Materials Characterisation 2013   

6th International Conference on Computational Methods and Experiments in Materials Characterisation

pcr.jpg4 - 6 June 2013
Siena, Italy


Materials Characterisation 2013

The sixth international conference on Computational Method and Experiments in Materials Characterisation took place in La Certosa di Pontignano, a conference centre of the University Siena. The meeting was organised by Glasgow Caledonian University, represented by Agnieska Klemm, and the Wessex Institute of Technology, represented by Professor Carlos A Brebbia.

The 2013 meeting follows the series of previous conferences, the first of which took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2003, followed by others in Portland, Maine (2005); Bologna (2007); the New Forest campus of the Wessex Institute (2009) and the island of Kos, Greece (2011).

The aim of the conference is to facilitate interactions with the research community and discuss the latest developments in this rapidly advancing field.

The meeting responds to the demand for high quality products for industry and consumers, which has led to rapid developments in materials science and engineering. This requires knowledge of the properties of the materials. Consideration of different experimental techniques as well as computer simulation methods is essential to achieve a proper analysis. A very wide range of materials necessitates a whole spectrum of materials characterisation, experimental techniques and numerical methods.

Delegates during the conference
Professor Carlos A Brebbia opened the meeting by welcoming the delegates and explaining the aims of the Wessex Institute, which acts as a medium for the dissemination of knowledge. This objective – Carlos explained – is achieved through collaboration, research and training programmes at postgraduate and professional level, organisation of specialised seminars and conferences, publication and dissemination of books and journals. An important activity at the Institute is collaborating and promoting services to industry. This is achieved by participation in joint research programmes, such as those supported by the EU, quality software programmes and advanced consulting services.

Collaboration with industry has been – Carlos said – one of the success stories for WIT as the solution techniques developed thirty or so years ago by his research team are now widely applied in engineering practice. Carlos then referred to the boundary element methods capabilities in aerospace, offshore structures, aeronautics, electromagnetism and many other fields. The demand for these services has increased to such as extent that the Institute has been able to expand those activities. The importance of the success of the Boundary Element Method, Carlos said, is that is validates the research carried out many years ago, which is highly rewarding for him, other researchers and his team.

Carlos also explained that all papers published in the conference volume, as well as those of previous conferences, are permanently archived in the Web at where they are available to the international community. The conference books are published in paper and digital format and widely distributed throughout the world.  Papers presented at the Wessex Institute conferences are referenced and regularly appear in notable reviews, publications and databases.

 Invited Presentations

Dr A Klemm
The conference was opened by a keynote address given by Dr Agnieska Klemm on the topic of ‘Suitability and Durability of Construction Materials – Research and Education’ which reviewed the state of the art in this important field. The built in environment requires a substantial amount of energy and the development of more efficient materials in terms of thermal properties, reduced energy requirements and others, is crucial for future developments of our society.

There were other invited presentations, including:

  • ‘Material homogenization of metal-ceramic composites by NTFA’ by Eckart Schnack, Karlsruhe University, Germany
  • ‘A microstructural study on the high temperature oxidation, carburetion and sulfidation of HK 40 and Incoloy’ by Ieda Caminha, Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia, Brazil
  • ‘Application of the X-ray technique for monitoring hydration and setting processes in cementitious composites’ by Paul Baker, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
  • ‘Utilising implanted carbon fibre as a resistive heating element in wind turbine blade anti-icing systems’ by Alireza Maheri, Northumbria University, UK
  • ‘The effect of different surface topographies on the corrosion behaviour of nickel’ by Derek Northwood, University of Windsor, Canada
  • ‘Prediction of slurry erosive wear behaviour of AI6061 alloy using a fuzzy logic approach’ by Mark Hadfield, Bournemouth University, UK

 Conference Topics

The papers were classified into the following topics

  • Micro and macro materials characterisation
  • Mechanical characterisation and testing
  • Computational models and experiments
  • Corrosion problems
  • Cementitious materials
  • Advances in composites
  • Surface and contact problems

 Social Occasions

Conference dinner
The conference offered numerous occasions for the participants to meet and discuss topics of interest outside the formal presentations and sessions. Coffee and lunches were served in the beautiful cloisters and gardens of La Certosa, where the participants could stroll at leisure.

The International Scientific Advisory Committee were invited to dinner to express the appreciation of WIT for their work in reviewing abstracts and papers. A few locations were discussed to reconvene the conference in 2015, over excellent Tuscan food and wines and in a very friendly atmosphere.

The conference dinner took place in a restaurant in Siena renowned by the standards of its Tuscan cuisine. The restaurant has a panoramic view towards the centre of the town. The excellent fare was accompanied by the Chianti wines for which the region is famous throughout the world. A few informal speeches closed the banquet, expressing their satisfaction at the conference technical proceedings as well as the friendly atmosphere surrounding the meeting.

 Closing of the Conference

La Certosa
The conference was closed by Carlos who thanked all delegates for their participation and inviting them to collaborate with WIT and, in particular, WIT Press, whose new International Journal on Computational Methods and Experimental Methods is most appropriate for publication of extended versions of some of the papers presented at the meeting. He also mentioned that WIT Press objective is to increase the number of books and other conference proceedings that it publishes every year. He invited the delegates to contact him regarding possible publications. WIT Press provides and distributes all its output in digital as well as paper format. Digital publications – Carlos stated – have taken over very fast, particularly in the technical and scientific fields. WIT embraces this development as it is helping to spread further the work of the Institute and the conference papers published by WIT Press.

Carlos ended his remarks by hoping that the delegates will consider visiting the WIT campus next time they are in the region.

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of Materials Characterisation 2013 - Materials Characterisation VI, 364pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-720-9; eISBN: 978-1-84564-721-6) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 77 of WIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences (ISSN: 1746-4471, Digital ISSN 1743-3533). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at

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