Journal of the IEST celebrates 50 years of publication


IEST journeys to the past to move forward into the future of contamination control

By Roberta Burrows, IEST Deputy Executive Director; and Linda Fischer, IEST Technical Editor

Editor Frank Kramer, in the second issue of a new journal, wrote that the purpose of the publication was “to make facts available, and to turn light on the existence of a strong, coordinated body of men and women dedicated to the advancement of Environmental Engineering. It is a way to establish the highly respected science on the top-level plane.”

Fifty years later, the successor to that publication, the Journal of the IEST, is still addressing the science of environmental engineering, as well as that of contamination control. Published by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST), the Journal will celebrate 50 years of continuous publication with special events and features throughout 2008.

Kramer was editor of the Journal of Environmental Engineering, published by the Society of Environmental Engineers (SEE) based in Los Angeles, CA. The 20-page first issue in October 1958 opened with a paper on a facility for horizontal vibration testing with electromagnetic exciters that discussed the “development and use of a small flat plate floating on an oil film during combined vibration and differential temperature test investigations.”

Another paper discussed a new precision centrifuge to test TITAN guidance system components, specifically an accelerometer that can “measure accelerations as minute as 0.000005 G.” The third paper detailed gauges and pumping equipment that would work in space and high vacuum. There was a report from a random vibration seminar and another from a symposium on acoustic testing.

In a year-end review of 1958 SEE activities in the February 1959 issue, chairman L.D. Carver noted the large number of members who had renewed memberships: “this has been even more encouraging in view of accelerated activity in this area by a competing environmental organization.” Perhaps that group was the Institute of Environmental Engineers (IEE), which had been the science section of the Environmental Equipment Institute until separating in 1956. In April 1959, the SEE and the IEE merged to become the Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES).

The Journal of Environmental Engineering was selected to be the official publication of the IES; the first issue under the IES banner was in June 1959. In October 1959, the journal was renamed the Journal of Environmental Sciences. From then, the publication underwent a series of name changes to reflect changes in the organization. From 1990 through 1994, the name was Journal of the IES, and from 1995???1997, the name was Journal of the Institute of Environmental Sciences. In 1997, IES became the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST), and the Journal was renamed the Journal of the IEST in 1998.

As the name has changed, so has the Journal’s content. From focusing on environmental engineering, the content expanded to contamination control because of a merger in 1973 with a major portion of the members of the American Association for Contamination Control (A2C2). That same year, papers appeared in the Journal on contaminant removal from optical surfaces of instruments on spacecraft and on the revised Federal Standard 209.

Today the Journal’s areas of interest are contamination control; design, test, and evaluation; and product reliability. More than 1,240 technical papers have appeared in the Journal over the past 50 years. The goal of the publication has remained the same throughout its history: to be the premier provider of technical information for professionals in the environmental sciences.

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The Journal began as a print publication and continued as such until 2004, when the Journal was published on a CD-ROM in addition to the print version. Then, in 2005, the Journal began exclusive online publishing. Visitors to the IEST web site have unrestricted access to “Tech Talk” articles on trends, new materials, and general interest topics as well as to full-text abstracts of the technical papers. IEST members and Journal subscribers have complete access to the peer-reviewed technical papers in the current issue as well as a 21-year archive of technical papers. Others have the option to purchase individual, complete papers, become a member of IEST, or become a subscriber to the Journal.

Throughout 2008, IEST is celebrating the milestone in numerous ways. There will be special coverage in both issues of the Journal (April and October), as well as an opportunity at the Welcome Reception for ESTECH 2008—the 54th annual technical meeting in May—to recognize those people who have contributed to the success of the Journal. Check the web site at for more details and special features next year.

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Roberta Burrows, deputy executive director of IEST, joined the staff of IEST in 1997 and served as director of communication services before being named deputy executive director in 2006. She will become the IEST executive director and managing editor of the Journal beginning January 1, 2008.

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Linda Fischer, technical editor for the Journal of the IEST, joined IEST in February 2006. She is responsible for editing and processing technical papers, writing press releases, and editing Recommended Practices documents. She also is co-chair of the Journal’s 50th anniversary planning committee.

About IEST

IEST is an international technical society of engineers, scientists, and educators that serves its members and the industries they represent (simulating, testing, controlling, and teaching the environments of earth and space) through education and the development of recommended practices and standards. IEST is an ANSI-accredited standards-developing organization; secretariat of ISO/TC 209 Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments; administrator of the ANSI-accredited US TAG to ISO/TC 209; administrator of the ANSI-accredited US TAG to ISO/TC 142 Cleaning equipment for air and other gases; and a founding member of the ANSI-accredited US TAG to ISO/TC 229 Nanotechnologies.

Contamination control papers in the Journal of the IEST

Here is a sampling of early contamination control titles from the Journal:

  • “The Role of Electronic Air Cleaners in Clean Rooms” (1974)
  • “Evaluation of Particulate Contamination for Unmanned Spacecraft Prelaunch Operations” (1975)
  • “Dispersal of Bacteria from Human Skin” (1978)
  • “Space Shuttle Contamination Overview” (1978)
  • “Bacterial Removal in a Model Ventilation System” (1980)
  • “The Effects of Variations in Garment Protection on Clean Room Cleanliness Levels” (1982)
  • “The Challenge to Control Contamination: A Novel Technique for the IC Process” (1984)
  • “Characterization of Cleanroom Wipers: Particle Generation” (1990)