by Professor Pat McKeown Cranfield Precision Engineering, UK Member of Joint Organising Committee IPES6/UME2 PROGRESS IN PRECISION ENGINEERING Metal working companies in tool making, prototype manu- facture and subcontract machining often use the label "precision engineering" to indicate that they are accustomed to working to finer tolerances than is normally expected in series production. But what we are concerned with in this and our preceding international conferences is much wider and deeper than this. Precision engineering is a grouping of multidis- ciplinary scientific and engineering skills and techniques, firmly based on dimensional metrology, by which a wide range of new advanced technology products is made possible. In the last 5 - 10 years we have witnessed dramatic progress in precision engineering, particularly by the rapid development of its important sub-sets, micro-engineering and nanotechnology. I t is a part icular pleasure for me and my colleagues on the Organising Committee to welcome you to Braunschweig on the occasion of this the first joint international meeting in high precision manufacturing/precision engineering to be held in Germany. Our aim is to bring together the world's leading precision engineering practitioners from areas of application as diverse as optics for astronomy, micro and nano machining process research, design and development of ul tra preclslon machine tools and metrology equipment, advanced materials, bio- medical research and new sensor/transducer systems.