The Biological Systems and Materials Division has been focusing on embracing and serving the duality of its membership, which consists of many established members of the society and the field of theoretical and applied mechanics who are developing research programs focusing on biological systems and materials, and simultaneously numerous researchers from the biological sciences who are adopting the experimental and analytical techniques of mechanics.  TD activities have included hosting numerous sessions in annual SEM Meetings; organizing the special issue of the journal Experimental Mechanics on “Mechanics of Organic, Implant and Bio-Inspired Materials” (June 2007); encouraging TD-related submissions to the regular issues of Experimental Mechanics, and developing joint sessions with other TDs.

The Biological Systems and Materials Division organized 9 sessions at the 2008 SEM Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.  There were 35 papers in TD sessions and 9 related for a total of 44 papers in the biological systems and materials area. These sessions covered a variety of research areas, including the mechanics of hard and soft natural materials, novel biomaterials and biomedical systems, and biomimetics. Several presentations that overlapped in focus between our TD and other TDs could be found in additional sessions on composites, MEMS, dynamic testing, and time dependent materials.  Students of TD members also participated in the student competition. Devendra Bajaj, a student of Dwayne Arola (University of Maryland Baltimore County), won the 3rd place for his paper: “A Comparison of Natural and Unnatural Crack Growth in Human Enamel”.

For the 2009 SEM Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico (June 1-3) the Biological Systems and Materials TD will organize several session on topics including soft and hard materials, biomedical engineering, bioMEMS, bioimaging as well as joint sessions with the Inverse Problems TD and the MEMS/Nanotechnology TD.

Download a presentation describing the technical division in more detail. (PDF)


K. Jane Grande-Allen
Rice University

Bart Prorok
Auburn University

Francois Barthelat
McGill University