The ICEM is irrevocably connected with the name of Arthur J. Ellison. It was he who, in 1974, initiated and inaugurated the first “International Conference on Electrical Machines”. The venue was the City University at London, where Arthur Ellison had become Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1972. He held this position until his retirement in 1985.
Consequently, Arthur Ellison was elected the first Chairman of ICEM and held that position from 1974 to 1984. During those ten years, he effectively created the profile of ICEM. It was his idea to open a broad scope of communication among professional engineers in the field of electrical machines and drives from all over the world. Every aspect was to be taken into consideration, classical design and modern control, parasitic phenomena and new configurations, fundamental laws and emerging techniques. Arthur Ellison strongly emphasized that as many participants as possible should be able to present their scientific results personally in order to become known in the professional world. This imposed considerable problems for the organisation of ICEM. But beyond all the professional activities he had the vision of “becoming friends”. It was his central concern to enable the professionals to talk to each other in a friendly, open-minded and confidential manner, and to build a strong community.
Arthur Ellison was a gentle and charming colleague. His warm and friendly manner has always been greatly appreciated by all who came in contact with him. And there was no conference dinner without one of his humorous speeches addressing the participants as “friends and colleagues” who, he urged, should speak “clearly, loudly, and distinctly” during the sessions in order to be understood. He himself gave us the best example of how English should be communicated. It was always an enchanting event to listen to him talk; this, undoubtedly, was a highlight of the whole conference.