The Holm Conference began in 1953 as a forum for the discussion of electrical contact phenomena and related fields. In 1968, the conference was named the Holm Conference in honor of Dr. Ragnar Holm. In 1971, IEEE society started sponsoring the conference as a recognition of its importance in the field of electrical engineering. In addition to the Annual Conference, the Conference Organization regularly conducts an intensive one-week course on contacts and participates in the biannual International Conference on Electrical Contacts. Technical presentations normally also include the Ragnar Holm Scientific Achievement Award, the Dr. Morton Antler Lecture and TC1 meeting (open to everyone). They highlight the most recent electrical contact work all over the world. Contacts Properties and Performance, Connector Contacts, Sliding Contacts, Aluminum Contacts, Arcing Contacts, Silver Metal Oxide Contacts, MEM Systems, Automotive Switches and Relays, Superconductor Contacts, Arc modeling, and Real-world Design and Applications Problems are familiar themes in the presentations. Recent activities on MEMS, Arc Fault Detection, Smart Grid, ROHS and renewable power generation are adding new themes to the technical program.
Ragnar Holm (born 6 May 1879 in Skara, died in 1970), was a Swedish physicist and researcher in electrical engineering, who was partially active in Germany and the United States Dr. Holm, whose contributions to the field of electrical contacts spanned 50 years and form the foundation of the electrical contacts field, was the inspiration and guide of the Conference from its inception until his death in 1970. In 1971, the IEEE established the Ragnar Holm Scientific Achievement Award ("Ragnar Holm Award") for efforts in the field of electrical contacts. The prize has been awarded annually since 1972. Holm's book "Electric Contacts", published in 1946, is still used as a standard work in the field.
The Ragnar Holm Scientific Achievement Award derives its significance and prestige from the scientist whose name it carries. The contributions of Dr. Ragnar Holm to electrical contact theory and application are renowned the world over. The award, created in 1971 by the Steering Committee of the Holm Conference, honors the memory of the founder of modern electrical contact science by recognizing outstanding scientists and engineers in the field of electrical contacts or related technologies. An awards committee appointed by the steering committee of the conference meets annually and considers nominations for the award that have been received and determines whether they have a worthy candidate. The award is not limited to candidates from the United States, nor to works that have been presented to the IEEE-Holm Conference. Awardees are:
The Armington Recognition Award was established to honor individuals who have contributed continuously in the operations of the IEEE Holm Conference. This included services in the technical committee, prize paper committee, operating committee, and steering committee.
The Holm Conference Prize Paper Award was established in 1970. At that time, the Conference Steering Committee recognized that at each Conference there was at least one paper that stood out from the others in its technical content and quality of presentation. Therefore, the Prize Paper Award Committee was established. The Committee’s purpose is to review each paper, listen to each presentation and then judge which paper should receive the Prize Paper Award. The award is presented to the authors of the Prize Paper at the following year’s Holm Conference.
The Morton Antler Lecture is an annual lecture given at the IEEE Holm Conference on a topic of special interest to the electrical contact community. This lecture series was established in honor of Dr. Morton Antler, a long-time member of the Holm Steering Committee and participant in the Holm Conference. Dr. Antler was a distinguished scientist and lecturer in the fields of electrical contacts, tribology, corrosion, and electrodeposition.
The objective of the Paul and Dee-Dee Slade Young Investigator Award is to recognize outstanding achievement of young investigators in the field of Electrical Contacts and to encourage young scientists and engineers to enter this field. To be eligible for the Award, the candidate must: (1) Be under the age of 35 as of the closing date of the conference; (2) Present a paper at the Conference in which he or she is either the sole author or the first author of a multi-author paper.