Mechanics in Biology

The fundamentals and rigor of mechanics play an important role in many emerging areas at the frontiers of research in several areas of science and engineering. Thus, there is a need to establish meeting places where scholars can discuss how mechanics can facilitate collaborations with new communities, where each can develop an understanding of the principles and tools of the other.

With its wide interdisciplinary focus rooted in mechanics, the Virginia Tech department of engineering science and mechanics (ESM) is a natural choice for such a meeting place. It is already home to several programs that expand the extent of mechanics scholarship.

Beginning in 2012, ESM will host a regular workshop series, each of which will focus on a theme of current interest. These workshops will bring together leaders in relevant fields to enable transformative scholarship based on a broad but rigorous understanding of the fundamentals of mechanics.

The second of these workshops is AmeriMech 2014: Mechanics in Biology II that will be held May 22nd and 23rd, 2014 in Blacksburg, Virginia. It will consider how life works at the level of fundamental mechanics across multiple scales. Scholars will discuss a range of topics from locomotion to respiration to disease dynamics.

The dynamic interplay of, for instance, material and fluid properties, gives rise to the remarkable design and physiological properties of organisms. For example, some locomotion systems, and perhaps physiological flow control systems, exhibit "intelligence by mechanics" where the intrinsic dynamics of the nonlinear mechanics (fluid-structure interaction) yield self-regulating behavior. Other examples include forming dynamic models of disease, such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease, which is characteristic of neuropathogenesis. Here, mechanistic models that examine intercellular signaling, and cell mutation and proliferation aid in the development of targeted therapies.

Therefore, AmeriMech 2014: Mechanics in Biology II will bring together researchers pursuing the mechanical frameworks of biological phenomena, asking, for instance, questions related to the role of fluid-structure interactions in biology, the nonlinear dynamics of disease progression, the role that soft matter plays in physiological form and function, and the interplay of issues related to mechanics and dynamics with the environment and ecology.


Local Organizing Committee

Scientific Committee


AmeriMech Sponsored by: USNC/TAM