The U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNCTAM) represents the U.S. mechanics community to the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The national committee serves as the focal point for the U.S. engineering, scientific, and applied mathematics communities that have common interests in the field of mechanics. It is the national forum to define the major issues in mechanics research, technology, and education. It also provides a network through which the National Science Foundation(NSF) and the National Academies enhance their capacity to contribute to global research, technology and education.

The committee has both national and international impact. Nationally, it oversees the organization of the quadrennial National Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (NCTAM); steer research directions in mechanics; and connects with the broader mechanics community through its website and its members who serve as representatives of the committee's 15 member societies. Internationally, the committee plays an active role in two of the major IUTAM activities including the quadrennial International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ICTAM) and the IUTAM symposia, which are small meetings (70-100 attendees) that focus on new research topics. The committee supports U.S. involvement in these activities through its congress fellowship program and its encouragement of symposia proposals.

Project Report

The U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNC/TAM) represents the interests of the United States in international scientific activities relating to the field of mechanics, and serves as a focal point for the U.S. engineering, scientific, and mathematical communities working in mechanics research, technology, and education. USNC/TAM represents the U.S. scientific and engineering communities in the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM), on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The NAS is the national adhering organization to IUTAM. The USNC/TAM is the only national committee dealing with the mechanical sciences, and the committee membership includes some of the leaders in mechanics research. Fifteen U.S. professional societies have representatives on the USNC/TAM. The committee is, therefore, well-positioned to serve as a resource to federal agencies to help them formulate new directions, and in the execution of their objectives. IUTAM member countries have several responsibilities, including paying dues, helping plan union programs, and providing leadership. The USNC/TAM, through the NAS, does all of these. Additional activities undertaken by the USNC in this grant period include: A 5-member delegation represented the NAS at the 23rd International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ICTAM) in China in August 2012. With the support of USNC/TAM, Dr. Nadine Aubry, Dean of Engineering at Northeastern University, became the first female elected to the IUTAM Bureau, the governing board of the union. One of the specific roles that USNC/TAM plays with respect to the ICTAM is as a reviewer and screener of the papers submitted to the congress by U.S. researchers. Two subcommittees, one for solids and one for fluids, review paper submissions and suggests a priority of acceptance to the International Papers Committee. This review ensures that there is strong U.S. scientific representation at the congress. The USNC/TAM organized a fellowship program for the 2012 ICTAM in China. The travel fellowship program provided an opportunity for 22 U.S. graduate students and early career scientists to present their research internationally while also interacting with researchers from all over the world. The travel fellowship program included a mentorship breakfast event that paired the fellows with experienced U.S. researchers. The finalists were selected by the order of ranking of papers submitted to IUTAM and by their background. Each of the recipients presented a paper at the Congress. The USNC/IUTAM also promotes U.S. participation in IUTAM through the hosting of summer schools and symposia. During the grant period, one summer school was held in the United States: Biomechanics of Tissue and Tissue-Cell Interaction, organized by Thomas Sigmund (Purdue University), and held on June 5-8, 2012 at Purdue University. In addition, three symposia were held in the United States in 2011: Computer Models in Biomechanics: Nano to Macro, organized by Ellen Kuhl (Stanford University); Linking Scales in Computations: From Microstructure to Macro-scale Properties, organized by Oana Cazacu (University of Florida) and Ted Belytschko(Northwestern University), and held at University of Florida/REEF, Shalimar, Florida; and Mechanics of Liquid and Solid Foams, organized by Stelios Kyriakides (University of Texas at Austin). Domestically, USNC/IUTAM is active as well. USNC/TAM also plays a role in the U.S. National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. This meeting is held every four years, and the next will be June 15-20, 2014 at Michigan State University. Committee members contribute papers, organize mini-symposia, and work closely with the local organizers. Finally, pursuant to a strategic plan recommendation, USNC/TAM has established a series of symposia and workshops on Current Trends in Mechanics in the U.S. (AMERI-MECH). These are modest size events focused on specific themes with an emphasis on younger, upcoming subjects. The USNC has been encouraging and coordinating their organization by providing seed money raised from external sources. Last Modified: 11/08/2013 Submitted by: Katherine E Bailey Mathae It should be noted that two of the summer schools, specifically the IUTAM Symposium on Linking Scales in Computations and the Mechanics of Liquid and Solid Foams, took place shortly before the grant started, thereby falling outside of this grant period. Support for the IUTAM Summer School at Purdue, which did occur during the grant period, was awarded before Thomas Siegmund accepted a position at NSF.

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National Academy of Sciences
United States
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