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Early Careers

The BSSM offers a number of exciting opportunities for early career practitioners involved in experimental mechanics and related disciplines including training, workshops and conferences that contribute to continued professional development and support your career advancement and aspirations.

We offer discounted Student membership, and as a member there are many opportunities to get involved in the Society such as joining a committee, by signing up to be a designated BSSM Early Career representative or attending or even organising a workshop. Getting involved provides many opportunities to connect with colleagues from academia and industry who are already members and join the enthusiastic network of BSSM Early Career scientists and engineers.

These apply to both industrial and academic career paths and are available via the following routes:

Student Membership

BSSM Student membership includes all the benefits of full membership, but at a reduced rate. The Society is a wide network of both established and early career academic and industrial members working in experimental mechanics, measurement and related topics. The BSSM is also very much a community and there has always been a strong social aspect to being a member. The BSSM is also a dynamic meeting place between industry and academia – with obvious benefits for both!

Being a student member opens up this network and it can also be the beginning of more extensive involvement in the work of the Society. Indeed, many who started out as student members, have been active in the Society for their entire careers. For the early career practitioner, membership is a great way to engage with the wider community in your subject area. Membership also offers reduced rates for attendance at workshops, seminars, exhibitions, conferences and courses etc. Student membership is open to undergrad and postgrad students.  Give it a try – we always enjoy meeting new members.

Young Stress Analyst (YSA) Competition

The YSA is a long running and prestigious annual competition run by the Society to recognise excellence in early career research. Previous winners have gone on to occupy key positions in academia and industry. Entrants submit a summary of their work and four finalists are selected to present their work before a panel of expert judges. The YSA usually runs in conjunction with the Society’s main annual Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics. It is usually an eagerly awaited central slot at the conference and popular with delegates.
Being a winner or finalist at the YSA competition is a valuable addition to an early career CV and partaking is also very helpful in terms of tuning-up presentation skills. Why not give it a shot!

Postgraduate Experimental Mechanics Conference

The PGEM is an annual early career conference which allows postgraduate students (MSc, MEng and PhD) and postdocs to present their work in a friendly environment among fellow early career researchers. The event is usually hosted at a UK University, but delegates from around the world are always welcome. For students new to presenting at academic conferences, this is an ideal way to get some valuable experience in a more relaxed environment.  

Experimental Mechanics Workshop

Every year, the Society runs a week-long training course on experimental methods. Although this is open to anyone wishing to update their skills, it is ideal for early career practitioners who could benefit from formal training on various techniques. The workshop provides in-depth understanding on all the key experimental approaches. It covers point measurement techniques (e.g. strain gauges) and full field techniques (e.g. optical imaging, thermoelastic stress analysis, digital image correlation and grid methods). It also covers metrology, data analysis and uncertainty quantification. Quasi-static and high-rate materials testing are also treated.

This kind of broad introduction is ideal for someone undertaking PhD studies or moving into experimental work for the first time. It is also a practical and hands-on course which many participants appreciate. There are tours of state-of-the-art testing labs, and social events with the opportunity to get to know fellow participants over the duration of the course. So, if you need to polish up your experimental skills, this is the course for you!

Check the Events listing for the next workshop or contact

Continued Professional Development (CPD)

The Society recognises the need for early career practitioners to undertake CPD, both formally for example to meet the requirements of professional engineering bodies or informally by being informed and up-to-date. All of the Society’s workshops, seminars and conferences provide CPD and the Society can certify participation and attendance.

Check the Events listing for upcoming events. We look forward to chatting to you soon at a BSSM event!


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If you have a specific question about strain measurement, a particular technique or application area, or want to find out which of the BSSM Corporate Members might be able to help

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Please also give a huge thanks to the course instructors. It was a wonderful and enjoyable course which has consolidated my existing strain gauging knowledge

Jason Truong, Measurement Engineer, Utac

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Early career network opportunities

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