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A new Technical Committee on Soft Materials

Zhigang Suo's picture

A growing number of mechanicians are entering the field of soft materials, such as polymers, gels, and tissues. While they interact with researchers in technical societies traditionally identified with the field, they also maintain connection with researchers in applied mechanics.

In response to this trend, the Applied Mechanics Division, of the ASME International, has recently created a new Technical Committee on Soft materials.  The new Technical Committee will serve as a home for this group of people, and provide links between applied mechanics and new applications.

As with all existing Technical Committees of the Applied Mechanics Division, the new Technical Committee will evolve its rules of operation.  Here are the initial rules.

  1. The TC will have three officers:  Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary.
  2. At the IMECE each year, the old Chair steps down.  The Vice Chair becomes the Chair, and the Secretary becomes the Vice Chair.  The TC finds a new person to be the new Secretary.
  3. The Chair of the TC is responsible to coordinate next year's activities. 

The 2010 officers are

Please contact the Chair, Jerry Qi (, if you would like to participate in the activities of the new Technical Committee.

The immediate action item is to organize symposia at IMECE 2010, to be held in Vancouver, Canada, 12-18 November 2010. 


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

First of all, I would like to thank Zhigang for his hard and innovative work to make this new TC possible. As more and more researchers are entering the field of mechanics for soft materials, forming this TC is timely.

Secondly, for this new TC, we have lots of things to do. As a starting point, we need to recruit new members. Similar to other TCs, this new TC is open to everyone in the research community. In addition to faculty members, we welcome researchers in national labs, researchers overseas, postdocs, even PhD students. We will have our first TC meeting in Vancouver in 2010. So please, if you are interested in this TC, or if you have ideas, or if you are just curious about and want to watch how a new TC can form and grow, please drop me an email.

Third, we need to plan IMECE 2010 in Vancouver. Vancouver is a beautiful place and IMECE is improving. One function about TC is to coordinate the symposia proposed in the similar areas. If you would like to help and organize a symposium in 2010 in the area close to mechanics of soft materials, please send me an email with a very brief description. This will help to organize better coordinated and more efficient symposia.

Thanks very much for your support!!


Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear Jerry, Vicky, and Wei:

Thank you very much for volunteering your time to start this new Technical Committee.  In the last few years, all of you have been organizing successful symposia on the mechanics of soft materials.  It is wonderful to watch you advacating a field, as well as publishing excellent papers.

Let us see if other like-minded people have ideas about what topics to cover at IMECE 2010.

Xi Chen's picture


Perhaps the soft materials TC in AMD can consider to co-sponsor symposiums/sessions with the multifunctional materials TC in MD (I'm the chair for 2009 and 2010). The themes of multifunctional materials include active/smart materials, materials for energy/environment, and biological materials, among others, which may work well with the topics in soft materials. The multifunctional materials TC just organized 15 sessions in Orlando, and we look forward to work more with other TCs in Vancouver.



Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear Xi:  It is great to bring up ideas from other Technical Committees.  We can use iMechanica to air initial ideas, and get like-minded people together to develop a sustainable approach to advocate fields of interest to us.

The enthusiastic involvment of a large number of young people attest to the vitality of researcth in mechanics.


Thank you for your great suggestion. Indeed, many soft materials are active. Therefore, Zhigang call them SAM (Soft Active Materials). Let's work together on some details in this.


Hanqing Jiang's picture

Dear Jerry:

What procedure should be taken to co-organize symposium at IMECE 2009? What details should we work out?




I am not 100% sure. But I think that we need to indicate to the division track chair that a symposium is co-organized with a different track. Correct me please if someone knows a better answer.



Hanqing Jiang's picture

Dear Xi:

I also think it will enhance the visibility of the general area of soft active materials by co-organizing symposia with other TCs. At IMECE 2009, we (Gang Li, Harold Park, Eliot Fang, Ting Zhu, Dong Qian, Jerry Qi and Spandan Matti) organized a symposium (14 sessions) on muliphysics simulations for solids, including three sessions for coupled diffusion and deformation, credited to the computing mechanics TC. Thanks for Zhigang for giving a terrific plenary presentation on SAMs. We plan to continue this symosium, working with other TCs, at IMECE 2010.


Guangjun HU's picture

soft materials provide a lot of interesting but complicated research topics in mechanics. As a researcher with apolymer background but a newbie to mechanics, I am very happy to learn the formation of the new committee on soft materials. Finally, Cinderella receives attention from mechanicians. Wish to follow the soft material mechanics committee.

Thanks, Guangjun. Could you please drop me an email with a very short bio? Thanks!!


Konstantin Volokh's picture

Congratulations! Bold and timely idea. I will be happy to participate in the TC. Soft materials are hard to analyze and to test. It is a great challenge and opportunity.

I started a regular grad course on Mechanics of Soft Materials this semester.

Xuanhe Zhao's picture

It is very considerate of the AMD to create a new TC for all soft mechanicians! I greatly appreciate Zhigang, Jerry, Vicky, and Wei's work.

The current two tasks for this TC are recruiting new members and organizing a symposium on IMECE 2010, as Jerry mentioned. We may use this thread as an advertisement to attract prospective members like Konstantin and me and suggestions on the symposium as Xi proposed.

Aaron Goh's picture

Congratulations to all who have started this initiative.  I won't be able to make it to the meeting (tough being at the other side of the world), but will be keen to participate in the activities by the TC, mostly from the foods point of view.

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