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Research Directions in Computational & Composite Mechanics

Carl T. Herakovich's picture

A Report of the United States National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNC/TAM), June 2007  

This report discusses two aspects of the engineering science of mechanics that have a profound impact on American Competitiveness, and addresses issues raised in the National Academy of Sciences report Rising Above the Gathering Storm.  The United States has played a leading role in the development of computational mechanics and mechanics of composite materials.  It is clear that the futures of these two disciplines of mechanics are very bright as they both will have a profound impact on many facets of our life, including advances in biology, medicine, energy conservation and development, and national security.  It is also clear that the United States is not the only country working in these advanced fields of engineering science.  There are very strong initiatives and commitments to these fields in Europe and Asia. A concentrated effort by the United States is necessary if we are to maintain our competitiveness.


zhan-sheng guo's picture

thank you very much

Dr. Herakovitch, Thank you for posting the interesting reports on the future
directions on computational mechanics.

As Dr. Herakovitch mentioned in the report, the modeling of biological molecules
(e.g. molecular motors) is quite challenging to computational mechanists and
physicists. I think that the modeling of not only biological molecules but also
nano-scale materials (e.g. CNT) which can interact with biological molecules
have been taken much attention. Such modeling may provide the insight into
how to design the nano-scale devices for sensing single-molecules and their
molecular conformation changes upon environmental changes. Such devices
which use the conformation change of molecular motor have been considered
as a nano-scale actuators chemically fueled by small molecules (e.g. ATP, DNA).

Anyway, I would like to say that there are too many rooms for computational
mechanists in biological molecular modeling as well as NEMS modeling (and also
NEMS with biomolecules).

L. Roy Xu's picture

Your report gives us a very important global view on mechanics research. I read your first paper on matrix cracking in composite laminates 20 years ago, when I was a graduate student in China. Hope you keep publishing more papers in Applied Mechanics.

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