Although global congresses on power generation had often devoted specifi c sessions to the technology of internal combustion engines, it was felt the subject deserved its own forum. The credit for initiating such a forum goes to Paul Tharlet and Jean Messiez-Poche of the French “Syndicat des Constructeurs de Moteurs à Combustion Interne”. Jean Messiez-Poche: “L’intérêt d’un Congres traitant du moteur diesel et de ses problèmes du moment fut evoque au cours d’une conversation entre le regretté president Tharlet et moi-meme, fin 1949”.
Paul C. Tharlet encouraged organisations from no fewer than nine other countries to take part, namely from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. The organisation was founded in June 1950 and named “Congrès International des Moteurs à Combustion Interne”. The term “Interne” was dropped from this name six years later at the Zurich congress, where gas turbines were included among the topics.
Paris 1951: The First Congress
The first congress in the history of CIMAC was organised by “Le Syndicat des Constructeurs de Moteurs à Combustion Interne” under its president Paul C. Tharlet, who subsequently became the fi rst CIMAC President. 89 papers in all were accepted for the congress by the technical commission headed by Jean Messiez-Poche, who went on to serve for 23 years on the Permanent Committee of CIMAC. This first CIMAC Congress was rated a remarkable success and attracted no fewer than 505 delegates from 15 countries. Its 87 “accompanying persons” were taken good care of by the “Comité des Dames”. A balanced pr ogramme of technical sessions, works visits and social events lasting nearly two weeks duly impressed the participants, who were generous with their praise. The general feeling was clear; there was everything to be gained by holding another congress in the not-too distant future.
The Comité Permanent
The Comité Permanent Discussions held between the heads of the participating national organisations resulted in an agreement to organise annual meetings devoted to individual topics as well as a full congress every five years. Paul C. Tharlet: “So, the working plan is: meetings, universal congresses every three, four or fi ve years and – in the interim periods – yearly gatherings for specialised discussion”. To promote itself, a “Bureau Permanent” – the English version of the proceedings refers to a “Permanent Committee” – was established by acclamation during the closing session of the first CIMAC Congress in Paris on Friday May 11th, 1951. Delegates were asked to establish national organisations and ask them to comment on the statutes drafted by the Secretariat and to apply for membership of the CIMAC Permanent Committee. Paul C. Tharlet was elected president of CIMAC, with Haakon Andresen and Jan Goedkoop as vice-presidents.