History

The Dutch Society for Mass Spectrometry (NVMS) was founded as a Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group (MSDG) on 26th February 1964 by Piet van der Haak and Henk Hofman at the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry of the University of Amsterdam from the Chemical Society Infrared Discussion group. In 1992 the MSDG was renamed into NVMS and became a section of both the Royal Dutch Chemical Society (KNCV) and the Dutch Physics Society (NNV). However in legal terms the NVMS is an independent association having its own board, voting members, annual business meetings, financial reports, etc.

In 1964 the MSDG started with 38 members coming from the Universities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden and Eindhoven; R&D institutes like FOM-AMOLF and TNO; industrial R&D labs such as Shell, DSM, Philips, Polak Frutel and the uranium enrichment factory UCN. About 18 huge mass spectrometers were running and applied in the disciplines of physics, chemistry and geology.

Figure 1. University of Amsterdam group, highly involved in more fundamental mass spectrometric research, particularly in gas phase ion chemistry, ion physics and ionization processes. The group was headed and inspired by Nico Nibbering, one of the past NVMS chairmen.
Figure 1. University of Amsterdam group, highly involved in more fundamental mass spectrometric research, particularly in gas phase ion chemistry, ion physics and ionization processes. The group was headed and inspired by Nico Nibbering, one of the past NVMS chairmen.

Since then the following presidents served the NVMS:

Piet van der Haak 1964 – 1971
Peter Korver 1971 – 1972
Bert Schram 1972 – 1974
Nico Nibbering 1974 – 1976
Henk van ‘t Klooster 1976 – 1977
Johannes de Ridder 1977 – 1979
Rowald Neeter 1979 – 1981
Piet Leclercq 1981 – 1983
Mike ten Noever de Brauw 1983 – 1997
Andries Bruins 1997 – 2000
Ron Heeren 2001 – 2005
Eric van Beelen (interim) 2005 – 2006
Michel Nielen 2006 – 2010
Sander Koster 2010 – 2012
Rob Vreeken 2013 – 2016
Manfred Wührer 2016 –
We are still awaiting a female president! Apart from the president the NVMS board consists of a secretary, a treasurer, two program committee members, and a web master (currently Arjen Gerssen, Richard Scheltema, Annemieke Kolkman, Isabelle Kohler, and Jan Commandeur, respectively).

Nowadays the NVMS is having almost 700 registered members and probably the Netherlands is still having the highest density of mass spectrometers per square kilometer. Since several years the membership of the NVMS is free of charge, but at most of its scientific meetings an entrance fee has to be paid to cover the lunch expenses. NVMS members will receive announcements for both the one-day Spring and Fall meetings and can apply two times per year for the NVMS Poster Award and the NVMS Conference Attendance Fund.

Every 5th year the NVMS organizes a 2-day international conference on mass spectrometry, the most recent 2009 edition together with the Belgium Society for Mass Spectrometry. Several of these events have been -and hopefully will be- organized at the Rolduc venue, a former monastery in the southern part of the country. Thanks to the remote location, its serenity and the informal atmosphere for discussing mass spectrometry and other good things in life, these ‘Rolduc-meetings’ became very famous, both for the participants and the most distinguished invited guests, among them Fred McLafferty, Richard Caprioli, Michael Karas, Graham Cooks and many others.

Figure 2: Organizing committee of the 12th IMSC in 1991 in Amsterdam.

Definitely a highlight in the NVMS history is the organization of the 12th IMSC in 1991 in Amsterdam, having 1500 participants, a record at that time. More recently the Human Proteome Organization meeting was organized in Amsterdam, 2008, having ‘proteome biology’ as its theme, but of course with mass spectrometry as its core technology. A large dedicated metabolomics conference was organized in Amsterdam, 2010, highlighting hyphenated mass spectrometry techniques as core technology. Last year the organization of the 24th IMSC in 2022 was awarded to Maastricht, which the NVMS will organize in close cooperation with Ron Heeren of Maastricht University and Albert Heck of Utrecht University.

The Montreux LC/MS Symposia have Dutch roots as well: they were founded by the late Roland Frei (Free University of Amsterdam) in 1980 and are still biannually organized by Jan van der Greef (TNO and Leiden University) in Montreux, Switzerland.

Here you will find a link to a historic overview of (inter)national mass spectrometry, presented by Mike ten Noever de Brauw in 1999 on occasion of our 35th anniversary international conference on mass spectrometry.