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BISO Home > USNC/TAM Homepage > About USNC/TAM 

About the U.S. National Committee

The purposes of the U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNC/TAM) are:

  • To promote theoretical and applied mechanics in the United States
  • To strive to maintain a balance between the various established subfields of mechanics and to accommodate and include emerging subfields, and
  • To represent the United States in the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM).

Committee membership is appointed by the chair of the National Research Council and includes representatives from fifteen societies or institutes, members-at-large nominated by the committee, and four officers – chair, vice-chair, past chair, and secretary.

In addition, officers of the union, members-at-large of the IUTAM General Assembly, and members of the IUTAM Congress or symposia committees who is resident in the United States are, ex officio, members of the committee.

On behalf of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council, USNC/TAM is the official U.S. representative to the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. As such, the Committee elects 5 members to the General Assembly of IUTAM. In addition, one of its members is traditionally elected by the General Assembly to serve on the Bureau of IUTAM.

IUTAM holds an international congress every four years (most recently in Adelaide, Australia in 2008). The USNC/TAM raises and distributes travel grant funds for U.S. residents to attend the international congress, and plays a major role in selecting papers to be presented by U.S. authors at the congress.

IUTAM also sponsors a number of symposia on specific topics in mechanics where participation is by invitation only and a typical size is about 100 people. USNC/TAM has responsibility for soliciting and selecting invitations to hold symposia within the United States. A list of these symposia approved by IUTAM is listed on our symposia page.

USNC/TAM has overall responsibility for the U.S. National Congresses which are held every four years. Specifically, they select the site and the General Chair of each congress and, in cooperation with the General Chair, select the Scientific Committee which is responsible for the content of the congress. The next national congress will be held at Michigan State University in June, 2014.

Starting in 1991, USNC/TAM has initiated a continuing project to regularly survey the field of mechanics with particular emphasis on illuminating areas for future research. The first three reports were books, while the later reports are brief documents meant for a more general scientific audience. The reports are:

  • Research Directions in Computational Mechanics (1991), J.T. Oden (Ed.)
  • Research Trends in Fluid Dynamics (1996), J.L. Lumley (Ed.)
  • Research Trends in Solid Mechanics (1999), G.J. Dvorak (Ed.)
  • Research Directions in Computational Mechanics (2000), J.T. Oden (Ed.)
  • Research in Fluid Dynamics: Meeting National Needs (2006), J. Gollub (Ed.)
  • Research Directions in Computational and Composite Mechanics (2007), T. Belytschko et al.

The Committee has undertaken the role of representing all of the U. S. mechanics community in maintaining a dialog with the various funding agencies such as NSF, ONR, and DOE, and with the legislative and executive branches of the national government.

Various subcommittees, listed below, exist to carry out the specific tasks involved in fulfilling the above activities. Most business of the subcommittees is done by e-mail, telephone, and correspondence. The complete committee holds a two-day meeting once a year in the spring. Meetings are usually held either in Washington, D.C., or at a national meeting such as the U.S. National Congress.

The duties of every member are to attend meetings and contribute to the discussion, and to accept and fulfill subcommittee assignments. The members who represent societies or institutes have additional responsibilities connected with that representation. On the one hand, they should report concerns of their organizations to the USNC/TAM; conversely, they are responsible for keeping their organizations informed of the activities of the USNC/TAM.

USNC/TAM Committees and Subcommittees


1. Subcommittee on Research Publications
2. Subcommittee on Communications

1. Subcommittee for U. S. National Congress
2. Subcommittee on Mechanics Symposia and Workshops
3. Subcommittee on ICTAM Travel
4. Subcommittee for ICTAM Papers Selection

1. Subcommittee for USNC/TAM Development
2. Subcommittee on Public Policy

1. Nominations Subcommittee
2. IUTAM Nomination Subcommittee
3. Operations Subcommittee




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