It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the American Automatic Control Council (AACC). There is no better time than today to be involved in the design, analysis, and implementation of control systems. Almost all new devices and systems are ‘smart’—e.g. smart cars, smart grids, smart appliances—and researchers and practitioners of control systems are essential to the rapid development of these complex intelligent designs. Advancements in microelectronics, telecommunications, and control systems have driven smart devices and systems to become pervasive in all aspects of our lives. Robots are no longer constrained to manufacturing lines; we now have robots that do basic household chores and exoskeletons that aid firemen and surgeons. Drones are no longer restricted to military warfare and surveillance; we now use drones for recreation, to monitor crop damage, and soon to deliver your next internet purchase. Thermostats are not just switches; they are now intelligent and can ‘learn’ occupant behavior and equipment response capabilities to operate the integrated system in the most optimal manner. The fact that you are reading this message indicates that you are a member in some aspect of the control community, and you will be called upon to help develop more sophisticated systems of the future to help mankind.
In 1957, leaders of the control community had the foresight to establish one umbrella organization, the AACC, whose mission it was to promote cooperation among the control systems divisions of the professional societies, to help disseminate new knowledge through technical meetings and publications, and to represent the United States in international control activities. Please take a few minutes to browse through, ‘The American Automatic Control Council—AACC History and Collaboration with IFAC’ (see History Book tab) to learn more about the vision and developments of the AACC. Today, the AACC is an association of nine divisions representing the broad scope of topics that encompass control. The divisions and technical member societies are AIAA, AIChE, ASCE, ASME, IEEE, ISA, SCS, SIAM, and our new 2016 member, the Applied Probability Society (APS). The AACC hosts the annual American Control Conference (ACC) to help fulfill its mission to disseminate knowledge and to provide a technical forum for control researchers and practitioners from academe, national laboratories, and industry. The conference also provides the opportunity to recognize individuals and groups who have made seminal contributions to the advancement of control research and practice. The AACC is a founding member of and the U.S. representative to the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). The AACC sponsors U.S.-member-organized IFAC workshops and symposia, and it promotes and supports U.S. representatives to IFAC executive and technical leadership positions.
The AACC is an all-volunteer association governed by its member-sponsored Board of Directors, and the daily activities are administered by the AACC Officers. The strength of the association is in its volunteers; at any given time, there are over two hundred volunteers supporting its activities. For example, the ACCs are organized five years in advance of the conference dates, so the ACC General Chairs and the Chairs’ Operating Committees are actively planning the conference activities for many years. The AACC offers volunteer opportunities to support its activities, so please contact any Officer or member of the Board of Directors to determine how you can participate.
Again, it is an exciting time to be involved in the advancement of ‘smart’ devices and systems. The AACC and its activities support these advancements by promoting and coordinating interests of its member societies. Help us make the association stronger by actively participating in its mission.
Glenn Y. Masada
AACC President 2016-2017