of the Science and Technology committee present recent retreats have focused on the progress being made on the MPDs as spelled out in the “Needs Reports.” Operational issues, such as the development of the web site, annual meeting program planning, and the like are also addressed.
In a few brief years, the Council on Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards has constructed a unique open forum for dialog on all aspects of ionizing radiation.
In the start of the new century, greater use of electronic communication and the Internet will be made. Each of CIRMS officers can now be addressed at the CIRMS web address, e.g, email@example.com will reach Katy Nardi, the Executive Secretary. However, the vitality and growth of any organization depends on its membership.