Celebrations for the 50-year anniversary of IFToMM

25 November 2019

Marco Ceccarelli (IFToMM President)1, Tian Huang (IFToMM Vice-President acting)2, Teresa Zielinska (IFToMM Secretary General)3, Juan Antonio Carretero (IFToMM Treasurer)4, Tadeusz Uhl (Chair of 2019 IFToMM World Congress)5

1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, email: marco.ceccarelli@uniroma2.it
2School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China, email: tianhuang@tju.edu.cn
3Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland, email: teresaz@meil.pw.edu.pl
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada, email: juan.carretero@unb.ca
5Department of Robotics and Machine, University of Science and Technology AGH, Kraków, Poland, email: tuhl@agh.edu.pl

During the 15th IFToMM World Congress on Mechanism and Machine Science (MMS) in Krakow, Poland, on 30 June–4 July 2019, a special opening session was organized to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of IFToMM with the unveiling of a bronze commemorative plaque (Fig. 1).

In the 15th World Congress, 637 participants from 66 countries and regions were registered and 437 papers were presented in a dense program which included 17 topic sections within the wide domain of MMS that are most relevant to the IFToMM Technical Committees. Springer Nature published the proceedings of the 15th World Congress in five volumes in its Series Mechanisms and Machine Science [1].

The bronze commemorative plaque
Figure 1. The bronze commemorative plaque for the 50-year anniversary of IFToMM.

IFToMM was founded in 1969 during the Second World Congress on Mechanism and Machine Science in Zakopane, Poland, with an act (Fig. 2) that was signed on 29 September 1969 by the IFToMM founding fathers (see Appendix 1) during a special meeting also establishing the first Executive Council (Fig.3).

The founding act of IFToMM
Figure 2. The founding act of IFToMM.

A celebration session was planned with the following speeches from the living past IFToMM presidents to outline the scientific and social aspects of the history of IFToMM:

  • IFToMM: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow by Prof. Marco Ceccarelli
  • The Forming of International and Personal Connections Through IFToMM in Spite of a Turbulent World by Prof. Bernard Roth
  • The Existential Question of IFToMM in the 21st Century by Prof. Jorge Angeles
  • Intersections Between My Career and IFToMM by Prof. Kenneth Waldron
  • Let Me Think About The Gap IFToMM Globalism And The Economic Globalism by Prof. Yoshihiko Nakamura

In addition, a special set of posters on IFToMM history was exhibited in the Congress hall near the bronze commemorative plaque during the 2019 World Congress (Appendix 2).

At the end of the celebration session the current IFToMM President, Marco Ceccarelli, and the Chair of the 2019 World Congress, Tadeusz Uhl, revealed the commemorative plaque (Fig.4) to the enthusiastic applause of the congress attendees.

Announcement of the foundation of IFToMM
Figure 3. Announcement of the foundation of IFToMM on 29 September 1969 (Courtesy of IFToMM Archive), in which one can recognize the following people: 1 – Prof. Ivan Ivanovic Artobolevskii (USSR); 2 – Prof. Adam Morecki (Poland); 5 – Prof. Nicolae I. Manolescu (Romania); 6 – Prof. Erskine F. Crossley (USA); 7 – Prof. Giovanni Bianchi (Italy); 8 – Prof. Aron E. Kobrinskii (USSR); 9 – Prof. Werner Thomas (Germany); 10 – Prof. Jan Oderfeld (Poland).
The reveal act
Figure 4. The reveal act of the bronze commemorative plaque.

In Fig. 5 the living past IFToMM presidents share their appreciation for the celebration.

Figure 6 shows the Executive Council members serving in the years 2016–2019 surrounding the just-unveiled plaque with satisfaction for the celebrations, which were coordinated with the Congress organizers since the early days of 2016 through much discussion among World Congress 2019 organizers and the IFToMM Executive Council members.

The living past IFToMM presidents
Figure 5. The living past IFToMM presidents with the commemorative plaque. From left to right: Prof. Jorge Angeles, Prof. Kenneth Waldron, Prof. Bernard Roth, Prof. Marco Ceccarelli, and Prof. Yoshihiko Nakamura.
The members of the current IFToMM Executive Council
Figure 6. The members of the current IFToMM Executive Council with the commemorative plaque. From left to right: Prof. Yoshihiko Nakamura, Prof. Can Dede, Prof. Tian Huang, Prof. Ashitava Ghosal, Dr. Jean-Pierre Merlet, Prof. Teresa Zielinska, Prof Burkard Corves, Prof. Fernando Viadero, Prof. Juan Antonio Carretero, and Prof. Marco Ceccarelli.

Figure 7 is the group photo of the attendees at the end of the celebration session, with more than 600 participants at the congress coming from 66 countries and regions.

The celebration was brought to a close with a familiar wine toast and will live in the memory of all attendees through the specially designed celebratory congress gift to the attendees (Fig. 8).

Group photo of the attendees
Figure 7. Group photo of the attendees at the celebration of the IFToMM 50-year anniversary.
Gifts at the 2019 IFToMM World Congress
Figure 8. Gifts at the 2019 IFToMM World Congress in memory of the IFToMM anniversary.
The founding fathers of IFToMM
Appendix 1. Poster on the founding fathers of IFToMM at the 2019 World Congress.

Appendix 2. List of posters exhibited during the IFToMM 2019 World Congress in Krakow, Poland.

  1. Iftomm officers (from IFToMM webpage)
  2. What is IFToMM? (from IFToMM webpage)
  3. IFToMM History (from IFToMM webpage)
  4. IFToMM Founding Fathers
  5. IFToMM Sponsored Conferences
  6. IFToMM Awards and Honors
  7. Activity of IFToMM Executive Council
  8. SIOMMS IFToMM Student Olympiad
  9. All WCs
  10. WC 1987 in Seville
  11. WC 1995 in Milan
  12. WC 2004 in Tianjin
  13. WC 2007 in Besancon
  14. WC 2011 in Guanajuato
  15. WC 2015 in Taipei
  16. IFToMM Flyer


[1] Uhl T. (Editor), Advances in Mechanism and Machine Science - Proceedings of the 15th IFToMM World Congress on Mechanism and Machine Science, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, Cham, 2019.

[2] Ceccarelli M., A short account of History of IFToMM and its role in MMS, Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 89, 2015, pp.75-91, 10.1016/j.mechmachtheory.2014.09.007.

[3] Angeles J., Bianchi G., Bessonov A.P., Maunder L., Morecki A., Roth B., A History of IFToMM, Chapter 2 in Proceedings of HMM2004 - the Second IFToMM Intern. Symposium on History of Machines and Mechanisms, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2004, pp. 25-125.