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Experimental Mechanics Workshop



Location: University of Bristol, UK

Price: Delegate rate £1200, Student rate £350 - conditions apply please contact


Registration deadline 27th January 2023


Professor Janice Barton, University of Bristol, UK.

‘Experimental mechanics’ can be defined as the investigation by experimental means of the mechanical behaviour of engineering systems subjected to load. The system can be a structure, a material, soft matter such as human tissue, a fluid-structure coupling; the list is practically endless. Implicit in the definition is that some kind of measurement system is used to capture a quantity that describes the system’s behaviour. The main attributes conventionally associated with experimental mechanics are the deformation and the mechanical strain. These can then be related to a failure parameter by deriving the stresses from the strains by knowing the material constitutive relationships. Experimental mechanics approaches that provide a measure related to the strain are therefore very important design tools. Many of these techniques have been available for decades but recently have been gaining popularity because of the advances in computing power and decreasing hardware costs. More importantly from the design perspective, the necessity for experimental data to validate numerical models of systems manufactured from complex nonlinear inhomogeneous materials, such as fibre reinforced polymer composites, is ever increasing. Experimental mechanics approaches have much to offer and it is the purpose of this module to provide an overview of the range of application and operation of the techniques.

About the Workshop

The imaging for mechanics and non-destructive evaluation of composite structures workshop is a taught unit delivered to post graduate students at the University of Bristol. It follows on the highly successful Experimental mechanics workshops run at the University of Southampton. The new workshop focuses on applications to composite materials and structures including much of the content of the previous workshop. The definition of experimental mechanics is the investigation by experimental means of the mechanical behaviour of engineering systems subjected to load. Implicit in the definition is that a measurement is made to capture a quantity that describes the system’s behaviour. Hence the focus of the workshop is on measurement systems and not the materials. The workshop is open to all through registration with the British Society for Strain Measurement. The workshop is aimed at post graduate doctoral students in the first two years of their studies or for industrially based personal seeking to update their knowledge. The workshop provides an overview of techniques followed by a deep-dive into approaches such as Digital Image Correlation (DIC), Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA) and Acoustic Emission (AE).


The overarching aim and key learning outcome of the workshop is to provide a working knowledge of a range of techniques to allow the most appropriate techniques to be selected for specific applications. On completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

• Understand testing procedures and the adaptations required to utilise the techniques presented.
• Apply modern full-field non-contact imaging techniques such as Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA) and Digital Image Correlation (DIC) for materials characterisation and performance assessment.
• Understand non-destructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) including application of ultrasound, thermography, acoustic emission (AE), eddy current, and X-ray.
• Understand how the techniques can be combined with each other and with numerical models.
• Be able to manipulate and interpret data from experimental techniques to provide a detailed understanding of structural performance of fibre reinforced polymer composites.

Course Lecturers and Schedule

Professor Janice Barton (JMB), University of Bristol
Dr Neha Chandarana (NC), University of Bristol
Dr Pascal Lava (PL), MatchID
Dr Tobias Laux (TL), University of Bristol
Dr Geir Olafsson (GO), University of Bristol
Dr Karthik Ram Ramakrishnan (KR), University of Bristol
Professor Richard Burguete, NPL
Lauren Reid, Airbus

On-line: The workshop starts on 23rd January is delivered on-line through nine weekly live lectures at 1600 every Monday and recorded material. The recorded lectures are short (around 20 minutes) In the live session the concepts presented in the recorded lectures will be brought together through application to fibre reinforced polymer composites. The live lectures are interactive, but are recorded and made available after the on-line live lecture. The recorded lectures will be available for students to review in the week preceding the live lecture.

In-person: On 27th February 2023 a three-day in-person workshop will commence and includes:
• In-person lectures recapping the material presented in the on-line lectures.
• Laboratory sessions demonstrating some of the techniques discussed in lectures
• Several hands-on sessions for manipulating the data gathered in the laboratory class.
• Tutorial and Q and A sessions

Proof of PhD student status required from supervisor/advisor

Workshop Timetable

The schedule is for guidance only and may be subject to change.

Venue Information

University of Bristol, UK

For more information contact the BSSM


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