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MichelleLOyen's blog

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Twitter and iMechanica

How many iMechanica users are on Twitter?  And how many are on Twitter with professional contacts? 

 I started to use Twitter about 4 months ago in a completely social, non-professional context.  As a personal (expat-focussed) blogger, I started to notice that I was
catching blog posts in my Twitter feed before I would see them in my
feed aggregator (Bloglines).   Twitter has emerged as a different sort
of feed aggregator, as well as a provider of information. 

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Nanoindentation of Biological Materials

Recently published, this special issue of the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, dedicated to ‘Nanoindentation of Biological Materials' provides a snapshot of the novel uses on nanoindentation technology that is now readily available to researchers and expands the scope of existing techniques to optimize methods for biological tissues and related biomaterials.
Access the issue online: (ScienceDirect subscribers)

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Female Science Professor-- blog and book

Nature recently favorably reviewed a new self-published book, based on a blog , by a "female physical sciences professor" in the US.  While the overarching theme is clearly about being a female in a male-dominated world, the writings on the blog (and in the book) are in many places general and provide lots of good advice and anecdotes about acadmic life.  The

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Post-doctoral fellowships in Bioengineering

Highly competitive candidates are sought for locally-funded fellowships in biomechanics at Cambridge University.  The Next Generation Fellowships are being advertised through the new Centre for Trophoblast Research, an interdisciplinary research centre focused on the trophoblast, the critical cell in the development and function of the placenta. 

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Web 2.0 and Medicine

I stumbled across this interesting blog post yesterday concerning an upcoming course on medicine via web 2.0.   It appeared quite interesting from several perspectives: first, medicine is often associated with being behind the times on technology but this all looks pretty current, secondly it may be the most comprehensive listing of topics I have seen where web 2.0 is applied to a single discipline, and finally it made me wonder what more we could do with mechanics via web 2.0 beyond just the

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"Open source" education

A new AP article appeared today on  free access to college's educational materials, particularly spot-lighting the MIT Open Course Ware initiative.   Also discussed are available educational materials through iTunes and Youtube.   iMechanica has also got a growing repository of course notes on mechanics topics. 

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The leaky pipeline

A new report has been published on the "leaky pipeline" question:

A persistent problem. Traditional gender roles hold back female scientists 

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PhD Student Scholarships to Cambridge through the Gates Trust

Applications are due 15 October, 2007 for entry in 2008 to Cambridge University for graduate studies funded through the Gates Trust .  Highly competitive students interested in studying at Cambridge are encouraged to apply.  Details for Cambridge graduate studies are in the prospective here .

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Graduate students and publishing

I just stumbled on this very interesting discussion on why science graduate students should publish, regardless of their later career intentions.  I agree with the author on most points, but believe it really comes down to two things: (1) if you aren't going to communicate your results (both good and bad!) then you might as well have not bothered to do the work, and (2) becoming a good writer is a skill that every technical person will need in any career.

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Mechanics in the news

Since I am an alum of the University of Minnesota, when I was a PhD student I lived only a few blocks from the site of yesterday's catastrophic bridge collapse in Minneapolis.  The statics analysis of a truss is almost the first thing learned by every undergraduate engineering student, and appears to be relevant here.  It is interesting to see words like "fatigue crack" and "vibrations" in the news .  In light of such events,

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Biot Medal to Dr. James R. Rice

Biot Medal The 2007 Maurice A. Biot Medal for Poromechanics has been awarded during the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Conference held at Virginia Tech last Tuesday.

The 2007 Biot Medal winner is Dr. James R. Rice of Harvard University.

If you are interested in further information, such as citation of Dr. Rice's work, and photos, you can check this page:

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Biomechanics Calls for Papers: Materials Research Society - Fall 2007 Meeting

(cross-post to Biomch-L )

Two symposia solicit papers on biomechanics topics for the upcoming Materials Research Society meeting, November 26-30, 2007, Boston,  MA.  Short-form abstracts are due 20 June, 2007.

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North American Workshop on Applications of the Physics of Porous Media

The 7th North American Workshop on Applications of the Physics of Porous Media will be held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, November 2-6, 2007. This will be the 7th biennial meeting of researchers around the world who are interested in the phenomena associated with physics of fluid flow and deformation in porous media and its applications to a broad range of basic roblems encountered in geophysics, geomechanics, medical physics, and condensed matter physics.

Full details are available at the website:

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We must not forget to teach the fundamentals

An interesting blog discussion on the disappearance of fundamentals from teaching in Universities was brought to my attention.  It serves as an interesting reminder that we who are educators in the University system must be ever vigilent in planning mechanics curricula and changes to curriculum.  Should we be offering courses in the area of this month's jClub, "Nanomechanics"?  Should we drop classical courses that have stopped being interesting to the majority of students (and thus attract low numbers)?  Should we educate students explicitly in biomechanics without providing them a classical mechanics background?  These are the questions we are likely to face in the next few years as change continues to sweep across the university system, especialy in the US but elsewhere as well.  I believe that we as a community have a responsibility here to ensure that the high standards of the discipline are maintained through teaching of fundamentals and the passing along of these values to future generations!

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Adhesion in viscoelastic contacts

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a mechanics seminar delivered "tag-team" by Ken Johnson and Jim Greenwood. (I know several people have thought I was a bit mad for jumping "across the pond" but there are really some amazing benefits of being part of the Cambridge Engineering faculty!)

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New Micromechanics Book

This message about a new book came over the PoroNet (poroelasticity network) mailing list:

Dear Colleagues:

      I would like to inform you that my book "Micromechanics of Heterogeneous Materials” (containing around 700 pages, 140 figures, 3000 formulae, and 1200 references) should be published by Springer on 07.06.07. [Details are on the web|toc ] .

      In the framework of a unique scheme of the proposed multiparticle effective field method, we have undertaken in this book an attempt to analyze the wide class of statical and dynamical, local and nonlocal, linear and nonlinear multiscale problems of composite materials with deterministic (periodic and nonperiodic), random (statistically homogeneous and inhomogeneous, so-called graded) and mixed (periodic structures with random imperfections) structures in bounded and unbounded domains, containing coated or uncoated inclusions of any shape and orientation and subjected to coupled or uncoupled, homogeneous or inhomogeneous external fields of different physical natures.

        Any the remarks and comments regarding the book will be fully appreciated.

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Dr. Kevin Granata

Kevin P. Granata, 45, of Blacksburg, beloved husband and father, loving son and brother, passed away Monday, April 16, 2007. Kevin was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. He began his bachelor's studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio and then transferred to Ohio State University where he received degrees in electrical engineering and physics. He later earned a Master's degree in physics from Purdue University and was employed by the Applied Physics Lab in Maryland where he did classified research. He returned to Ohio State University and completed his Ph. D. in Biomedical Engineering, continuing his research until he transferred to the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Virginia, where he was the director the Gait Lab In 2002, Kevin came to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. to continue his teaching and research interests. He had numerous publications and research grants and lectured both nationally and internationally. Kevin's greatest passion and pride was his family, especially his wife and children. He was also an athlete. He rowed crew at Purdue, participated in biathlons and triathlons and was an avid runner and cyclist. He loved coaching his sons' Lacrosse teams, reading and doing construction around his home and was a member of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. Kevin believed in being a well-rounded person and he successfully used his talents to the utmost, academically, physically and spiritually. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by wife, Linda (nee Ankenman); sons, Alex and Eric; and daughter, Ellen; parents, Mildred and Joseph Granata (Toledo); brother, Paul; sisters, Eileen and Anne; and numerous nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles. A public memorial service will be held at the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2007. A private funeral will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Kevin P. Granata Memorial Trust, 1872 Pratt Drive, Blacksburg, Va, 24068. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, 150 Country Club Drive, Blacksburg, Va.

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Fundamentals of Nanoindentation and Nanotribology IV at MRS Fall 2007

First announcement and call for papers.

The symposium "Fundamentals of Nanoindentation and Nanotribology" will run for the fourth time at the Fall, 2007, Materials Research Society Meeting, Boston, MA, USA.   

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Poroelasticity references

Given the growing interest in poroelasticity within this forum, I thought I would post the link to "Poronet" -- the poromechanics internet resources network.  In particular, there is a nice long pdf chapter on the fundamentals of poroelasticity from Detournay and Cheng, 1993, which has become one of the standard references in the field. 

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NYT Article "The Ultimate Distance Learning"

I stumbled on this article in the NY Times "The Ultimate Distance Learning" (free registration required to view) about the establishment of University distance learning activities within the Second Life online community.


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