5th International Conference on High Performance Structures and Materials
26 - 28 July 2010
The fifth International Conference on High Performance Structures and Materials has been recently held in Tallinn, Estonia, co-organised by the Free University of Brussels, represented by Professor Patrick de Wilde; the University of Tartu, represented by Professor Ulo Mander; and the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT), represented by it’s Director, Professor Carlos A Brebbia.
The HPSM conference originated from a series of meetings on computer-aided design of composite materials, which were organised by WIT until 2000, when it was felt necessary to broaden the type of materials under consideration and that it was essential to relate them to the advances in structural design, including interaction between structures and materials. Since then, meetings were held in Seville (2002), Ancona (2004), Ostend (2006) and the Algarve (2008).
One important consideration of the conference was to address the increasing emphasis on durability, sustainability and re-use of structural materials, responding to the need to look into the environmental performance of materials and structures.
Emerging methods and techniques continue to appear and offer important applications in engineering, they include improvements in environmental materials, such as special types of concrete or new plastics and composites. The conference also addresses new optimisation techniques and construction processes, amongst other emerging topics. The important application of modern methods, particularly for structural repairs, has reached a stage of maturity that allows designers to increase the useful life of many structures.
The conference was opened by Professor de Wilde who explained the origin of the conference and its objectives. He spoke of the importance of these meetings and the way in which the conference has operated for the last few years, bringing together scientists from many different backgrounds and countries.
Professor de Wilde’s welcome speech was followed by Professor Brebbia's remarks about the work of the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) and its aim in acting as a hub for knowledge dissemination. This is possible through the continuous evolution of the Institute’s activities, including its conference series.
Professor Brebbia mentioned the commitment of WIT to Industrial Research, which is based on its unique modelling tools using the boundary element method, for which WIT is renown throughout the world. The field of application of this technique is wide, ranging from aerospace to offshore, two industries with which WIT has collaborated for many years,
Professor Brebbia also explained the growing importance of the interdisciplinary research initiated by WIT, particularly in environmental and ecological fields. WIT participates in many international programmes dealing with the topics, including those of NATO, Scientific Research Councils, the EU as well as several supported by industry.
Another important activity for WIT is the dissemination of knowledge which is achieved through WIT Press, its academic publisher. WIT Press produces books and journals in paper and digital format, the latter becoming more widespread from day to day heralding a new era for information dissemination, for which WIT is ideally positioned.
This emphasis on dissemination of knowledge through books, journals, either in paper or digital format, ensures that the work presented at conferences such as HPSM is easily accessible and permanently available to the international scientific community.
The conference covered a series of topics, such as composite materials and structures, lightweight materials and structures, high-performance concretes, automotive composites, natural fibre composites, timber structures, materials characterisation, optimal design, experimental and numerical analysis, damage and fracture mechanics.
There were a series of invited lectures given by renown colleagues, i.e.;
‘Numerical simulation of press forming of an automotive body structural component using St13 and BH340 steel sheets’
by D O Northwood, University of Windsor, Canada
‘Optimal pre-stress and lay-ups in a thick-walled hollow cylinder for minimum stresses’
by P Prochazka, Czech Technical University, Prague
‘Optimal design of underground gas storage’
by S Kravanja, University of Maribor, Slovenia
‘Estimation of cyclic plastic deformation behaviours by the microindentation method’
by H Sakamoto, Kumamoto University, Japan
‘Effect of surface and heat treatment on tensile properties of jute fiber reinforced composite’
by K Takemura, Kanagawa University, Japan
‘Fracture behaviour of natural fibre reinforced composites’
by H Takagi, Tokushima University, Japan
‘Material characterization and modelling of carbon–carbon textile composites’
by M Sejnoha, Czech University of Technology, Prague
‘High performance finite element analysis of composite aeroelastic structures’
by A Maheri, University of Northumbria, UK
‘Ductility of high performance joint between HSC column and NSC flat slab’
by B S Kim, Korea Institute of Materials Science, South Korea
The delegates had plenty of opportunities for interacting outside the formal conference sessions. This took place during the coffee breaks, complimentary lunches, welcoming drink event, and the conference banquet. This interaction is most important and contributed to the success of the meeting.
International Scientific Advisory Committee
The International Scientific Advisory Committee of the conference met over dinner at a typical Estonian restaurant, to discuss how the conference is proceeding and where to hold the next meeting. There was general agreement of the need to arrange for more contributions in the structural field, covering emerging technologies. One of the proposed sessions could be on Adaptable Structures and another on Optimisation. Several names were suggested as session organisers. The meeting will be reconvened in 2012 in a location and at a date to be announced shortly.
The conference dinner took place in an old trader’s house belonging to the Guild of St Maurice, which has similar sites in other Baltic ports. These trader houses were excellent and spacious buildings which are now being used for cultural and social purposes. The delegates were offered a buffet accompanied by good wines in a convivial atmosphere in one of the panelled rooms of the centre. At the end of the meal a series of Estonian dances were performed by a folkloric troupe, followed by an invitation to the delegates to join in. The whole evening was arranged by the local co-chairman, Professor Ulo Mander, who acted as Master of Ceremonies throughout the proceedings.
Publication of Papers
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online in the WIT eLibrary as Volume 112 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com