I am very excited about this much discussed and anticipated year of 2012, which promises to be a special year for all of us. We certainly have a multitude of world events this year, and not just in sports, or in movies, or in economics, or in politics. For us, as microwave engineers, the most important event plays out right here in Montréal this summer: our IMS 2012 and Microwave Week! What could be more exciting than this?

On behalf of the entire IMS 2012 Steering Committee and the City of Montréal, I feel privileged and honored to invite you and your family to take part in this historic and unparalleled event this June.

It has been a long and eventful journey that started in the early 1950s in New York City with the formation of the IEEE MTT-S. This journey has seen the creation and subsequent growth of IMS, the MTT-S flagship event and the largest gathering in the entire microwave community. This year, IMS finally comes to Montréal, Canada, a truly international destination. Not only is this the second time that IMS will be held outside the U.S., it also coincides with the 60th anniversary of MTT-S, which makes this a truly unique event to be remembered in the future.

During Microwave Week, June 17 – 23, you will be able to register for and participate in various technical programs in connection with three events, namely the Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium (www.rfic2012.org), IMS (www.ims2012.org), and the 79th Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group (ARFTG) Conference (www.arftg.org).

In spite of the current uncertain economic situation and financial worldwide turmoil, we are expecting to have about 10,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors with over 900 booths joining us. This high expectation is encouraged by early indications that point to a very successful symposium. We have already broken historic IMS records including an all-time record number of technical paper submissions from 49 different countries and regions, an all-time record number of MicroApps presentation proposals, and never before have there been so many commercial exhibit booth reservations early on. We are building not just a larger IMS, but also a better one, starting right here in Montréal!

Founded in 1642, Montréal is one of the most romantic, welcoming, artistic, innovative and diversified cultural cities in the world. It is often called the “Paris” of North America, because of its French heritage and flair. The city offers everything to everyone with easy access to everywhere.

IMS 2012 will be held in the colorful Palais de Congrès de Montréal, which is located in the heart of this vibrant city and surrounded by the old world charm of this historic town and the modern cosmopolitan dynamics of the new city. Everything is within a short walking distance. The area is accessible by subway, bus and car from other parts of the city.

Montréal downtown is a very animated place full of people of all ages. This is also one of the safest metropolitan areas in the world. Most of the 3.5 million local residents are multilingual with multiple cultural backgrounds. To facilitate and enrich your stay in Montréal, we have prepared a set of local tours and guest programs for all interested parties and family members during Microwave Week. You will also find that your presence at Microwave Week will add a special international flavour to Montréal’s beautiful summer decorated by its well-known festivities.

IMS 2012 will present an outstanding technical program and plenary keynote addresses, in conjunction with workshops, short courses and special sessions including two special memorial sessions. Student Paper Competitions, Student Design Competitions and the Graduate Design Challenge are organized to highlight the outstanding contributions of the new generation of researchers from our academic communities. These activities have always attracted large crowds in the technical sessions, interactive forums and special presentations. Awardees will be announced during the Awards Banquet on Wednesday.

In conjunction with the excellent technical programs and abundant social activities, you have the opportunity to attend and explore the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to the RF and microwave industry. This exhibition will also feature university and academic laboratory booths. We will see a strong presence of international companies. Therefore, we expect to have more business interactions and exchanges among our well established exhibitors, new exhibitors and attendees. In addition, the regular historical exhibit, showing how far our technical community has come, will be enhanced by a healthy addition of Canadian historical components. Another noteworthy highlight is the much-anticipated MicroApps presentations during the commercial exhibition.

Please make sure that you don’t miss your opportunity to visit these booths during the three day exhibition. Exhibition hours are Tuesday, June 19th, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday, June 20th, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Thursday, June 21st, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. On Wednesday, we will also have the traditional Industry-Hosted Cocktail Reception held on the exhibition floor starting at 5:00 PM. You should not miss this opportunity to interact with exhibitors while enjoying complimentary refreshments and snacks.

This year’s motto “Microwaves without Borders” or “Micro-ondes sans Frontières” not only reflects our unique French heritage and culture in North America but also the international cooperation and spirit of our community. The successful organization of such a Microwave Week requires a huge effort and the selfless dedication of many volunteers. I would like to thank those who have already and will continue to contribute including the Steering Committee, our TPRC, our exhibit manager MP Associates, our IEEE meeting planner, our sponsors, our media partners, and of course the MTT-S AdCom. I would like to particularly express my appreciation to Microwave Journal and its staff for the help they have provided.

Again, I warmly welcome you and your family to this historic and unparalleled event and hope that you will find time to explore the friendly atmosphere of Montréal with its myriad of attractions, wealth of activities, exquisite cuisines and excitement of life, while also enjoying our popular professional meetings and social gatherings. You can find useful information on the city of Montréal
at www.tourism-montreal.org. In addition, there are many famous festivals and international happenings like the world famous Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Jazz Festival, for your enjoyment right before and after Microwave Week.

This is a very rare opportunity for all of us to celebrate this historic event in Montréal, which you cannot afford to miss. Please go to http://ims2012.mtt.org for more information and the latest news for your attendance at IMS 2012 and Microwave Week. I do hope that you have received or downloaded your copy of the Program Book for detailed information. A bientôt! See you soon!