Fourth International Conference on High Performance Structures and Materials

pcr2.jpg13 - 15 May 2008
Algarve Portugal

 Overview and Opening Address

HPSM08.jpgThe fourth International Conference on High Performance Structures and Materials took place recently in the Algarve, Portugal, organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology.

HPSM 2008 followed the success of the previous three conferences in the series held in Seville (2002), Ancona (2004) and Ostend (2006).  The resulting papers have been published in book form and distributed around the world.  Lecture HPSMThey have been also archived in the WIT eLibrary as WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3509), where they are easily and permanently available to the international scientific community.  This has contributed to the continuous success of HPSM which addresses issues involving advanced types of structures, particularly those based on new concepts in materials.

The meeting was opened by Professor Patrick de Wilde, the co-chairman of the conference, who explained that Professor Carlos Brebbia was unable to attend the conference due to a broken bone in his foot.  However Professor Brebbia prepared a special welcome address for the delegates which was presented by Dr Bill Blain, the Academic Director of the Wessex Institute.  Dr Blain gave an overview of the Institute describing research and training activities carried out at WIT including the very successful Master and PhD programmes which are available within the four main divisions at WIT, namely:  Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Damage Mechanics, Information and Communication Engineering and the Industrial Research Division.  Dr Blain continued by describing the publishing activities at WIT Press, the publishing arm of the Institute, and finished his presentation by describing the WIT campus and the new accommodation facilities available on site.

 Conference Sessions  

hpsm2.jpgThe conference, which was well attended, attracted papers on the following topics:
  • Optimal Design
  • Material characterisation including the behaviour of FRP structures
  • Structural dynamics and impact behaviour including fatigue
  • High performance concretes
  • Composite materials and structures
  • Adhesion of fracture

 Special Sessions

A special session on Natural fibre composites was organised by Prof Katayama of Doshisha University and Prof H Takagi of the University of Tokushima, Japan.  The session was divided into two parts consisting of five presentations in each including three invited papers.

 Invited Presentations

The conference included several invited papers which were as follows:
  • "Optimisation at the conceptual design stage with morphological indicators: design for strength or design for stiffness?" by T Vandenbergh, W P De Wilde & P Latteur, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium.
  • "Effect of plasma treatment on the mechanical properties of natural fiber/PP composites" by B S Kim, M H Nguyen, B S Hwang & S Lee, Korea Institute of Material Science, Korea.
  • "Flexural properties of all bamboo 'green' composites" by H Takagi, A Mizobuchi, K Kusano & Y Okitsu, The University of Tokushima, Japan.
  • "Eco-efficient manufacturing process for fibre reinforced thermoplastic" by K Tanaka, T Katayama & K Uno, Doshisha University, Japan.
  • "Small volume mechanical response insights: revealed contributions in advancing high mechanical performance" by Y Katz, Negba Institute, Israel.
  • "From high strength and high performance concrete to high performance RC bending elements" by I Iskhakov & Y Ribakov, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Israel.
  • "Cost optimization of composite floors" by S Kravanja & U Klanšek, University of Maribor, Slovenia.
  • "Nonlinear Hasin-Shtrikman bounds for hereditary problems" by P P Procházka & M Toman, CTU Prague, Czech Republic.
  • "Experimental evaluation of the torsional behaviour of thin walled beams: elastic and buckling situations" by G Belingardi, L Peroni & A Scattina, Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

 International Scientific Advisory Committee

The meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Committee took place during the first evening of the conference over a traditional Portuguese dinner where members met and discussed the next conference in the series.  The discussion included new topics and objectives of the conference, suggestions for other colleagues to be invited to join the committee and possible locations for the next conference.

 Conference Dinner

hpsm1.jpgThe conference dinner took place at Porches Restaurant in the heart of Porches village a few miles from the conference centre.  Delegates were transported by coach to the restaurant which in the past had been used as a wine store.  The building dated back several centuries and still has its original bamboo cladded roof.  The menu consisted of roast duck and excellent local wines.  During the dinner live music was provided by a Fado ensemble playing traditional songs.  As this was a joint dinner with delegates from the 10th international conference on Structures Under Shock and Impact (SUSI08) both Prof Patrick de Wilde and Prof Norman Jones (co-chairmen of HPSM and SUSI respectively) gave a short address to the delegates thanking them for their participation.

 Publication of Papers

The proceedings of High Performance Structures and Materials IV, 576 pp (ISBN: 1-84564-106-1) are available in hard back from WIT Press priced at £1690/US$380. Orders can be placed by telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223, fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the WIT Press web site at:

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 97 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3509). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at: