President’s Blog, September 2015

Posted on September 30, 2015

It’s almost three months since many of us met at The XXV Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics in Glasgow, Scotland. The Congress marked a 25-year milestone in the history of ISB, which dates back to its first conference in Zurich in 1967. This year’s meeting was in the capable hands of Professor Philip Rowe and his colleagues from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. This was the first time that an ISB Congress was held in the UK and due to its success, I’m certain that it will not take another 48 years for it to return to the UK.

There were many conference highlights, with ‘special sessions’ like the John Paul session on the Hip, the ISEK session, the EDC session and sessions on Rehabilitation, Mechanobiology and Prosthetics, reflecting the breadth of biomechanics covered at the meeting. It was also pleasing to see the high standard of research in our award sessions, which included the David Winter Young Investigator, Emerging Scientist, Clinical Biomechanics and Promising Young Scientist awards. And of course large audiences were drawn to the prestigious Muybridge Award lecture given by Professor Kai-Nan An and the Wartenweiler Memorial lecture by Professor Aurelio Capozzo.

As at all ISB congresses, there was a significant changing of the guard at the General Assembly. As incoming President of ISB I would like to thank the outgoing Past-President (Ton van den Bogert) for his help and guidance during my two years as President Elect. Ton served as an ISB council member for 6 years before taking on another 6 years as a member of the ISB Presidents Committee. Similarly, our new Past-President, John Challis, has successfully guided the society through the last two years and  I will undoubtedly continue to value his support through my presidency. Also stepping down from the Executive Council after significant periods of service were David Lloyd, Genevieve Dumas, Toni Arndt, Marco Aurélio Vaz, Scott McLean and Kelsey Collins. Andrea Hemmerich also stepped down from her appointed role of working with our EDC activities. Incoming Executive Council members were announced and welcomed at the General Assembly and included Joe Hamill, Felipe Carpes, Glen Lichtwark, Taija Finni, Thor Bessier, Dan Benoit and Kirsty McDonald. Rob Herbert was appointed as the societies’ Secretary-General. Full details of the ISB Executive Council and their respective portfolios can be found on the ISB website at the link (ISB- Executive Council).

The XXV Congress also presented us with the opportunity to induct our first round of ISB fellows. I would like to thank Julie Steele for initiating the idea and spending time with our Past-President (John Challis) developing criteria to recognise members with distinguished achievements in biomechanics and service to the society. Our first class of ISB Fellows are Maarten Bobbert, Ton van den Bogert, Brian David, Veronique Feipel, Walter Herzog, Jill Mc-Nitt-Gray, Peter Milburn, Mary Rogers, Darren Stefanyshyn and Ron Zernike. Photos of the Fellows can be found on the ISB website at  (ISB Fellows). The Fellows will shortly be appointing a Censor to review the fellowship nomination criteria that will be placed on the ISB website.


I am pleased to say that the new ISB Council is strongly committed to continue the great work achieved by our previous councils. Our membership numbers remain strong, however reduced revenue from our recent congresses does require us to tighten our belts a little. We will endeavour to continue our support for all our activities, however student grants, EDC activities, affiliate society and technical groups may receive a little less funding over the next two years than in previous years.

On a positive note, the post congress survey conducted by the organisers of the Glasgow conference showed that the vast majority or responders were very satisfied with the conference, considering it a very good location, a high quality venue, very well organised with excellent sessions. More than 80% of the respondents indicated that they would be likely to attend future ISB congresses and more than 50% said that they would likely travel to the southern hemisphere to attend the next XXVI ISB Congress in 2017.

With that in mind I would like to close by letting you know that the organisers of the next ISB Congress are well underway with their preparations and are planning an event that you shouldn’t miss. Information and dates about the XXVI Congress can be found on the Congress Website (ISB 2017). Don’t forget to download the ISB 2017 Congress App from the Congress Website and enter the Koala Challenge for a chance to win five night’s accommodation and a free conference registration. The organising committee has already received photos of ISB Koalas in extraordinary locations but, there is still plenty of time for you and your koala to enter.

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