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Enter the YSA Competition

Young Stress Analyst (YSA) Competition

The YSA is a long running and prestigious competition run annually by the Society to recognise excellence in early career research. Previous YSA winners have gone on to occupy key positions in academia and industry.

In previous years the YSA competition format has been different, so please ensure you familiarise yourself with the eligibility and competition format and requirements below before applying.

To be considered for the Young Stress Analyst Competition:
• You must submit an abstract as first author to the main BSSM conference – it is this abstract that will be considered by the YSA panel. If your application is not selected for the final then it will be considered for presentation at the conference and, if accepted, you will be required to pay the student registration fee to be included in the programme.
• The topic of the work should be experimental mechanics or testing of materials or contribute to experimental mechanical analysis of materials in some way, in line with the conference topics.
• You must have been a student (undergraduate, masters, or doctoral) while conducting all the research you are submitting for presentation.
• You must not have been awarded your PhD more than 9 months before the start of the BSSM conference (this refers to graduation and issuing of the degree certificate).

YSA competition format and requirements
You should submit two documents to take part in YSA:
1. Extended abstract of two pages, in accordance with the standard call for conference abstracts. You must be the first author of the work and ensure that your abstract includes at least one figure and five references.
2. Maximum 500-word cover letter to support your application for YSA

Your cover letter should include details of:
• Novelty and/or importance of your research
• Your contribution to the work described in your abstract
• Plans for your future research (if applicable)
• Your reasoning for taking part in the YSA competition

Submissions will be reviewed by an expert panel, who will select four finalists to proceed to the next stage of the competition. The four finalists will present their research in a dedicated plenary conference session (and answer some questions after the presentation). Presentations and answers to questions are judged by a panel of leading industrial and academic experts. The criteria being assessed by the judges are: scientific quality, novelty, potential for impact, contribution to the field of experimental mechanics (academic or industrial) and clarity of explanation in both the written submissions and the oral presentation. Announcement of winners will be made at the conference dinner.

All four YSA finalists will receive:
• A cash prize
• Free conference registration and conference dinner and a small honorarium to support travel/accommodation
• Free membership of the BSSM, which includes one year’s access to the journal ‘Strain’ and reduced fees for attending BSSM technical and scientific workshops and seminars

Being a winner, or finalist, at the YSA completion is a valuable addition to an early career CV and partaking is also very helpful in terms of fine tuning your presentation skills and networking with peers. Why not give it a shot!

2024 Competition

In 2024 YSA will take place alongside the BSSM's 18th International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics between 3 -  5 September 2024 at the University of Liverpool, UK.

Key Dates

Abstract submission deadline 31 March 2024
Initial author notification from 15 April 2024
Early bird registration ends 31 May 2024
Delegate registration deadline 1 July 2024

I'm very happy for having the chance to participate in the BBSM Young Stress Analysis Competition (YSA) and actually to win it! The projects and researchers participating in the YSA demonstrated enthusiasm and ambition which resulted in a highly competitive event.

This competition is perfect to connect with different researchers from varied fields and entities to discuss about related scientific interests. Additionally, the YSA's been an enjoyable and deeply rewarding experience which gave me a big opportunity to let others know what my PhD project is about.

My sincere gratitude to all the people that supported me during my PhD journey, specially my supervisors Professors Janice Barton and Ole Thomsen, and Dr Geir Olafsson for the guidance. Thanks to Airbus (for sponsoring the competition) and the Bristol Composites Institute, EPSRC and CERTEST for the funding provided.

Rafael Ruiz Iglesias

I am very glad to have participated in the Young Stress Analyst competition. My work and the presentation I gave are getting real scientific recognition through this BSSM competition, As a Master's degree student, I discovered the importance of such conferences, especially in providing a forum for high-level scientific exchanges within our scientific community, it was very formative. Thanks to Jean-Benoît Le Cam for accompanying me and offering such an internship. I would never have imagined participating in such a competition so early. It was truly a great experience!

Jules Trubert

2023 Competition

In 2023 YSA took place alongside the BSSM's 17th International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics on 31 August 2023 at Glasgow University Union, University of Glasgow, UK.

YSA 2023 Winner
Melissa Weihrauch, University of Liverpool, UK
Investigating Fatigue Crack Propagation and Secondary Cracking using Thermoelastic Stress Analysis and Microscopy

YSA 2023 Runners up
Eric Chai, University of Liverpool, UK
Automating the Interpretation of large Amounts of Composite Materials Test Data

Peihao Song, University of Oxford. UK
Compression Behaviour of Short Glass Fibre Reinforced Polycarbonate Composite at Varying Rates during Large Strain Deformation

2023 Competition Finalists

2022 Competition

In 2022 YSA took place alongside the BSSM's 16th International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics on 7th September 2022 at St Anne's College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

YSA 2022 Winner
Rafael Ruiz-Iglesias, University of Bristol, UK
Subsurface Damage Assessment in Composite Laminates Using a Novel Full Field Imaging Technique.

YSA 2022 Runners up
Jack Chester, Proctor & Chester Measurements, UK 
Percutaneous Screws for the Treatment of Long Bone Fracture Non-Union

Filipa Cunha, NOVA University, Lisbon
On material identification of Pinus pinaster Ait. at high strain rate loading by the image-based inertial impact 

Tijmen Vermeij, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Integr2d Experimental-Numerical Testing of “2D” Steel Microstructures

2022 Competition Winner

YSA 2022 Winner Rafael Ruiz-Iglesias
YSA 2022 Winner Rafael Ruiz-Iglesias
Rafael Ruiz-Iglesias, University of Bristol, UK
Subsurface Damage Assessment in Composite Laminates Using a Novel Full Field Imaging Technique.

2021 Competition

In 2021 YSA took place alongside the BSSM's 15th International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics on 8th September 2021 - both the competition and conference were virtual.

YSA 2021 Winner
Jules Trubert (University of Rennes 1)
Surface calorimetry under large deformations of rubbers: a bi-dimensional heat source field reconstruction method in the Lagrangian

YSA 2021 Runners up
Oscar Brennan (University of Oxford)
Extreme Plastic Deformation by High-Pressure Torsion

Guanbo Min (University of Glasgow)
Origin of the Contact Force-Dependent Response of Triboelectric Nanogenerators

Hing Ho Janzen Choi (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Multi-objective genetic algorithms for material parameter optimisation to predict high-temperature creep behaviour

2021 Competition Winner

YSA 2021 Winner Jules Trubert

Jules Trubert, University of Rennes 1
Surface calorimetry under large deformations of rubbers: a bi-dimensional heat source field reconstruction method in the Lagrangian configuration.

2020 Competition 

The 2020 YSA competition was held on 16th September 2020. It was the first YSA event to be held online (due to the Coronavirus pandemic). Four excellent finalists presented their work and took questions from the audience. The standard of work presented was as high as ever. A panel of nine judges adjudicated. The presentations covered a wide array of topics including the contact stiffness of mechanical interfaces, rate dependent and steady state behaviour of soft materials, dwell fatigue in titanium alloys and structural health monitoring of embedded sacrificial devices! At the end of the event, BSSM Chair Andrew Ramage gave participants a talk on the BSSM’s activities before announcing the result. We would like to thank the judges, presenters and attendees alike for making the event a success.

2020 Competition Winner

Airbus logo

The YSA has been generously sponsored for many years by our Corporate Member Airbus UK who provide the prize money and funds for the YSA finalists to attend the Annual Conference free of charge.

Participating in the Young Stress Analyst competition has been a great experience. I had the opportunity to share my research with international colleagues from all over the world. I want to thank my supervisors, and my colleagues Stefano and Luca for the great work we conducted together. I hope more events like this will be held in future in the engineering community!

Alfredo Fantetti

2020 Runners Up

Kshitiz Upadhyay, John Hopkins University, UK
Characterization of the Rate-Dependent Transient and Steady-State Shear Responses of Soft Materials,

Michelle Harr, University of Michigan, USA
The Effect of Temperature on Slip in Microtextured Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2Mo under Dwell Fatigue

Geir Ólafsson , University of Southampton. UK
Embedded Sacrificial Devices: A Novel Structural Health Monitoring Approach

The Judges

Dr Hari Arora, Swansea University
Dr Hari Arora is a Mechanical Engineer by training, and a Senior Lecturer at Swansea University within the Biomedical Research Group and Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering. Hari is interested in a whole host of in situ measurement techniques across strain rates, including the use of DIC. 

Dr Salih Güngör, The Open University
Salih Güngör, who is a past chair of BSSM, is a senior lecturer in materials engineering at The Open University. His main areas of research include the characterisationof in-situ behaviour of materials and structures using experimental methods.

Prof Johan Hoefnagels, Eindhoven University of Technology
Johan Hoefnagels is Associate professor in the field of experimental micro-mechanics with a focus on thin films and interfaces. The research includes size effects, interface and damage mechanics, flexible/stretchable electronics, and MEMS.

Dr Feras Korkess, Swansea University
Dr Feras Korkees is a Lecturer in Polymers and Composites in the Materials Research Centre at Swansea University (SU) with research specialisms in the long-term lifetime behaviour of polymers and polymer-based composites, nanocomposites, and 3D printing of composites.

Dr Daniel Mulvihill, University of Glasgow
Dr Daniel Mulvihill is Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the James Watt School of Engineering in the University of Glasgow. His research interests are in the areas of tribology, experimental mechanics, metal alloys and composite materials and he teaches on solid mechanics and materials topics.

Prof Adrain Murphy, Queens University, Belfast
Adrian Murphy is Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Queen's University Belfast, with research interests focused on predictive modelling, in particular developing methods to understand the influence of processes on product in-service performance and cost. His research has covered the structural and economic performance of laser beam and friction stir welding for metal aerospace structures, thermoforming, layup automation, load case analysis and lightning strike on composite aerospace structures. Adrian joined the academic staff of Queen's in 2002.

Prof Fabrice Pierron, University of Southampton
Fabrice Pierron is Professor of Solid Mechanics at the University of Southampton. He is a recognised specialist of the development of innovative procedures for mechanical testing of materials based on deformation imaging and inverse identification.

Prof Liz Tanner, Queen Mary University, London

Dr Yang Xu, University of Glasgow
Dr Yang Xu is a research associate at the University of Glasgow under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Mulvihill. He has research interests in the area of rough surface contact using analytical, numerical, and experimental methodologies, lubrication modelling, and surface metrology.


Winners from Previous Years

Check out who won in previous years

"I am grateful for the experience of participating in the Young Stress Analyst competition this year. It was a great opportunity to not only share my research and hone my presentation skills, but also to look at the work of other people in the research community. It has truly been fun and eye-opening, and I highly recommend this competition for aspiring researchers."

Janzen Choi, YSA 2021 Finalist

I should say thank you to BSSM for the opportunity. The competition was good. I really enjoyed the fact that we (the competitors) were the only presentation at that time and had everyone's attention. That was great for me especially as I try to launch my academic career.

TM, University of Southampton

Winning has given me enthusiasm to start my PhD and allows me to keep up to date with the community through membership of the British Society for Strain Measurement

GH, Young Stress Analyst Winner

Continued Professional Development (CPD) for Early Careers

The BSSM is ahead of the game when it comes to encouraging early career development. We offer membership, courses, competitions, conferences and networking opportunities in a relaxed and friendly environment. 

Become a Member

Membership levels available to meet Individual, Corporate and Student requirements

It is a fantastic competition to be involved with, and is a great opportunity to boost your exposure in front of a large and international audience of experts.

Geir Ólafsson YSA 2020 Finalist

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