It was my great pleasure to welcome colleagues and experts from all over the world to the 2018 Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP) that was held in Cancun, Mexico, from October 21 to 24, 2018. The CEIDP was established within the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research of the National Academy of Sciences–National Research Council in 1920 and is now in its 98th year. The conference continues to provide opportunity for specialists from around the world to meet annually for exchange of expertise relevant to the properties of insulation materials and is now fully sponsored by the Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society of the IEEE.

The conference opened with the Whitehead Memorial Lecture, given this year by Herbert Kliem of Saarland University, Germany, titled “Dielectric Relaxation and Ferroelectric Imprint.” Thereafter began an extensive program that included nine oral and eight poster sessions on topics ranging from nanodielectrics to material aging. For those not involved in committee meetings on Tuesday afternoon, there was a most memorable cultural tour to the archeological site of Tulum, followed by the traditional conference banquet on Tuesday evening.

2018 Whitehead Lecturer, Herbert Kliem of Saarland University, Germany, responding to questions.
A cultural tour to the archeological site of Tulum was enjoyed by many conference participants.

I am indebted to all members of the Technical Program Committee, to members of the CEIDP board, and to the Executive Committee who worked diligently in preparing the conference venue and program. I am also grateful to the session chairs and co-chairs for their work. I thank Steve Boggs for donating his honorarium from the 2017 Whitehead Memorial Lecture for the purpose of encouraging student participation in CEIDP 2018, by which the registration fee for all students was reduced.

The technical program of CEIDP 2018 accepted 194 papers whose first authors haled from 19 different countries. Of the 191 registered conference attendees, 87 were students.

2018 Local Arrangements Chair Rodolfo García-Colón with 2018 Chairperson Nicola Bowler.
2018 CEIDP Secretary Thomas Andritsch with DEIS Past President Paul Lewin and Mohd Shahril Bin Ahmad Khiar.

For CEIDP 2019, planned for October 20 to 23, we look forward to being hosted at Discovery Hall, the recently opened conference facility at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, USA. We are grateful to the Energy and Environment Directorate of PNNL for their partial sponsorship of CEIDP 2019. I have convened an ad hoc committee to consider adjustments to the technical program that will accommodate a larger proportion of oral presentations and will foster more dialog on topics of emerging interest.

Attendees mixing over coffee between sessions.
Taking a break between sessions.

If you are a regular attendee of CEIDP, I encourage you to consider standing for election to the CEIDP board. We elect seven new board members every year, seeking broad representation across the globe and covering different career stages in industry and academia. We will be glad to have your creative input into the organization of this prestigious conference, particularly as we look forward to a special celebration of the 100th year of CEIDP in 2020. We can be justly proud of the heritage of our conference and look forward to many more successful meetings to come.

Nicola Bowler
Chairperson, CEIDP 2018 and 2019 Iowa State University, USA