President’s Blog – September, 2012

Posted on September 27, 2012

In this issue, I would like to highlight some of the work of the ISB Executive Council. The Executive Council consists of fifteen individuals who work tirelessly to ensure that the mission and programs of the ISB are executed in the best interest of the membership. The council communicates on a daily basis by e-mail (my ISB folder has accumulated 1374 messages for the year 2011 alone!), but also is mandated by the ISB constitution to meet in person once every year. In odd years, the council will meet on the Saturday and Sunday prior to the ISB Congress. In the even years, we usually plan our council meeting in conjunction with another society’s scientific meeting.  This year, the council meeting was on July 22-23, immediately after the ISEK 2012 Congress in Brisbane (Australia).  It is important to note that no elected council member receives travel expenses from ISB, with the exception of the student representative. Several council members (including myself) traveled for more than 24 hours and suffered through major jet lags. It is truly remarkable to have a group of leaders in the society who are willing to make these efforts.  The dedication of this team becomes even more apparent during the meeting itself.  We always have a long agenda of discussions and decisions, and in all of those, we have the same guiding principle: how to best serve the interests of our membership as well as the worldwide biomechanics community. I will mention a few of the items that were discussed by the council during the meeting.

In past years, the ISB has developed a number of initiatives to support biomechanics in economically developing countries (EDC).  The EDC program is overseen by council member Antonio Veloso (Portugal), with help from Andrea Hemmerich who was appointed to chair the EDC program committee.  Several laboratories in Africa and South America have received financial support, but more importantly, the ISB has been able to connect these labs with companies and other ISB members who have donated equipment and provided technical support.  Typically, a small investment such as travel expenses or shipping expenses can have a major impact on these laboratories. This year, we have a major new initiative, which is a travel grant program to assist EDC members with their travel to the 2013 ISB Congress. You may have seen Andrea’s announcement of this program, and more details are presented elsewhere in this issue of ISB NOW by Andrea Hemmerich.  This program has been made possible by the generosity of the organizers of the 2011 Congress (led by Veronique Feipel), who have shared their profit with the ISB. The Executive Council unanimously decided to allocate most of these funds to the EDC congress travel program.  With this, we hope to connect more and more of the worldwide biomechanics community to the ISB.  More information can be found on Feel free to contact Antonio or Andrea if you have suggestions or if you wish to actively participate in any of the existing EDC programs.

A second highlight of the council meeting was the organization of the upcoming 2013 Congress.  Marco Vaz is the chair of the organizing committee and I can assure you that this will be a memorable ISB Congress that you should attend if you possibly can. The regular scientific program will be conducted in the afternoon and early evening, over five days, leaving the mornings free for small group events such as workshops, and of course, for visiting the beach. The congress will be a wonderful mix of relaxation, hard work and serious science, and socializing by eating and drinking together.

This year, the council received two proposals to organize the ISB Congress in 2015.  The bidding process was coordinated by our President-Elect, John Challis.  The prospective organizers traveled to Brisbane to present their proposals.  Both proposals were from Europe and of exceptional quality, the best we have seen in the time that I have been on the ISB council. After careful deliberation, a vote was taken and the 2015 Congress was awarded to the group at the University of Strathclyde, led by Dr. Philip Rowe, who will host the congress in Glasgow, Scotland.  We will keep you updated via ISB NOW and the ISB website.

An increasingly important part of the ISB is the website and associated informatics infrastructure, coordinated by council member David Lloyd.  Almost everything that the ISB does depends on this infrastructure.  For the relatively small organization that we are, our online systems are quite powerful and we are indebted to David, who keeps this all organized and oversees the work of our paid consultants. A new development this year is the presence of the ISB on various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). The student representative Antonia Zaferiou has been helping with this, and we hope that this will become a useful way for ISB members to stay connected.  Please try following @ISBiomechanics on Twitter, or join the ISB group on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Start a discussion and connect to other members.

Finally, I would like to let you know that I have recently accepted a professorship in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cleveland State University.  You can now reach me at

Ton van den Bogert
Cleveland, September 24th, 2012

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