On August 2-5, 2016, the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at NC State jointly hosted the 40th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB40) (http://asb2016.asbweb.org/), led by Meeting Chair Dr. Katherine Saul (MAE) and co-Chair Dr. Greg Sawicki (BME) with help “on the ground” from over 50 staff and student volunteers who put in more than 600 combined hours during the meeting week alone. It was an exciting and successful meeting that brought over 900 national and international researchers and over 30 industry exhibitors and sponsors to Raleigh and NC State. Attendees shared their cutting-edge research, learned about the newest technology and equipment, and experienced all that NC State and Raleigh have to offer. Kick-off events during the first day of the meeting brought over 300 meeting attendees and local students and families to Centennial Campus. In the morning, we showcased biomechanics educational activities and demonstrations developed by the ASB membership for the ASB40 Outreach Expo at the NCSU Hunt Library, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Large crowds of local student groups and members of the general public attended to learn about biomechanics concepts and how to translate them to the middle or high school classroom. Afternoon lab tours allowed visitors to check out some of our most exciting biomechanics lab spaces in Engineering Building 3 and the ultra-modern Hunt Library.
The scientific program was held at the Raleigh Convention Center and the attached Marriott Raleigh City Center hotel right in the heart of downtown Raleigh, allowing visitors to experience Raleigh’s restaurants, nightlife, and local museums and historical sites. They were welcomed with a North Carolina themed reception at the convention center with bluegrass music and Southern cooking. Programming topics included energetics of running and walking, head impacts and concussion, prosthetics and orthotics, sports biomechanics, and biomechanics education. In addition, we offered programming in support of the ASB’s diverse membership, including Women in Science and Diversity breakfasts featuring local speakers, including Dr. Marcia Gumpertz, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity at NC State and Dr. Robin Coger, Dean of the College of Engineering at NC A&T University. In light of the 40th anniversary of the Society, the conference also included displays and activities to honor the field of biomechanics past and future. Founders and Fellows of the society were especially honored with featured panels, and exhibits of memorabilia, photos, and memories of the formation of the society and past meetings were highlighted. The closing banquet was held at the outstanding Nature Research Center of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, located within a mile from the conference hotel, featuring a three-story HD theater and numerous scientific exhibits. Attendee and exhibitor response was extremely positive, and many guests have already expressed interest in returning to visit Raleigh and NC State again.