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EMI Board of Governors - New Members

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The EMI Nominating Committee met to review the nominations received from the EMI membership and, following article 7.4.3 of the EMI bylaws, established the slate of candidates for two open positions on the EMI Board of Governors to serve from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2022.  The election ran from June 11 to July 11, with Professor Christian Hellmich and Professor Ertugrul Taciroglu elected by the EMI membership.

Congratulations Christian, and ET!

Christian Hellmich, Ph.D., F.EMI, M.ASCE   
Department of Civil Engineering  
Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) 

Christian Hellmich pic Ever since the year of my PhD defense in 1999, my academic life has been strongly shaped and influenced by the scientific and educational culture of the Engineering Mechanics Institute, and its institutional predecessor, the Engineering Mechanics Divison of the American Society of Civil Engineers. It was the premier venue to not only embrace my activities in geotechnical and construction engineering mechanics, but also my activities at the cross roads of civil engineering in the traditional sense and the realm of life science.

In this context, I have been organising, together with Prof. Dinesh Katti, "the symposia on biological and biologically inspired materials" at the ASCE-EMI and EMD meetings ever since 2002 - this track, appearing rather "exotic" in the early years, has become kind of a landmark of the EMI conference series ever since. I was also honored to serve very extensively in the technical committees of ASCE-EMD/EMI, in particular so as the chairman of three of these committee: material properties, poromechanics, and biomechanics. Moreover, I have been serving as associate editor of the Journal of Engineering Mechanics ever since 2004; providing my share to the remarkable development of this journal in the last 15 years, in particular so under the leadership of Prof. Roberto Ballarini.

Furthermore, I was the (leading) co-chairman of two EMI conferences held outside the US, the 2013 Biot conference and the 2015 CONCREEP conference - both having, at a comparatively early point in time, strengthened the role of the EMI as a globally active community at the very forefront of the engineering sciences.

My wish is to bring in all the experience that I gained over these years and the ideas I have for the future, into the central strategic organ of the EMI: its board; and to help continuing the singular success story which EMI has been so far. In this context, I see three main challenges which EMI needs to meet in the years to come:

1. To provide the premier forum for a unique, continuous growing scientific community at the cross roads of traditional civil engineering, physics, and biology - being nurtured by high-level interactions in the form of intense and deep, cross-disciplinary scientific discussions.

2. To reflect the outcomes of these interactions through high impact publications in EMI's flag ship journal (or future journal series?), further pushing the EMI scientific literature to become, more than ever, the key international reference for the field of engineering mechanics in both the traditional and the broad, innovative sense. 

3. To nurture the science and engineering progress within EMI; through promotion of EMI within the other scientific communities I am part of, in particular so the Materials Science and Biomechanics communities, and to strengthen the international role of EMI, in particular so in Europe and Asia.

Ertugrul Taciroglu, Ph.D., F.EMI, M.ASCE
Samueli School of Engineering                                             
University of California, Los Angeles

Ertugrul Taciroglu pic My involvement with ASCE's engineering mechanics community of researchers began at the 12th 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 some practices that I observed in various other engineering and science disciplines, which I fear we have not fully embraced in our community. These are open development, and data & method sharing. I believe these two practices 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 (possibly through new mechanisms/capabilities that can be established within the ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics) for sharing everything related to the discipline of mechanics-including codes, experimental data, and benchmark problems, and community appraisal tools-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 and modules for undergraduate courses in mechanics.