EMI 2014 Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference August 5-8, 2014

EMI 2014, "Mechanics for Sustainable and Resilient Systems", is held at McMaster University - Canada. This is the first time EMI conference is held outside the United States and would like to invite our colleagues, students and industrial partners that are working in the field of Mechanics in Canada, US, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia to contribute to this exciting event.

Abstracts are now being accepted for the following general and mini-symposium tracks:

EMI General Tracks Organizers
General EMI Submissions Samir Chidiac (Chair), McMaster University, Canada


This topic deals with aging of the existing civil infrastructure. It is particularly relevant to concrete/reinforced concrete structures suffering from degradation of mechanical properties triggered by chemical and/or environmental interaction. The contributions related to this theme and addressing the formulation of the problem, numerical simulation of the underlying phenomena and/or the assessment of the remedial actions (retrofitting), are invited.

Stan Pietruszczak (Chair), McMaster University, Canada
Samir Chidiac, McMaster University, Canada
Cementitious Materials Bernhard Pichler (Chair), Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Samir Chidiac, McMaster University, Canada

Computational Mechanics

Presentations are welcome with regard to the development of innovative techniques or algorithms to model physical phenomena, ranging from materials and civil/mechanical engineering applications to modelling of large scale geophysical phenomena involving ice, rock and mantle. Topics of interest include, for example, multi-scale/multi-domain modelling, integrated numerical simulation such as combined FEM-DEM or hydromechanical coupled analyses, treatment of localization or boundary layers and failure, and analysis techniques for real time or dynamic biomechanical systems.

Dieter Stolle (Chair), McMaster University, Canada
Stan Pietruszczak, McMaster University, Canada
Peijun Guo, McMaster University, Canada
Fluid Mechanics Q. Jim Chen (Chair), Louisiana State University, USA
Mohamad Hajj, Virginia Tech, USA
Geomechanics Stan Pietruszczak (Co-chair), McMaster University, Canada
Peijun Guo (Co-chair), McMaster University, Canada
Life-Cycle Performance Samir Chidiac (Co-chair), McMaster University, Canada
Roger Ghanem (Co-chair), University of Southern California, USA
Man-Made and Natural Hazards

Samir Chidiac (Chair), McMaster University, Canada
Wael El-Dakhakhni, McMaster University, Canada
Mike Tait, McMaster University, Canada

Materials Bernhard Pichler (Chair), Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Samir Chidiac, McMaster University, Canada
Structural Mechanics

Presentations are welcome with regard to basic and advanced structural mechanics applications of infrastructure systems with emphasis on resilience and health issues of bridges, buildings and equipment (or secondary components). Topics of interest include, for example, response of structures to harsh environments (chemical, nuclear) or extreme events (seismic, as well as blast, wind and environmental loading), natural disaster mitigation, structural optimization and monitoring, advances in hybrid simulation techniques to assess health of structural systems, real-time hybrid simulation procedures, use of smart material technology.

Dieter Stolle (Chair), McMaster University, Canada
Stan Pietruszczak, McMaster University, Canada
Samir Chidiac, McMaster University, Canada

EMI2014 Mini-Symposium Tracks Organizers

Advances in Soil and Granular Mechanics with Applications to Natural Hazards

The symposium aims to bring researchers and practitioners from academia, government agencies, and industry together to share the progress in the understanding of the influence of soil and granular material behavior in the development and propagation of natural hazards, such as earthquakes, liquefaction, landslides, debris flows, rock falls, soil erosion…through experimental, theoretical and numerical studies.

Pierre-Yves Hicher (Chair), Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France
Shunying Ji, Dalian University of Technology, China
Ching S. Chang, University of Massachusettes, USA
Mahdia Hattab, University of Lorraine, France
Matthew Kuhn, University of Portland, USA
Analytical and Experimental Investigations on Hazard Assessment and Mitigation of Critical Infrastructure Suren Chen (Co-chair), Colorado State University, USA
Asad Esmaeily (Co-chair), Kansas State University, USA
Yunping Xi (Co-chair), University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Samir Chidiac, McMaster University, Canada
Cementitious Materials: Experiments and Modeling Across the Scales
The objective of this symposium is to discuss recent advances in experimental oriented research and in modeling of cementitious materials across the scales, ranging from atomistic via molecular, nano, micro, and meso up to the macro scale, including also related applications in the field of engineering mechanics. Analytical and computational models for cementitious materials as well as related experimental techniques, addressing various length and time scales and physical phenomena relevant for the behavior of cementitious materials subjected to different environmental and loading conditions are welcome. Innovative approaches suitable to increase insight into complex phenomena as well as predictive models increasing safety and efficiency in practical applications are especially encouraged.
Bernhard Pichler (Chair), Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Franz Ulm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Christian Hellmich, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Guenther Meschke, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
Samir Chidiac, McMaster University, Canada
Computational Geomechanics for Subsurface Energy Extraction and Carbon Sequestration
Drilling, injection and/or production are major activities in exploitation of subsurface energy resources and subsurface storage of fluids. Mechanical behavior of rock and fracture is the key to assessing the efficacy and environmental concerns associated with these activities. Understanding the mechanical behavior of rock and fracture requires knowledge of their interaction with heat transfer, fluid flow, and sometimes chemical reactions. Computational geomechanics provides powerful tools to investigate rock and fracture behavior in these activities as field or laboratory methods are not available. This mini-symposium will discuss both fundamentals and applications of computational geomechanics involved in these activities. Abstracts on or related to these topics are all welcome.
Shunde Yin (Chair), University of Wyoming, USA
Peijun Guo (Co-chair), McMaster University, Canada
Leo Rothenburg (Co-chair), University of Waterloo, Canada 
Patrick Selvadurai (Co-chair), McGill University, Canada
Computational Methods and Applications for Solid and Structural Mechanics Haim Waisman (Chair), Columbia University, USA
Ertugrul Taciroglu, University of Southern California, USA
Caglar Oskay, Vanderbilt University, USA

Computational Modeling in Civil Engineeering

Performance-based design and assessment approaches are slowly taking root in civil engineering, and are poised to replace the existing prescriptive methods. These advances have provided the impetus for the development, as well as more routine use, of high-fidelity computational simulation tools in all areas of civil engineering. Moreover, even in physical testing, high-fidelity simulations are increasingly being used to complement and enhance experiments, leading to novel hybrid testing protocols.

In this mini symposium, we aim to bring together researchers who develop or utilize advanced computational methods for analysis or design of civil structures (bridges, buildings, dams, tunnels, etc.).

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Performance- or reliability-based methods of design or analysis
  • Methods for analysis of coupled problems in civil engineering, such as soil-structure, and fluid-structure interaction problems
  • Optimal design of structures
  • Development and application of algorithms or tools for massive computational simulation in civil engineering applications
  • Advanced methods for numerical simulation of various types of structures (wood, masonry, reinforced-concrete, steel, etc.) under extreme loads (seismic, impact, blast, wind)
  • Reduced-order modeling in civil engineering applications (including the development of macro-elements)
  • Development and validation of novel constitutive models for civil engineering materials
Ertugrul Taciroglu (Chair), University of Southern California Los Angeles, USA
Wael El-Dakhakhni, McMaster University, Canada
Loukas Kallivokas, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Caglar Oskay, Vanderbuilt University, USA
Haim Waisman, Columbia University, USA

Engineering Mechanics and Innovation

This symposium is co-sponsored by CSCE’s Engineering Mechanics & Materials Division and Innovation & IT Committee. The objective of this symposium is to share information on the conceptual and technical innovations in the field of engineering mechanics and materials. Topics of interest include innovations and applications in new and existing structures, sustainable and resilient construction, and emerging materials for improved structural performance.

Dan Palermo (Co-chair), York University, Canada
Simon Foo (Co-chair), PWGSC, Canada

Experimental and Numerical Methods in Multi-scale Granular Mechanics

The symposium aims to bring researchers and practitioners from academia, government agencies, and industry together to share the state of the art in understanding the mechanics of particulate and granular materials at multiple length scales through experimental and numerical means.

Ali Daouadji (Chair), University of Lorraine, France
Anil Misra, University of Kansas, USA
Tang-Tat Ng, University of New Mexico, USA
Matthew Kuhn, University of Portland, USA
Peijun Guo, McMaster University, Canada

Mechanics of Biological and Biomimetic Materials and Structures

Merging atomistic with continuum approaches, as well as the conceptually separated fields of small and large strain mechanics applied to biological/biomimetic systems, while aiming in both cases at real quantitative description of material systems, are topics at their very infancy, but with very encouraging results provided by the civil engineering mechanics community.

Christian Hellmich (Chair), Vienna University of Technology, Austria 
Dinesh Katti, North Dakota State University, USA
Sinan Keten, Northwestern University, USA
Claire Morin, Ecole des Mines St. Etienne, France
Mechanics of Composite Structures; Damage/Impact Modelling Reza Vaziri (Co-chair), University of British Columbia, Canada
Pizhong Qiao (Co-chair), Washington State University, USA
Mechanobiology of Soft and Hard Tissues Stefan Scheiner (Chair), Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Claire Morin, Ecole des Mines St. Etienne, France
Greg Wohl, McMaster University, Canada

Multiscale Behaviour of Damage and Failure Mechanics

Multiscale materials modeling and characterization has been recognized as one of the fundamental tools to study the local damage and failure behavior of heterogeneous structures at the microscale and overall constitutive relations. This mini-symposium is to provide a forum to discuss recent advances and address the future prospects in the area of multiscale modeling/characterization of damage and failure mechanics. Interested researchers are invited to submit one-page abstracts on topics which include, but are not limited to:

  • Microstructural damage/failure characterization of heterogeneous materials;
  • Micromechanical damage analysis of materials;
  • Multiscale constitutive relations with damage parameters;
  • Microstructure – property relations of advanced materials and composites;
  • Nanomechanical characterization, analysis and modeling of damage and fracture mechanics;
  • Experimental determination of damage and failure at multi-length scales;
  • Probabilistic damage/failure mechanics and mechanisms;
  • Experimental characterization and validation of damage and failure mechanics.

Presented technical papers are encouraged to submit to International Journal of Damage Mechanics for publication.

Lizhi Sun (Chair), University of California, Irvine, USA
J. Woody Ju, University of California, Los Angeles, USA 
George Z. Voyiadjis, Louisiana State University, USA
Glaucio H. Paulino, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Multiscale Characterization and Modeling of Multifunctional Materials

The assignment of multiple functions to one structural component provides a unique approach to structural design and optimization as well as material saving, which has led to novel material design and manufacture technologies. For a new technology to be technically effective and economically feasible, a holistic approach is essential to assure that the interactions and potential synergies between the multi-physical properties and the microstructure of the materials are properly understood, modeled, and where possible exploited, while eliminating or minimizing any potentially detrimental consequences or interactions. This minisymposium provides a forum for civil engineering researchers to present the state-of-the-art research of multi-scale/physical characterization and modeling of emerging and conventional multifunctional materials, whether natural or engineered materials, heterogenous or homogenous materials. One goal of the mini-symposium is to promote collaboration between physical and computational experimentalists and, therefore, both types of work are welcome. The topics related to design, fabrication, characterization and modeling of multifunctional materials for mechanical behavior coupled with physical conditions in temperature, humidity, electric, magnetic, and acoustic aspects are especially encouraged.

Huiming Yin (Chair), Columbia University, USA
Richard Regueiro,  Associate Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Jose Andrade, Professor, California Institute of Technology, USA

Novel Materials and Technologies for SHM

This mini-symposium covers novel materials and technologies to undertake structural health monitoring of structures. Existing sensor hardware and software technologies pose challenges in undertaking structural health monitoring (SHM), which limit their broad implementation in full-scale structures. To realize the full potential of SHM, it is critical to develop new sensing solutions dedicated to the task of monitoring of civil structures, and to process measurement data. In particular, novel materials and technologies, including nanocomposites, smart systems, MEMS, etc., offer great potential in developing successful SHM strategies. This session discusses recent advances in novel materials and technologies enabling SHM, as well as novel data processing methods used to undertake SHM. In addition to novel materials and methods, particular emphasis will be placed on new results obtained from the field and laboratory studies.

Simon Laflamme (Co-chair), Iowa State University, USA
Sriram Narasimhan (Co-chair), University of Waterloo, Canada
Juan Caecedo, University of Southern California, USA

Oil and Gas Reservoir Modeling Zhangxing (John) Chen (Co-chair), University of Calgary, Canada
Ibrahim Hoteit (Co-chair), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
Christian Hellmich, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Progressive Collapse in Buildings and Bridges

Progressive collapse (PC) of civil infrastructures (defined as propagation of failure through the structural system as a result from a localized structural failure) has gained immense attention in the past decade or so. Most of the research had centered on the PC of buildings. Moreover, most of the research have focused on limited aspects of PC of buildings, namely flexural failure of beams and connection behavior. Even though those failures might be necessary, they are by no mean sufficient. Thus, even after more than a decade of PC research and development, there remain large knowledge gaps in the field of PC of civil infrastructures.

This session will address some of those knowledge gaps. Role of columns as well as the global structural system in the propagation of failure of buildings are discussed. Important considerations of PC issue in bridges will also be discussed. This include the limitations of current practices which emphasis fracture critical of bridges to the exclusion of other important bridge-specific parameters.

The overarching objectives of the session are 1-to present results of current research of PC in both buildings and bridges, 2-identify many of the knowledge gaps that still need to be explored, and 3-offer some important, but not well known or practiced, recommendations for researchers and practitioners in the field of civil infrastructures PC.

Mohammed M. Ettouney (Chair), Weidlinger Associates, Inc.

Seismic Protective Systems for Structures and Nonstructural Components

The mini symposium will focus on recent advances in earthquake protection technologies, with an emphasis on seismic isolation, energy dissipation and vibration control, aimed at protecting both buildings and nonstructural components.

Dimitrios Konstantinidis (Chair), McMaster University, Canada
Tracy Becker (Co-chair), McMaster University, Canada
Lydell Wiebe (Co-chair), McMaster University, Canada

Stability of Solids and Structures

This symposium supported by the ASCE EMI Stability committee is to provide a forum to discuss recent advances and address the future prospects in the area of stability of solids and structures. Interested researchers are invited to submit abstracts on topics which include, but are not limited to:

  • Buckling of composite members;
  • Plate buckling;
  • Buckling of thin-walled structures;
  • Advanced beam analysis;
  • Interactive buckling and nonlocal mechanics;
  • Buckling of micro/nano structures;
  • Shear effects for in-plane and out-of-plane analyses;
  • Inelastic buckling;
  • Anisotropic effects, microstructured materials and stability problems;
  • Buckling of sandwich structures;
  • Stability of partially composite members and delamination effects;
  • Post-buckling analysis;
  • Dynamic buckling;
  • Continuum Damage Mechanics and stability problems
Yang Xiang (Chair), University of Western Sydney, Australia
Noël Challamel (Co-chair), University of South Brittany UBS, France
Jifeng Xu (Co-chair), Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd., China
Ahmer Wadee (Co-chair), Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Stochastic Methods for Material Characterization and Simulation

Nearly every engineering material in use today possesses some degree of randomness in its morphology. This includes materials ranging from cementitious composites (concrete) to polycrystalline metals, fiber reinforced polymers, timber, and amorphous glasses among nearly infinite others. Stochastic methods have advanced significantly in recent years as a means to quantify the randomness of these materials; thereby enabling a richer and more accurate characterization. In parallel with these characterization methods, new stochastic simulation methods have evolved that allow the efficient and accurate creation of artificial morphologies possessing the same statistical features. This mini-symposium is intended to bring together researchers focusing on these issues to discuss the latest developments and future goals for the field. The organizers hope to bring together works spanning the range of engineering materials to provide a varied perspective and opportunities to learn from one another.

Michael Shields (Co-chair), Johns Hopkins University, USA
Sanjay Arwade (Co-chair), University of Massachusetts - Amherst, USA

Stochastic Modeling of Pavements and Infrastructure Materials

Performance of pavement structures is linked to its microstructure properties and distribution, which is known to be complex and heterogeneous. On the other hand, the scatter observed in the responses of pavement structures to loading and environmental conditions has been linked to the inherent uncertainties and variability associated with their microstructures. In order to design and predict the behavior of such complex structure, it is vital to understand the effect of uncertainties and variability at scales ranging from finest to coarsest.

Studies pertaining to infrastructure materials and pavement structures within statistical frameworks have gained momentum in recent years. Thus, this mini-symposium, supported by both the EMI committees on probabilistic methods and mechanics of pavements, aims to highlight the recent advances associated with stochastic modelling of pavement behavior, for instance, stochastic modeling and propagation of infrastructure materials contributing to this behavior. In addition, it aims to bring together experts from various fields pertaining to pavement structures, advanced materials characterization, uncertainty quantification, probabilistic methods, etc. Hence, this mini-symposium would be a good opportunity to exchange ideas, stimulate discussions, and initiate a dialogue among experts from various fields, which in turn would pave the road for more advanced researches that address the complex nature of pavement structures in relation to material composition and behavior at various scales.
The topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Stochastic modeling and identification of materials and constitutive models.
  • Stochastic multiscale modeling of infrastructure materials.
  • Propagation of uncertainties and variability in pavement structures.
  • Probabilistic and reliability analysis of pavement structures.
  • Stochastic modeling of failure in pavement structures


Loujaine Mehrez (Co-chair), Texas A&M University at Qatar, Qatar
Eyad Masad (Co-chair), Texas A&M University at Qatar, Qatar
Roger Ghanem (Co-chair), University of Southern California, USA

Structural Identification and Damage Detection

The mini-symposium deals with structural identification methods and applications, as well as structural health monitoring algorithms for damage detection and reliability prognosis. It covers theoretical and computational issues, applications in structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, as well as other related engineering disciplines. Topics relevant to the session include: theoretical and experimental modal identification, operational modal analysis, linear and nonlinear system identification, statistical system identification methods (maximum-likelihood, Bayesian inference) for parameter and state estimation, model updating/validation and correlation, uncertainty quantification in model selection and parameter estimation, stochastic simulation techniques for state estimation and model class selection, structural health monitoring and fault detection techniques, optimal strategies for experimental design, optimal sensor and actuator location methods, structural prognosis techniques, updating response and reliability predictions using data. Papers dealing with experimental investigation and verification of theories are especially welcomed.

Costas Papadimitriou(Co-chair), University of Thessaly, Greece
Eleni Chatzi (Co-chair), ETH-Zurich, Swizerland

Uncertainty Propagation and Calibration of Computational Intensive Models

Many computational models relies on a large number of poorly-known parameters as inputs. Quantifying the influence of each of these parameters on the output of the computational model in what is commonly called uncertainty quantification (UQ) study. This mini-symposium focuses on recent advances in UQ methods including Bayesian statistical method, intrusive and non-intrusive polynomial chaos, Gaussian processes and Ensemble based methods (EnKF, ES). Additionally, hybrid approaches combining standard sensitivity analysis and stochastic methods is also of interest. We encourage the participation of a broad range of applications in the fields of computational mechanics and computational flow dynamics including the areas of optimal experiment design, stochastic optimization, risk analysis, data assimilation, environmental science and geomechanical engineering.

Ahmed Elsheikh (Co-chair), Heriot-Watt University, Scotland
Mahesh Pandey (Co-chair), University of Waterloo, Canada
Roger Ghanem, University of Southern California, USA
Sanjay Arwade (Co-chair), University of Massachusetts - Amherst, USA

Wind Engineering Issues for Low Buildings and Other Structures

The mini-symposium will focus on emerging issues in wind engineering. Examples include, but are not limited to, laboratory or post-storm analysis of building or component failures, studies of the wind field in the atmospheric surface layer and in non-synoptic storms, the flow field around buildings in extreme wind and wind tunnel scaling issues, wind effects on building equipment, studies of wind-borne debris, and developments pertaining to database-assisted design.

Greg Kopp (Co-chair), University of Western Ontario, Canada
Mike Tait (Co-chair), McMaster University, Canada

Submitting an Abstract

To submit an abstract, you must first create a user account and register as "Author". Once you are logged in, select USER HOME then NEW SUBMISSION. Abstracts will be limited to 350 words.

We recommend that you review the About the Conference page for the conference's policies.

Abstract submission deadline: Extended to April 25, 2014

We look forward to your contribution and to seeing you at McMaster on August the 5, 2014.