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BISO Home > USNC/TAM Homepage > USNC/TAM Reports > Reports: Recent Trends in Mechanics

Reports: Recent Trends in Mechanics

The U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNC/TAM) has initiated a new series of periodic reports, Recent Trends in Mechanics. The new reports are typically spearheaded by one of the Committee members, working with other experts in the subject, but proposals from interested researchers are also encouraged.

Three types of reports are developed:

  • Focused topical reports or review articles publishable in archival or trade journals on specific areas identifying current and future trends on a topic in mechanics. In either case, the report will be distributed by the USNC/TAM in print and electronically.
  • Applications-related reports that highlight the importance of various areas of mechanics to critical national needs in science and technology. Examples could include “U.S. energy needs and critical contributions from mechanics research” or “U.S. environmental issues and technical contributions in mechanics”. The intent is that these reports contain high level information that is of use to and helps to influence policy makers when national research priorities are under consideration. These reports would also contain detailed discussions that would be of interest to the research community. It is expected that these reports will be prepared in cooperation with a number of colleagues in academia, government laboratories, and industry.
  • Web-based reports, blogs, discussion groups, etc, that take advantage of internet based tools. These could follow formats of various blogs; they could emulate the successful model of and provide a continuous forum for discussion of research trends. This requires ‘Moderators’ who are willing to engage in such continuous discussions. In addition to discussion groups, these could also become repositories of commentaries, archives for mechanics success stories, and general sources for the promotion of mechanics.

Proposal Requirements and Deadlines

Proposals for developing/writing such reports in any of the above formats are solicited annually. Researchers interested in developing reports on Recent Trends in Mechanics in any of the above formats should send a proposal by e-mail to with the subject line “USNCTAM-Reports” before April 15 of each year. The proposal should contain the following:

  • Title
  • Proposed authors/coordinators and their contact information
  • A 200-word statement indicating the importance of the topic, the timeliness of the report, and potential audience (policy makers or researchers)

The decision of the USNC/TAM will be communicated by May 31 of each year; one member of the USNC/TAM will be added as coordinator/co-author of the report. Selected authors will be required to submit the completed report within six months (November 30). The report will then be reviewed by the USNC/TAM prior to approval and publication.

Sub-Committee on Reports for 2013-2014: K. Ravi-Chandar, Chair (, G. McKinley, Vice-Chair (, A. Karagozian ( and E. Tadmor (

Recent Trends in Mechanics reports that were completed in 2013 or 2014 include:

Recent Trends in Mechanics MedicineUSNCTAM Perspectives on Mechanics in Medicine: This report aims to identify the most pressing challenges in Biological Sciences and Medicine that can be tackled within the broad field of Mechanics. This echoes and complements a number of national and international initiatives aiming at fostering interdisciplinary biomedical research. This report also comments on cultural/educational challenges. The full 46-page report can be downloaded here. In addition, this report is also available online through Interface, a journal of the British Royal Society, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.
Recent Trends in Mechanics Small Scales

Research Directions in Experimental Solid Mechanics at Small Scales: The goal of this report is to identify major research topics in this area that are likely to be the focus of enquiry for the next decade. Since these topics will invariably spur the development of new tools, some attention will also be directed towards current trends in this arena. This report gathers the input of a number of leaders in topics of interest and the development of new tools. The full 26-page report can be downloaded here.

Recent Trends in Mechanics U.S. Energy

U.S. Energy and Environmental Challenges and Fundamental Contributions from Mechanics Research: As the backbone of engineering systems, the field of mechanics writ large (i.e., the fields of fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, mechanics of materials, computational mechanics, nano-mechanics, and so forth) continues to have a profound impact on the solution to global energy and environmental challenges. This report provides an overview of these challenges, and describes a number of promising technical directions in their solution for which the field of mechanics plays a key role. While this report is not intended to be a comprehensive evaluation of all possible energy and propulsion technologies of the future, it does identify the most promising technologies for which contributions from broad areas within mechanics will be crucial for success. The full 18-page report can be downloaded here.

Other Past USNCTAM Reports

An archive of past reports can be found on the USNC/TAM’s report webpage.