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Upcoming EMI Elections to the Board of Governors

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The EMI Nominating Committee met to review the nominations received from the EMI membership and, following article 8.1 of the EMI bylaws, established the slate of candidates below for the two open positions on the EMI Board of Governors to serve from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2020.

Members of EMI who are eligible to vote (EMI members who are not students and who are current with their membership dues by the date of record - May 31) will receive their email ballot from ( please allow all e-mails from this address, and make sure your e-mail address of record is current ) with log-in credentials, on or about June 2, 2017.  The election will be conducted primarily on-line, but provisions have been made for members for whom no e-mail address is available or to whom e-mail messages could not be delivered.

Yuri Bazilevs, PhD., A.M.ASCE, University of California, San Diego (USA)

Vision Statement

I've been a part of EMI since 2008 when I joined the Computational Mechanics Technical Committee. Since then I followed closely the rapid growth of the Institute, and noticed that in the past five years the size of the annual EMI meeting has nearly doubled from about 350 to 700, or so, participants. I feel there are good reasons for that. Unlike other Societies or Divisions that favor a particular direction in Engineering and Applied Mechanics, EMI provides a forum where experimentalists, analytical researchers, and computational scientists come together on equal footing. This, in turn, creates an environment where fruitful and truly interdisciplinary discussions take place, and new ideas are born. I also think that it's the interdisciplinary nature of EMI that attracts a lot of young researchers - students, postdocs, and young faculty - to EMI meetings. If elected to the EMI Board of Governors, I pledge to uphold this interdisciplinary spirit of the Institute and support for young researchers.  

It is precisely due to the reasons stated above that I got excited about organizing the 2017 EMI conference in San Diego, which, as of this writing, will take place in less than one month. Having observed the rapid growth of the Institute, it occurred to me that that this growth needs to be reflected in how the Institute operates, and, in particular, in how its flagship conference is run. This year, for the first time, the EMI conference was taken from a University Campus to a Downtown Hotel setting, which is an arrangement that can better sustain the rapid growth of the Institute. If elected to the EMI Board of Governors, it will be my priority to critically assess other operations of the Institute and make the necessary adjustment to flexibly accommodate membership growth.  

I'm currently serving on the Executive Committees of the ASME Applied Mechanics Division (ASME-AMD) and the US Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM), and have accumulated significant leadership experience in Mechanics-oriented organizations. I have also organized several large conferences, mainly in Computational Mechanics. These experiences have taught me how to "walk a fine line" between fulfilling an organization's mission of promoting its core disciplines and best serving its members, and having ample funds and assets to do so. If elected to the EMI Board of Governors, I will use these experiences for the betterment of the Institute.

Gianluca Cusatis, Ph.D, M.ASCE, Northwestern University (USA)

Vision Statement

I am glad to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Governors of the Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI). I believe my experience and track record of service in several professional associations can bring new energy and new ideas to the governance of EMI.

I have been active in EMI since 2008 when, as a young assistant professor, I attended the inaugural conference of EMI held at the University of Minnesota. Since then I have considered EMI as my natural professional home. My students and I routinely present our work at EMI conferences. Currently, I serve as member of the Computational Mechanics and Modeling Inelasticity & Multiscale Behavior Committees. During my tenure in these two committees I have contributed to the organizations of several sessions at various EMI conferences. This work and commitment culminated in 2013 when I organized the EMI conference at Northwestern University. The EMI 2013 conference was very successful with more the 500 participants, 10 parallel sessions, and more than 400 presentations focusing on the conference theme which was "Mechanics for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructures". Furthermore, I am an Associate Editor for the ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics and the ASCE Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics and, in recent years, have reviewed more than 100 papers.

My service in professional associations goes beyond EMI. I am member of three ASCE-ACI joint committees, ACI 446 (Fracture Mechanics), ACI 209 (Creep and Shrinkage), ACI 447 (Finite Element Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Structures). For ACI 446, I served as chair from 2010 to 2016 and I have served as chair for 209 from 2016 to present. In addition, I am active in IA-FraMCos and IA-ConCreep, two international association dealing with various aspects for concrete mechanics, for which I serve as Treasurer and President, respectively.

As member of the EMI BOG, my vision is to promote close collaboration and joint activities between EMI and other mechanics oriented professional associations. These include ACI, IA-FraMCoS and IA-ConCreep.

The ASCE-ACI 209 ASCE-ACI 446, and ASCE-ACI 447 committees are joint ASCE-ACI committee dealing with various aspects of concrete mechanics. Despite their joint status, however, most of their activities are currently within ACI even though their objectives are very relevant to the mission of EMI. I will propose that these committees hold joint meetings with relevant EMI committees to discuss common projects such as, but not limited to, organization of thematic symposia to be held at both EMI conferences and ACI conventions, writing joint technical documents, producing joint educational material. Both ACI and EMI will benefit from leveraging on this joint work.

IA-FraMCoS and IA-ConCreep are two international associations dealing with fracture mechanics and creep/shrinkage of concrete, respectively. They organize periodic (once every three/four years) international conferences on these subjects. Concrete is the most widely used material in the World for civil engineering applications and its mechanics is particularly challenging due to a large variety of phenomena, from nanoscale water diusion to large scale size-effects. Despite the importance of concrete for civil engineering, the concrete community is still scarcely represented within EMI. For examples, in the last 4 EMI conferences, none of the Plenary Lectures dealt with concrete mechanics. In recent years, EMI has collaborated with IA-ConCreep and has published the proceedings of various ConCreep conferences. But more can be done. By building on existing collaborations and on my leadership roles in these associations, I will propose that EMI builds strategic partnerships with IA-ConCreep and IA-FraMCoS which will facilitate organizing joint events and writing joint technical documents.

In summary, I am convinced that by leveraging from each others work, limiting overlapping and duplication, joining forces towards common goals will make the work of EMI and of the other associations more eective and fruitful. This will undoubtedly provide new opportunities of growth and high quality resources for young faculty, students and practitioners. Should the Engineering Mechanics community give me the honor to serve, I look forward to contributing to the EMI governance and to serving our community in this new leadership role.

Ertugrul Taciroglu, Ph.D., F.EMI, M.ASCE, University of California, Los Angeles (USA)

Vision Statement

My involvement with ASCE's engineering mechanics community of researchers began at the 12 th Engineering Mechanics Conference, which was held in San Diego in 1998. I defended my dissertation that same year, and little did I know that the seeds of my future employment at UCLA were sown during the event. Since that time, I considered the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Conferences as my natural habitat. Over the years, I have seen these conferences evolve, and the community's research activities become increasingly vibrant and better organized. The Engineering Mechanics Institute played a positive role in those developments, which was formed in 2007.  

My vision of service for EMI is based on what I observe in some of the other disciplines, which I fear we have not fully embraced in our community. These are openness and sharing. I believe these two virtues are essential for increasing the pace of discovery and development, and for achieving significant advances in application and societal impact. To that end, I would like to work within the EMI Board of Governors to explore the development of an online venue for sharing everything related to the discipline of mechanics-including codes, experimental data, benchmark problems, pre-prints, forum discussions-as well as the development of mechanisms that rewards contributors. Coupled with that objective, I would also like to pursue an EMI-led initiative to commission the development of information-technology-infused materials for undergraduate courses in mechanics.

Pol Spanos, Ph.D., P.E., NAE, F.EMI, Dist.M.ASCE, Rice University (USA)

Vision Statement

I am honored to be considered for this position of great gravitas within the Engineering Mechanics Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. 

Since its creation in 2007, the Engineering Mechanics Institute has done extremely well. Its main target for the future should be the consolidation of its image as a premier forum for seminal research and professional recognition in the broad mission of developing and applying mechanics related  concepts and methods. 

This target can be reached through continual and concerted actions along various paths, including, but not limited to: 

  1. Resolute pursuance of a wider participation of members, both nationally and internationally, with strong emphasis on recruiting junior members who are expected to become the focal part of EMI in the future.
  2. Careful assessment  of challenges and options in establishing new conferences with themes  of obvious academic, professional, and societal importance while maintaining and enhancing the prestige of the current conferences organized by EMI.
  3. Unequivocal commitment to swiftly recognizing emerging fields in mechanics and incorporating them into the activities of EMI, so that the Institute can become the leading forum in these new societal/professional endeavors.
  4. Diligent cultivation of close collaboration with the industrial sectors.
  5. Intense enrichment of EMI's educational activities both in academia and in professional practice.
  6. Strategic establishment of an active role of EMI in interfacing with the National Academies, the National Science Foundation, and various funding agencies.
  7. Visible Inauguration of programs for substantive mentorship of members of underrepresented minorities in K-12 education.

Summary of past involvement with EMI/EMD: My involvement with EMI/EMD has been through participation in EMI/EMD conferences and membership in the Probabilistic Methods and Dynamics Committees. Further, I have served two terms as an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics. Furthermore, I have benefited from the experience of serving as the Chair of the EMD Executive Committee.