John Goodman is currently serving as president of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and as president of the International Confederation of Contamination Control Societies (ICCCS), as well as vice president of engineering at Fluoroware, Inc. In his fifteen years at Fluoroware, he has held various technical and management positions involving work in the cleanroom, microcontamination control, and microelectronics fields. He was honored as Young Engineer of the Year by the Society of Plastics Engineers in 1983 and received the Robert N. Noyce Award of Excellence from SEMATECH in 1989.
Q:Looking back on a ten-year period of cleanrooms and the IES, what do you see as priorities for the future of both cleanrooms and the Institute?
A:We`ve been developing a long-range strategic plan for the Institute. Taking into account the changing demographics we see out in the market, people are certainly expecting value from the societies they belong to, but I think the expectations are changing. We`ve been one of the premiere technical societies and done a real nice job creating forums for members to exchange information, developing recommended practices, etc., but I think the bar is being set higher from a number of perspectives. I think members want not just the regular opportunity to get together at annual technical meetings (ATMs) or other forums, they also want almost immediate access to information. They want things online; they want to be able to exchange information between members, and to get information out of the Institute very, very quickly — much quicker than we`ve been able to do it.
We`ll host the International Confederation of Contamination Control Societies (ICCCS) meeting, which brings quite a few of our international colleagues to the ATM that may not normally venture to that. The ICCCS meeting is every two years and rotates among all its member societies. In addition, we`ll be sponsoring a joint session with PDA. One thing you can say about the contamination control side of IES is that we`ve been very microelectronics focused, and it`s not so much by intent as that it`s a very active contamination control community. So what we`re trying to do in working with PDA is say, “Hey, look! There`s an entire industry or series of industries that rely on the disciplines we represent. We`re going to have a number of people from PDA, who will be developing their own session chairs for the various parts of the technical track. So we`ll be bringing in a lot of papers from pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical production that we have not traditionally done very well at offering through our ATM.
Q:Does this mean you`ll be broadening your scope to include industries other than microelectronics?
A:Yes. I`ve read a lot of what your magazine has written on the food industry that`s been very fascinating to me, having had to look into that for some of our educational programs. In fact, at my company, Fluoroware, we`re actually looking at how we might bring some of our expertise into food processing. I`ve been looking into some of these non-contamination control industries, trying to understand their concerns; but I guess the bottom line is we feel that because of the body of technical expertise in contamination control disciplines amongst our members — and they`re largely the same people that go to the CleanRooms Shows, as you know, and read your publication. We feel that we can develop quite a bit of cooperation and information-sharing with PDA. They`ve solved some problems we maybe didn`t know we had, and vice versa.
Q:Are you trying to become more international?
A:We are. Through our membership in the ICCCS, we`ve certainly always tapped into that. In fact, we`ve picked as our theme for the ATM “The 21st Century — a New Age of International Information Exchange.” We really are focusing on that — broadening our scope in terms of who we can reach, both from an international perspective, and from an industry perspective. And I really expect that we`ll double or triple the kind of attendance we`ve normally had at our ATM.
The other thing I really wanted to mention about where we`re going as a society is that one of the values we offer is better — and more timely — educational opportunities on a local basis, and not just to our members, but to anybody who feels they need training. A year ago, if you wanted to go to an IES tutorial, you`d have had to come to our meeting in May. Now, we`ve developed a series of “road shows,” using very well-known teachers. We`re in about our 18th month of offering the local opportunities, and they`ve been very well received. And one of the things we`ve been talking about is, at what point and with what degree of success could we take that internationally? And would we do it on our own or by working with someone else? We don`t have answers to that yet.
Q:What trends do you see with regard to outside support for industry associations such as yours?
A: A trend we`ve really seen is that corporate support is probably not as strong as it once was for professional societies, so it takes more of a commitment and more personal initiative from the members. We have to make sure that not just the technical experts who understand why they want to be in IES, but that their managers or their managers` managers understand why they should be a part of this. I personally think there`s a lot of benefit back to the company — not just the industry at large, but to the companies themselves — to be able to influence Recommended Practices; to be able to know ahead of the curve what`s coming. For instance, the people on the ISO TC 209 technical advisory group are well ahead of what most people out there know about what is going to be happening in cleanroom standards internationally, and that puts you in a position to be able to leverage your company.