Clearly, the engineering community is moving towards a more global and digital world in which, thanks to the increased computational power, problems of high complexity can be analysed. Nevertheless, the relevance of experimental mechanics remains indisputable: with the increased interest in reliable design, durability analysis, life time prediction etc. experimental mechanics stays unquestionably of major importance. At the micron and submicron scale experimental mechanics provide the necessary techniques to study the influence of defects such as inclusions, cracks, voids and/or inherent manufacturing defects on the nucleation and growth of failure mechanisms. Recent advances in scanning probe microscopy techniques, transmission electron microscopy or diffraction techniques greatly increased the fundamental understanding of the material response and failure processes which occur under different complex loading conditions. Additionally, they proved to be useful for the development of the mathematical models that describe the material behavior. At the meso-level the current trend shows an increased use of full-field optical techniques for the monitoring of displacements and strains at the surface while embedded sensing systems like MEMS, optical fibers, Piezoelectric sensors/actuators etc. are extensively investigated for measurements inside the material. At the macro- or structural scale structural health monitoring techniques, including waves and vibrations seem to be beneficial for proactive maintenance planning and for prolonging the safe service life.
In general, experimental mechanics is indispensable also in the digital world of today, for instance for the verification and validation of the numerical tools which are used during design and analysis. Even more importantly, experimental methods provide the essential input data for these simulations. Undoubtedly, experimental mechanics always played a crucial role in all stages of a material’s or structure’s life cycle from research and design to production and use until liquidation and/or recycling and it always will.
ICEM18, the eighteenth International Conference of experimental Mechanics organized under the auspices of the European Society for Experimental Mechanics (EuraSEM) in July 1-5, 2018, in Brussels- Belgium, will bring a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the(se) latest exciting developments in the field of experimental mechanics. A unique opportunity to meet and interact with renowned international scientists and experts from academia and industry. It is the aim of the conference to provide a forum for discussion, exchange of new ideas, for the establishment of new friendships and collaborations and for the dissemination of recent acquired knowledge in an area of utmost scientific and technological importance.