The goal of this proposal is to foster the establishment of new scientific links between North, Central and South America among the next generation of scientific leaders in Applied Mechanics. This will be accomplished by awarding travel fellowships to young scientists from the United States to the Twelfth Pan-American Congress of Applied Mechanics, to take place in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on January 3-6, 2012. This group of young scientist will be graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and early career professors, selected by members of the organizing committee of the conference upon revision and ranking of the submitted abstract.
The economic growth of some South American countries is now beginning to be reflected in their research portfolio. The conference will strengthen scientific relations between the United States and South and Central America. Additionally, a selection of papers submitted to the conference will be included in the collection "Applied Mechanics in the Americas 2012," which will be distributed to attendees and made available in an archival website. The authors of the most meritorious presentations will also be invited to contribute a paper to a special issue of the Journal of Applied Mechanics. Finally, a comprehensive website for the conference will be created as the conference approaches, and will remain there for at least two years after the conference, until the next PACAM. The website can be found at www.pacamxii.org, and it is being progressively enriched with information as it comes along. The entire program of the conference will be displayed there, including the submitted abstracts.
The Twelfth Pan American Congress of Applied Mechanics (PACAM XII) was held at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine in Trinidad & Tobago in January 2012. More than 130 scientists and engineers from all continents attended the conference, which featured 6 plenary lecturers from the US, Argentina, and Brazil, as well as 16 minisymposia organized by leading experts from around the world. The National Science Foundation facilitated the attendance of 21 young investigators from all across the United States, including some graduate students, through travel fellowships. The congress included both a technical and a social program, and the interactions and exchanges among researchers across the Americas have definitively fostered new intellectual bonds. It also introduced a new generation of scientists to the Pan American community of applied mechanics. The congress proceedings, "Applied Mechanics in the Americas," comprising 153 short papers, were published online (www.aamech.org/PACAM12/Home.html). During, and shortly after the congress, based on the four-page versions and the oral presentations, the best papers were selected by the session chairs and the scientific committee of the congress. The authors of these papers were invited to submit full-length papers, published in a special issue of Journal of Applied Mechanics (80(5), 050301 doi:10.1115/1.4023474), although some authors already had other plans. As a result six papers were finalized, all of which were peer reviewed.