This Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI) award, jointly supported by the NSF and the Department of Energy (DOE), will take place February, 2012 at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Santa Fé, Argentina. Organized by Dr. D. Vaughan Griffiths, Dr. Graham Mustoe, and Dr. Anthony Petrella, all from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in Golden, Colorado, the institute will focus on advanced numerical tools and their applications to bioengineering. Topics will include finite elements, boundary and discrete element methodologies, constitutive modeling of composite materials, prosthesis modeling, probabilistic methods, and concepts and applications of medical imaging. Two field trips will be organized to a local hospital and to a bioengineering manufacturing company, enabling participants to obtain first-hand exposure to practical and medical issues in bioengineering. To encourage the use of numerical methods, students will be provided with finite, boundary, and discrete element software, which will allow them to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired during the course.

This PASI aims to generate future long-term collaboration between participants from the US and Latin America, which will span both academia and industry, including publications, joint presentations and sessions at international scientific congresses in bioengineering. The organizers are planning on attracting a diverse selection of student participants to the PASI through their ties to regional universities with a high proportion of underrepresented graduate students in engineering fields. A web site to be developed will be used to publicize the course, define recruitment criteria, and also for disseminating information and handouts relating to the PASI. After the activity is over, the site will become a resource for participants to keep in contact, and learn of future events, conferences and workshops related to the dual themes of numerical methods and bioengineering.

Project Report

Intellectual Merit The course was an intensive instruction in advanced numerical tools and their application to bioengineering applications. The numerical topics included a combination of finite element, boundary element and discrete element methodologies in a single framework; a combination rarely encountered in a traditional university course. Although participating students may already have had some exposure to these topics at their home universities, this workshop took this knowledge to a higher level, including hands-on sessions in computer labs provided by the host university. The numerical tools were applied to bioengineering applications with some emphasis on the overlap betweeen analysis needs in bioengineering with more traditional engineering disciplines such as Civil and Mechanical Engineering (e.g. stress analysis, nonlinear material behavior, fluid flow, etc.) Broader Impacts This workshop has generated future long term cooperation, collaboration and friendships between all participants from the US and Latin America (LA). The workshop was managed from the Colorado School of Mines and the LA participants came from Venezuela, Peru and Argentina and Mexico. These collaborations will span both academe and industry, encouraging future publications and joint presentations and sessions at international scientific congresses. Out of 26 student participants, an equal number were male and female which is of itself an impressive figure for an engineering event. Furthermore, although the workshop was taught in English, several of the workshop participants from the US were from minority groups, attracted not only by the theme of the workshop, but also the opportunity to visit Argentina. An evaluation of the workshop completed by all student participants at the end of the course was positive, and indicated that similar future courses and workshops should be offered both in Latin America and other international venues. The workshop was held in Parana, Argentina and hosted by the Universidad Nacional de Entre Rios (UNER). The opening ceremony of the workshop was covered and broadcast by local TV giving high visibility to the event among the general public. There is also a youtube video (in Spanish) about the workshop. The PASI workshop had its own web site at

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Colorado School of Mines
United States
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