HOLM Conference History

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

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.

Ragnar Holm Scientific Achievement Award

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:

2023 X. Zhou
2022 X. Li
2021 V. Behrens
2019 M. Runde
2017 S. Fouvry
2015 S. N. Kharin
2013 S. Noel
2010 T Tamai
2008 J J. Shea
2007 J. G. Zhang
2006 J. W. McBride
2005 G. J. Witter
2004 L. Sawa
2003 R. D. Malucci
2002 N. Ben Jemaa
1998 R. S. Timsit
1994 M. Braunovic
1993 M. Lindmayer
1992 E. Walczuk
1991 D. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf
1990 T. Takagi
1989 W. H. Abbott
1988 K. H. Schroder
1987 J. H. Whitley
1986 J. L. Johnson
1985 P. G. Slade
1983 E. Ravinowicz
1982 W. Rieder
1981 J.B.P. Williamson
1980 M. Antler
1978 C. & H. W. Turner
1977 W. E. Campbell
1976 H. N. Wagar
1975 K. Mano
1974 E. I. Shobert, II
1973 A. Keil
1972 F. Llewellyn-Jones


The Armington Recognition Award

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.

2019 R.S. Timsit
2018 Z.K. Chen
2016 R. Martens
2015 B. Rickett
2014 X. Zhou
2013 T. Schoepf
2011 Dee-Dee Slade
2010 J. J. Shea
2008 H. Czajkowski
2004 P. Wingert
2002 C. Leung
2000 W. Rieder
1999 M. Braunovic
1998 R. Malucci
1997 E.F. Smith
1996 W.H. Abbott
1995 P. Slade
1994 G. Horn
1993 G. Witter
1992 D. Forster
1991 J.D. Kleis
1990 J.B.P. Williamson
1989 M. Antler
1988 E.W. Glossbrenner
1987 A. Snowdon
1986 H.N. Wagar
1986 W.E. Campbell
1985 E.I. Shobert
1984 R.E.Armington


Erle Shobert Prize

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.

2022 Tribopolymer Film Formation on Sliding Electrical Contacts Exposed to Siloxanes
John Curry, Donald Susan, Michael T. Dugger and Nicolas Argibay

2020/21 The Relationship Between Contact Resistance and Roughness (Sq) of a Bi-layered Surface Using a Finite Element Model
J. McBride and H Liu

2019 Analytical Methods to Identify Root Causes for Early Failure of an AC Contactor with Heavy Load Service Life Test
V. Behrens, H. Cinaroglu, B. Meidel, S. Fuchs and Th. Honig

2018 Contact Material Solutions for LED Lamp Application
T. Muetzel, and C. Hubrich

2017 New LITESURF Plating for the Mitigation of Whisker Risks in Press-Fit Appilcations
E. Crandall, F. Schabert, H. Schmidt, M. Bleiner, T. Fili, W. Mueller, C. Borhauer, S. Thoss, J. Villareal and B. Kerchoff

2016 Impact of the Gas Environment on the Electric Arc
D. Grogg, and C. Schrank

2015 Novel Materials Solutions and Simulations for Nanoelectromechanical Switches
F. Streller, G. E. Wabiszewski, D. B. Durham, F. Yang, J. Yang, Y. Qi, D. J. Srolovitz, A. M. Rappe, and R. W. Carpick

2014 Fundamentals Based Approach to Predict Socket Stack Performance
K. Meyyappan, A. McAllister, A. Abraham, V. Krithivasan, and G. Murtagian

2013 Characterization of EMI/RFI in Commercial and Industrial Electrical Systems
X. Zhou, J.J. Shea, and B. Pahl

2012 Application of (Motor Protection) Circuit Breakers in Combination with Variable Frequency Drives
Hans Weichert, Pascal Benz, and Sandro Liberto

2011 Compliant Carbon Nanotube-Metal Contact Structures
Onnik Yaglioglu, Rod Martens, Anyuan Cao, and A. H. Slocum.

2010 RF Currents Produced from AC Arcs with Asymmetrical Electrodes
J.J. Shea & X. Zhou

2009 A Simplified Model of Multiscale Electrical Contact Resistance and Comparison to Existing Closed Form Models
Robert Jackson, Robert Malucci, Santosh Angadi & Robert Polchow

2008 Influence of Grafting Properties of Organic Thin Films for Low Level Electrical Contacts Protection
S. Noel, D. Alamarguy, A. Benedetto, P. Viel, M. Balog

2007 Basic Investigations for Switching of RF Signals
W. Johler

2006 Glowing Contact Physics
J. J. Shea

2005 Pore Corrosion Model for Gold Plated Copper Contacts
A.C. Sun, H.K. Moffat, D.G. Enos, and C.S. Glauner

2004 Electrical Conduction through Small Contact Spots
R. Timsit

2003 A Novel Concept for Fault Current Tolerable Contactors
X. Zhou and M. Little

2002 Gassing Arc Chamber Wall Material Effect on Post Current-Zero Recovery Voltage Breakdown
J. J. Shea

2001 3D-Simulation of Arc Motion Between Arc Runners Including the Influence of Ferromagnetic Material
M. Lindmayer and M. Springstubbe

2000 Contact Current Distortion Due to Tunnel Effect
E. Takano

1999 Make Arc Erosion and Welding in the Automotive Area
L. Morin, N. Ben Jemaa, D. Jeannot, J. Pinard, and L. Nedelec

1998 Contact Physics of Gold MicroContacts for MEM Switches
D. Hyman and M. Mehregany

1997 Intermittence Detection in Fretting Corrosion Studies of Electrical Contacts
S.R. Murrell and S.L. McCarthy

1996 Surface Film Resistivity of Cu and Cu-Alloy Crosswires
D. Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf and A. M. Rijke

1995 Connector Contacts: Corrosion Inhibiting Surface Treatment for Gold Plated Finishes
W. H. Abbott and M. Antler

1994 Effects of Wipe on Contact Resistance of Aged Surfaces
B. Malucci

1993 Model Predictions of ARC Cathode Erosion Rate Dependance on Plasma Gas and on Cathode Material
X. Zhou, J. Heberlein and E. Pfender

1992 Effect of Axial Magnetic Field Upon the Development of the Vacuum Arc Between Opening Electric Contacts
M.B. Schulman, P.G. Slade and J. Heberlein

1991 Enhanced Sulfur Segregation in Plastically Deformed OFHC Cu and the Effect of Surface Segregated Sulfur on Electric Contact Resistance
R. Kothari and R. Vook

1990 The Melting Voltage in Electrical Contacts
R. Timsit

1989 Current-induced Aging of Contact Spots, M. Runde
E. Hodne and B. Totdal

1988 A New Rapid Screening Method for Silicones by Size Exclusion Chromatography
A.J. Muller and R.L. Opila

1987 The Development and Performance Characteristics of Mixed Flowing Gas Test Environments
W.H. Abbott

1986 In Situ Examination of Segregation and Wear Processes of Precious Metal Electrical Contact Alloys
L.E. Pope and D.E. Peebles

1985 Comparison of Reignition Properties of Several Ag/W, Ag/WC and Ag/Mo Electrical Contact Materials
C.H. Leung, H.J. Kim and P.C. Wingert

1984 Titanium Nitride: A Potential Ceramic Low Energy Contact Material
J. Nickerson, C. Ernsberger, and A.E. Miller

1983 The Vacuum Interrupter Contact
P. G. Slade

1982 Sliding Wear of Inlay Clad Metals and Electrodeposited Cobalt-Gold
M. Antler and E.T. Ratliff

1981 Cathode Spot Mechanism in the Transition from a Vacuum Metal Vapor Arc to a Nitrogen Arc-Erosion and Surface Contaminations Arced Copper Cathodes
D.R. Porto and C.W. Kimblin

1980 The Elucidation of Frictional Polymer Structure Using Fourier Transform, Infrared Spectroscopy and Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy
L. Seebles and B.T. Reagor

1979 Effect of Alkali Additives on the Reignition Voltage of Ag/CdO
M. Lindmayer

1978 Wear of Gold Electrodeposits: Effect of Substrate and of Nickel Underplate
M. Antler and M.H. Drozdowicz

1977 High Current Brushes I: Effect of Brush and Ring Materials
J.L. Johnson and L.E. Moberly

1975 Silicon Oils on Electrical Contacts*b2Effects, Sources and Countermeasures
C.A. Russell and N.M. Kitchen

1974 A Correlation of Material Toughness, Thermal Shock, Resistance, and Microstructure of High Tungsten, Silver-Tungsten Composite Materials
G.J. Witter and W.R. Warke

1973 The Use of Ceramic Matrices Infiltrated with Silver for Electric Contact Applications
P.G. Slade, R. Kossowsky, R.G. Aspden and R.J. Bratton

1972 Tribological Properties of Gold for Electric Contacts
M. Antler

1971 The Effect of Electrode Material on the Initial Expansion of an Arc in Vacuum
P.G. Slade and M.F. Hoyaux

1970 Scanning Electron Microscopy of Contact Surfaces Before and After Arcing
M.J. Vasile and B.W. Kammlott

Morton Antler Lecture

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.

2023 Pooya Tadayon, Liquid Metal Interconnects

2022 Arash Takshi, Hydrogen Evolution Assisted (HEA) Copper Electroplating for Wearable Electronics

2021 Peter Lee, Electric Vehicle Challenges

2019 Mary L. Cummings, The Promises and Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence in Transportation Systems

2018 Babu Chalamala, Advances in Battery Technologies for Electric Vehicles and Grid Storage

2017 Randy Sumner, Automotive Future: Electrified and Autonomous – The Transition of an Industry

2016 Paul Slade, 50 Years of the Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts 1967 – 2016

2015 J. Ph. Tock, The Large Hadron Collider splices: A dive into the heart of the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

2014 John Yurtin, So What’s All This Wireless Power Transfer Stuff About Anyway??

2013 Robert L. Devaney, Chaos Games, and Fractal Images.

2012 Markus J. Buehler, Computational Materials Science – From Atoms to Structures

2011 Mark Anderson, Modern Design of Experiments (DOC) – 75 years of Advancements in Multifactor Test Methods.

2010 Pete Theisen, Emerging Renewable Energy and Storage Applications Demand Modern DC Switching Technologies for Control and Protection.

2009 Frank Mucklick, Nanotomography of Electrical Contacts – New Insights by High Resolution 3D Analysis of Local Material Degradation

2008 T. Schoepf, Interplay Between Electromechanical and Solid State Switching Technologies for Meeting Cost, Sustainability, and Safety Demands of Various Applications

2007 J.V.R. Heberlein, Characterization of the Dynamic Arc-Anode Interaction and Plasma Deposition of nanocomposites to Tailor material s Properties

2006 W. Johler, The Design Challenges Involved in Miniaturization of Electromechanical Relays

2005 J. A. Wafer, The Evolution of Arc Fault Circuit Interruption

2004 R. S. Mroczkowski, A Perspective on Connector Reliability

2003 N. L. Traub, 42 Volt Challenges: Technical Potholes on the Highway to Success

2002 W. H. Abbott, The Role of Electroplating in Contact Reliability

Paul & Dee-Dee Slade Young Investigators Award

The objective of the Paul and Dee-Dee Slade Young Investigator Award is to recognize the outstanding achievements 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.


2022: Michelle Pomsel, Technische Universität Dresden, Influence of the Degree of Freedom in Normative Test Conditions on the Short-Circuit Behavior of Power Plug-In Connectors, Co-Authors: Toni Israel, Christian Hildmann, Stephan Schlegel, and Tom Kufner, Stubli Electrical Connectors AG

2020/21 Tushar Damle, Georgia Institute of Technology, Electric Field Between Contacts of Fast Mechanical Switches Subjected to Fretting Wear, Co-authors: Chunmeng Xu, Michael Varenberg, and Lukas Graber

2019 Toni Israel, Technische Universiät Dresden, Modelling of Transient Heating and Softening Behavior of Contact Points During Current Pulses and Short Circuits, Co-authors Stephan Schlegel, Steffen Großmann, Tom Kufner and George Freudiger

2018 Tobias Dyck, WAGO Kontakttechnik GmbH & Co, The Influence of Contaminated Copper Wires on the DC Joule Heating of Connectors, Co-author Andreas Bund

2017 M. Buffo, University of Lorraine, Study of the Electric Arc in DC Contactors: Modelling, Simulation and Experimental Validation, Co-authors J.P. M., S. Saadate, J. Andrea, N. Dumoulin,  Guillard.

2016 C. Zhai, The University of Sydney, Stress-Dependent Frequency Response of Conductive Granular Materials, Co-authors D. Hanaor, G. Proust and Y. Gan<.br>

2015 M. Gatzsche Technische Universitat Dresden, Validity of the Voltage-Temperature Relation for Contact Elements in High Power Applications, Co-authors N. Lucke, S. Gromann, T. Kufner, and G. Freudiger.

2014 H. Hermann, Technische Universitat Dresden, Diagnostics of the Transmission Properties of the Slip Ring System in Doubly Fed Induction Generators.

2013 D., CEA, LETI, France, Study of the Electrical Contact in a Fully Inkjet Printed Membrane Switch, Co-authors C. Poulain, A. Yakoub, M. Saadaoui, B. Dubois, and A. Blayo.

2012 D. Mercier, CEA – LETI, France, Quantitative Evolution of Electrical Contact Resistance Between Aluminum Thin Films, Co-authors V. Mandrillon, A. Holtz, F. Volpi, M. Verdier, and Y. Brechet.

2011 E. Crandall, Auburn University, Whisker Growth Under Controlled Humidity Exposure. Co-authors G. Flowers, P. Lall, M. Bozack.