In 1933, 23 representatives of tanks from 10 countries including the superintendents of 9 tanks met in The Hague, to “confer in an open and confidential manner on their own methods and also on the manner of publication of tank results.” The program for the new Conference of Ship Tank Superintendents was focused on the everyday business of tanks. The conference appointed a committee to work out “in a more definite way the general conclusions.” This was the forerunner of the technical committees we have today. All decisions were made by all those present at the “the conference”.
This simple organization continued until 1948, when a Standing Committee of six regional members was formed to give continuity from one Conference to another. it later became the Executive Committee. Up until 1948 individual Conference attendees made presentations, but from 1948 discussions at the Conference were based on reports of the technical committees. This continues to be the structure of the ITTC Conferences.
As the size and number of topics considered by the ITTC increased, there was concern that the ITTC should not evolve into a diffuse organization loosely concerned with ship hydrodynamics. In addition, the member organizations whose primary business was model testing for clients were worried that they would be outnumbered by the tanks operated by educational and research institutions which did not share the same responsibilities to customers. There was a possibility that ITTC might adopt procedures and policies that would be harmful to the relationships between the more commercial facilities and their customers. The Advisory Council was formed at the 13th ITTC in 1972 in response to these concerns. The purpose of the Advisory Council was (and still is) to recommend the subjects to be considered “bearing in mind the primary aim of the conference is to solve technical problems of importance to tank superintendents.” Organizations represented on the Advisory Council were selected from member organizations which met criteria chosen to show that their primary business was model testing for clients. In many ways the Advisory Council represents the community of Tank Superintendents which first met over 80 years ago.