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History of the BSSM

The origin of the BSSM goes back to the early 1960s and the strain measurement conferences organised by the Strain Gauge Division of Saunders-Roe Ltd, an aircraft manufacturer in the Isle of Wight, who later merged with Westland Aircraft.*

A small committee constituted from the conference participants in May 1964 at Brunel University and discussed the need for a society of strain measurement. They elected an organising committee and in September 1964, the British Society for Strain Measurement (BSSM) was formed. BSSM was administered through a National Executive Committee (NEC) until 1984 when the National Council (NATCO) was formed. This was a smaller body than NEC, and allowed more detailed matters to be handled by separate committees, each with it's special remit and technical interest.

The first issue of Strain, the society’s quarterly journal, was published in January 1965, and is still in publication today. It has now developed into an internationally leading publication in the world of experimental mechanics.

In the early days the scientific focus was very much on electrical strain gauges and photoelasticity, extending to holography, finite element analysis, thermoelastic stress analysis and optical fibre sensors in the 70s and 80s. More recently, the range of experimental techniques has diversified further and the scope and interests of the Society has developed to include full-field non-contact techniques such as digital image correlation, X-ray and micro-computer tomography, 3D strain techniques, residual stress measurement, high speed imaging and high strain rate measurements, and techniques specific to particular applications and sectors such as orthopaedic biomechanics, soft tissue, graphene, structural health monitoring, composite sandwich structures and microscale in-situ materials characterisation.

The Society celebrated it's 50th Anniversary in 2014 and in that year also organised the highly successful International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM16) at the University of Cambridge. The series of annual conferences continues as does the work of the Society in providing training and certification, and dissemination of new techniques and good practice through workshops and seminars on topics of direct relevance to the BSSM membership.

 * British Society for Strain Measurement-The Facts, I. B. MacDuff, Experimental Techniques, March 1985
Rachel Tomlinson and Dave Hollis celebrate 50 years of the BSSM
Strain at Diamond Light BSSM Showcase Harwell (Rutherford Appleton Lab/Diamond Light) 2015
50th Anniversary Awards
Professor Janice Barton, Past BSSM Chair
Exhibition of Experimental Mechanics
Reception at City Hall, Belfast, Conference 2019
Diamond Building, Sheffield University, Conference 2017
YSA Winners presentation with Ian Jones, Airbus, Southampton 2018
Conference Dinner, Queens University, Belfast 2019
Conference Reception, City Hall, Belfast 2019
EMex Exhibition of Experimental Mechanics
Duxford Museum Gala Dinner Venue, ICEM 16
Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Conference Reception, Icem16
Past Chairs Prof Simon Quinn and Prof Margaret Lucas

ICEM16 Conference

Organised by the BSSM at the University of Cambridge in 2014 The International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM 16) is the premier conference in the field. Take a look at the details, technical programme and presentations below

BSSM 50th Anniversary Celebrations

The BSSM held a special event to celebrate it's 50th Anniversary which took place at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, on 4th November 2014.

A reception and dinner in the evening was followed by a seminar and exhibition with Internationally leading researchers presenting their work.

BSSM Archive

Access the BSSM archive to explore presentations and papers from the technical workshops and BSSM Conferences  

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