The use of novel materials and new structural concepts nowadays is not restricted to highly technical areas like aerospace, aeronautical applications or the automotive industry, but affects all engineering fields including those such as civil engineering and architecture.

The conference addresses issues involving advanced types of structures, particularly those based on new concepts or new materials and their system design. Contributions will highlight the latest development in design, optimisation, manufacturing and experimentation in those areas. The meeting also aims to search for higher performance sustainable materials. Most high performance structures require the development of a generation of new materials, which can more easily resist a range of external stimuli or react in a non-conventional manner. Particular emphasis will be placed on intelligent structures and materials as well as the application of computational methods for their modelling, control and management.

The conference also addresses the topic of design optimisation. Contributions on numerical methods and different optimisation techniques are also welcome, as well as papers on new software. Optimisation problems of interest to the meeting involve those related to size, shape and topology of structures and materials. Optimisation techniques have much to offer to those involved in the design of new industrial products. The development of new algorithms and the appearance of powerful commercial computer codes with easy to use graphical interfaces has created a fertile field for the incorporation of optimisation in the design process in all engineering disciplines.

This scientific event is a new edition of the High Performance Design of Structures and Materials conference and follows the success of a number of meetings on structures and materials and on optimum design that originated in Southampton as long ago as 1989. As the meetings evolved they gave rise to the current series, which started in Seville in 2002, and followed by Ancona in 2004, Ostend in 2006, the Algarve in 2008, Tallinn in 2010, the New Forest, home of the Wessex Institute in 2012, and Ostend in 2014. The meeting will provide a friendly and useful forum for the interchange of ideas and interaction amongst researchers, designers and scholars in the community to share advances in High Performance and Optimum Design of Structures and Materials.

Conference Topics

The following list covers some of the topics to be presented at HPSM/OPTI 2016. Papers on other subjects related to the objectives of the conference are also welcome.

  • Composite materials and structures
  • Material characterisation
  • Experiments and numerical analysis
  • Natural fibre composites
  • Green composites
  • Composites for automotive applications
  • Transformable structures
  • Environmentally friendly and Sustainable structures
  • Structural optimisation
  • Design optimisation under uncertainties
  • Non deterministic approaches
  • Evolutionary methods in optimisation
  • Aerospace structures
  • Biomechanics application
  • Structures under extreme loading
  • Surface modification
  • Lightweight structures
  • Design for sustainability
  • Design for durability
  • Pneumatic structures

Benefits of Attending

Publication of Papers Papers presented at HPSM/OPTI 2016 are to be published by WIT press in a Volume of WIT Transactions. Selected papers will appear in a special Issue of the International Journal of Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements (ISSN:2046-0546; Digital ISSN:2046-0554).

Reviews Abstracts and papers are reviewed by members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee and other experts.

Open Access WIT Press is an advocate of Open Access which offers maximum dissemination of your work.  WIT Transactions and Journal papers can be downloaded for free ( 

Indexing and Archiving Papers presented at Wessex Institute conferences are referenced by CrossRef and have appeared in notable reviews and databases. Papers are submitted to various indexing services such as Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Google Scholar*, Scopus and ProQuest. All conference books are listed in the British Library and American Library of Congress.

Conference Proceedings Delegates will receive a copy of the papers presented at the Conference on a USB Flash drive. The USB will, in addition, contain papers from previous conferences in this series. Following the Conference, authors will receive an electronic copy of the publication in which their paper has been published.

Digital Archive All conference papers are archived online in the WIT eLibrary ( where they are easily and permanently available to the international scientific community.

Networking Participants can present their research and interact with experts from around the world, becoming part of a unique community.

Reduced Fee for PhD Students The Wessex Institute believes in the importance of encouraging PhD students to present and publish innovative research at their conferences. As a result, the Institute offers PhD students a much reduced conference fee.


*Google Scholar Indexation  
WIT Press has made all its conference and journal papers open access in an effort to help its dissemination within the scientific and technical community.

This means that you are now able to download any paper in the WIT eLibrary ( totally free and without having to pre-register.

This major development has the added benefit of allowing the Google Scholar search engines to fully index all WIT papers.

Google Scholar is a search engine created specifically for researchers to facilitate the indexation and citation of academic papers free of charge. This service is becoming the most accepted comprehensive benchmark and quality standard.

In Google Scholar you will be able to see the number of citations of your articles as well as the ‘h-index’ ranking for both author and publications. The h-index is the largest number h such that at least h articles (by the author or in a publication) were cited at least h times each.

The impact of your work is given by the ‘i10 index’ which refers to the number of publications within the last 10 years that have at least 10 citations.

You can also easily create within the system an Author’s Profile which helps to highlight your achievements.

Google Scholar is becoming the most popular system in the world and its metrics are independent and unbiased. Unlike other ranking systems, it is free.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted as soon as possible by clicking on the 'Submit an Abstract' button found at the top and bottom of this page. Abstracts should clearly state the purpose, results and conclusions of the work to be described in the final paper.

Once your abstract has been reviewed, you will be notified of the acceptance of your abstract and be given a submission date as well as instructions on how to prepare your paper.

Final acceptance will be based on the full-length paper, which if accepted for publication, must be presented at the conference.

We encourage early submission of abstracts and papers to facilitate registration and travel arrangements.

The language of the conference will be English.


To register online for this conference please complete the registration form by clicking on the 'Register' button at the top or bottom of this page. If you would prefer to print out a copy of the Registration Form, please download the PDF Registration Form below and return to the Conference Secretariat.

PDF Registration Form

Conference Fees

Includes conference proceedings, other documentation and refreshments.

Registration Fee, €890

Conference Chairmen, WIT Fellows and members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, €780

Students, €500

Publication of Papers

Papers presented at HPSM/OPTI 2016 are to be published by WIT press in a Volume of WIT Transactions. Selected papers will appear in a special Issue of the International Journal of Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements (ISSN:2046-0546; Digital ISSN:2046-0554).

All conference papers are archived online in the WIT eLibrary ( where they are easily and permanently available to the international scientific community.

WIT Transactions have since 1993 been publishing exceptional conference papers which are referenced by CrossRef and have been indexed in international databases. All conference books are catalogued and archived in the British Library and American Library of Congress.

Open Access

WIT strongly believes that removing the barrier to research published online will greatly aid progress in all scientific and technical disciplines, as well as all other spheres of knowledge. Most WIT conference and all journal papers are freely available online.

Siena, Italymontalcino 509181

The historical city of Siena is located in the beautiful region of Tuscany in central Italy. Self-contained behind its medieval walls, the attractive cityscape rises at the meeting point of three hills. The focal point of city life is the spectacular Piazza del Campo, its fan-like shape fits the natural slope of the ground and is surrounded by renaissance buildings and local restaurants. This provides a splendid backdrop for the Corsa del Palio, a fast and furious bareback horse race held twice yearly, which dates back to the 15th century and a tradition representing neighbourhood pride which is taken very seriously by the Sienese.

Travel Information

The following three airports are the closest to Siena:

  • Florence ‘Peretola’ Airport – formerly ‘Amerigo Vespucci’(80km)
  • Pisa ‘Galileo Galilei’ Airport (172km)
  • Rome Fiumicino Airport (266km)

From Florence ‘Amerigo Vespucci’ Airport to the conference venue

Florence Airport is very well connected to Europe’s major airports. Airlines flying to Florence include:

  • Luftansa: Frankfurt
  • Iberia/Vueling: London, Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Palermo, Madrid
  • Alitalia: Amsterdam, Rome
  • Delta: Amsterdam
  • KLM: Amsterdam, Paris
  • British Airways: Paris, London, Munich
  • Air Dolomite: Munich
  • Air Berlin: Dusseldorf, Stuttgart
  • Air France: Paris
  • Brussels Airlines: Brussels
  • Swiss: Zurich
  • Austrian Airlines: Vienna

From Florence Airport there is a shuttle service (Volainbus) that goes directly to Florence city centre. The bus departs every half hour from 6:00 to 20:30 and every hour from 20.30 to 23.30. A single ticket cost around 6€ and takes approximately 30 minutes travelling time. From here you can either travel by train or bus to Siena. Taxis are also available at the airport to take you to the Florence city centre for 20/25€.

From Florence to Siena:

Rail: After arriving at the main rail station in Florence (Firenze in Italian), you can take a train to Siena. It takes 1.5 hour and will cost approximately €9. Further information on times can be found here

Bus: The bus station is a short walk from the main rail station in Florence. Buses leave every hour from 7:00 to 20:00 and will take approximately over one hour. The bus ‘Rapida’ will cost €6.50 and will take you directly to Siena.

Car rental: There are several car rental companies at Florence airport. The journey would take 1-1.5hrs

Private taxi: We recommend M & M travel which we have used in the past. Make sure you quote "Wessex Institute Conference" to get a discounted rate.                

From Siena Central Station, you can take a taxi (20-25€) for the final part of your journey or local bus N. 34 Pontignano-Vagliagli (see for timetables).


From Pisa ‘Galileo Galilei’ Airport to the conference venue

Pisa Airport is served by several major airlines offering regular flights from airports across Europe, as well as from New York (JFK) with Delta Airlines.

Airlines flying to Florence include:

  • Air Baltic: Riga
  • Air Dolomiti: Munich
  • Alitalia: Rome
  • British Airways: London
  • Delta: New York
  • EasyJet: Berlin, Bristol, Hamburg, London, Manchester, Paris
  • Germanwings: London, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Desden, Cologne, Hamburg, Budapest, Dublin, Barcelona, Zurich
  • Lufthansa: Munich
  • Norwegian Airlines: Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm
  • Ryanair: Barceona, Budapest, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Flankfurt, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Warsaw
  • Vueling: Barcelona
  • Wizz: Bucharest

Further information on airlines flying to Pisa can be found here: 

From Pisa to Siena:

Train: the shuttle service PisaMover links Pisa Airport to Pisa Central Station in 5/8 minutes every day, from 06:00 – 00.00 hrs. From Pisa Central Station to Siena there is a train service to Siena train station. Journey takes just under 2 hours. You can check fares and timetables at

Bus: the journey takes around 3 hours. Two companies provide the run the service Pisa Airport – Siena (via Florence) every hour from 9:00 to 19.30 hours:

Car rental: There are several car rental companies at Pisa airport. The journey would take 2hours

Private taxi: We recommend M & M travel which we have used in the past. Make sure you quote "Wessex Institute Conference" to get a discounted rate.                

From Siena Central Station, you can take a taxi (20-25€) for the final part of your journey or local bus N. 34 Pontignano-Vagliagli (see for timetables).


From Rome Fiumicino Airport to the conference venue

If travelling from outside Europe, Rome Fiumicino Airport offers flights to all major international destinations worldwide and offers good transport connections for onward travel. To see full list of airlines travelling to Rome, visit 

From Rome Airport to Siena:

Rail: Take the Leonardo Express train to Rome Central Station (Rome Termini) This service runs every 30 minutes between 06:30 and 22:50 hours and costs 14 Euro. From Rome Termini, you can take a train to Siena, the journey takes around 3 hours and you need to change train once. For timetable and fares, check

Bus: Take the FL1 rail line regional trains to Rome Tiburtina. This service runs every 15 minutes. From Rome Tiburtina, there is a direct bus to Siena run by SENA. The bus journey will take approximately 3 hours. For timetable and fares check

Car rental: There are several car rental companies at Rome airport. The journey would take 3 hours.

From Siena bus station you can take a taxi for the final part of your journey or local bus N. 34 Pontignano-Vagliagli.

Public transport between Siena and La Certosa

Delegates can take local bus N. 34 Pontignano-Vagliagli from Siena (Piazza Gramsci) to the La Certosa (Pontignano) and back. The bus runs several times a day from 8:00 to 20:00 hours.

Conference Venue

HPSM/OPTI 2016 will be held at Certosa di Pontignano, situated on the outskirts of Siena, in ‘Chianti Classico’ territory. Certosa di Pontignano is an old monastery which has been renovated and converted into a conference centre by the University of Siena. Transport services regularly connect the venue with central Siena. Certosa di Pontignano has modern single and double rooms with ensuite and WiFi facilities available within the old monastery buildings.

Certosa di Pontignano
loc. Pontignano, 5
53019, Siena


Special accommodation rates have been negotiated at the Certosa di Pontignano. Please ensure that you book your accommodation by completing the Accommodation Booking Form which can be found on the link below. We highly recommend that delegates stay at this hotel for ease of attendance to the meeting.

For delegates who wish to stay in the centre of Siena rather than the Conference Venue, we suggest the hotels below. These hotels are within a few minutes on foot from Piazza Gamsci, where a shuttle bus will pick up delegates to take them to the conference venue every morning.

NH Excelsior ****

2 minutes walking distance from Piazza Gramsci 


Hotel Minerva ***

6 minutes walking distance from Piazza Gramsci


Hotel Chiusarelli ***

3 minutes walking distance from Piazza Gramsci


Please note: All delegates are responsible for booking their own accommodation and settling their own accounts.

Visa Information

A Schengen Visa is the document issued for visiting/travelling in and within the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country. Schengen visas are issued by the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. If you intend to visit one of the Schengen countries for business, as a tourist or for a personal/private visit, you must first obtain a Schengen visa, unless your country is part of the Shengen territory or has a special agreement. You can check which whether citizens of your country require Shengen VISA here:

Where to apply:

  • You should apply to the Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence (unless you are resident in Ireland). 
  • If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, apply to the Embassy or Consulate of that country. 
  • If you intend to visit several of the Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which your main destination is situated (longest duration of stay).

Processing time: Your application should be lodged at the Embassy or Consulate at least 2 weeks before the proposed journey is undertaken. Requirements for a Schengen visa may vary slightly between the different Schengen countries. Please visit the following link for further information:

Important information: Please notice that although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, it is your responsibility to check that the visa and travel requirements with the corresponding Embassy in your country.

Invitation Letters

If you require a letter of invitation for your visa application, please submit a request for a letter of invitation to the conference secretariat.
Registration fees must be paid in order to be issued an invitation letter. Please make sure you read the cancellation policy stated in the registration form before sending your payment.

All letters of invitation will be sent to you by email and regular mail unless otherwise specified.
Please provide the following information in your request:

  • Title (Dr., Professor, Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms, etc.)
  • Your full name (Please specify family name and given name)
  • Organization
  • Full mailing address
  • Additional information such as if you are presenting a paper at the Conference
  • We cannot provide visa letters for spouses or guests, however we can include their name on your letter

Additional Information

Please use the links below to access additional information related to the conference. All links open in a new window.