We are pleased to present the December’13 news updates from the European Society of Biomechanics. All members are invited to contribute information of general interest, scientific articles, advertisements or particular items of discussion
MªAngeles Pérez – firstname.lastname@example.org
7th World Congress of Biomechanics from July 6-11, 2014, Boston (USA)
The World Congress of Biomechanics is an international meeting held once every four years, rotating among Europe, Asia and the Americas. This, the 7th WCB, will once again bring together engineers, scientists from various disciplines including biology, physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry and various clinical specialties. The ESB strongly supports the WCB, by its representation on the organising committee, and the ESB community is strongly integrated, with European scientists participating as keynote lecturers, track and session chairs for the conference.
WCB REGISTRATION: When you register for WCB remember to state that you are a member of the European Society of Biomechanics. Select European Society of Biomechanics from the dropdown menu on the section of the form that asks ‘Primary Professional Society Affiliation’. WCB only has one registration fee for all participants, regardless of any membership. For that reason, ESB is not able to offer any discount on the registration fee. The good news is that for ESB members who participate to the congress and who are in good standing (i.e. they have already paid their membership for 2014, either by having participated to ESB2013 in Patras, or by paying the membership fee by the end of this year), the membership fee up to the end of 2015 will be included in the congress registration fee.
Here, we indicate the most important dates.
Prizes and Honors Awards for WCB-ESB-2014 in Boston
The next major conference event for the ESB is the joint 7th WCB-20th ESB congress on July 6 – 11, 2014 in Boston, USA. The awards and honors that can be contested in this event are: the ‘Stephan M Perren’ award, the ‘Clinical Biomechanics’ award, ‘Mobility’ award, ‘Student’ award, ‘Best PhD thesis’ award and ‘Travel’ awards (up to 20).
Other Meeting Announcements: Endorsed meetings
A Symposium on Statistical Shape Models and Applications is a new ESB Endorsed meeting.
Call for Bids 2017
The European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) holds an Annual international scientific congress to provide the most up to date research in biomechanics and to provide a forum of discussion. (ESB congresses). If you would like to host and organize the 2017 main ESB congress the deadline for bid submission is 31st March 2014.
New Corporate Members
We would like to welcome our new Corporate Members:
A tribute to John Paul by Peter Zioupos
A few words on John P Paul, founder of Strathclyde University bioengineering unit
I met John on my arrival in the Bioengineering in Sept 1984, when he first interviewed me. I was immediately struck by his uprightness, he was upright in character, spirit and manners. John provided, together with Bob Kenedi, the early leadership that the bioengineering unit needed to aspire to the standards of international excellence that we know of. They even coined the term ‘bioengineering’ at the time when the field was so new that naming it something relevant was the first hurdle they had to overcome. John P was always very helpful and supportive of young students and researchers, and has been a true father figure in practice and in spirit to many. He was also a man of unparalleled integrity and sense of justice and that together with his vision made him a pioneering leader in the biomechanics field.
His recent tribute in the Glasgow Herald recalls that he was born June 26, 1927 and died November 13, 2013. He grew up in Old Kilpatrick, near the shipyards where his father was an engineering draughtsman. During his teens, he was evacuated and spent the war years with two elderly aunts in Aberdeen, before returning to Glasgow to study at Allan Glen’s, where he excelled both academically and on the rugby pitch. He played for them as a forward well into his thirties, and continued to referee for several years afterwards.
He is mainly remembered, of course, for his pioneering work on hip joint replacement technology. His research is one of the main reasons why the operation is so ubiquitous and successful today. During a long, international career, he won dozens of trophies, plaques and lifetime achievement awards for his work on surgical implants, and succeeded in putting Strathclyde on the map as a global centre of excellence in the field.
He studied mechanical engineering at the Royal College of Science and Technology (which became the University of Strathclyde) and his interest in bioengineering began when an orthopaedic surgeon asked for the department’s help in the design of pins to secure fractured femurs in elderly women. John Paul was put on the case and discovered there was no information available about the forces transmitted by bones while a person is in motion – so he built an instrument to measure them. His resulting PhD became a classic reference work around the world, and his data is still used today for the current hip simulator machines that are used to improve the long-term functionality of modern hip joint prostheses. The set of data used for the repetitive forces on the hip joint during walking is now referred to as The Paul Cycle.
He became a true ambassador for bioengineering and biomechanics by travelling worldwide to spread the word about his research. He went to Russia to work with Soviet scientists long before Glasnost; he was working with Chinese universities back in the 1980s; he would visit any country that could afford to pay his return economy fare because he was evangelical about letting people know about this marvellous new technology that could so enhance patients’ lives.
In the domestic UK scene he served his ‘Unit’ at Strathclyde from 1977 to 1992, and worked with colleagues on knee, elbow and ankle joint research, as well as hips. He has a scientific term named after him in knee simulation machines as well as hips: the dynamic compressive force input time profile used on standardised knee simulator wear testing machines around the world is known as the Paul Curve.
Ironically, the years of playing rugby took their toll on his own joints and he needed his first hip replacement at the age of 51. His wife, Bette, was horrified that just a couple of hours after he emerged from surgery, she arrived at the hospital to find him out of bed and walking along a corridor while some of his students measured his gait. He went on to have four hip replacements and one knee replacement, so no one can say he didn’t practise what he preached. His mobility was severely challenged in later life but he would not give in to disability and managed to get around efficiently on elbow crutches.
Outside the university, for 36 years he worked for the British and International Standards Organisations, which establish standards for joint implants around the world. He chaired the Endoprostheses and Osteosynthesis committee from 1991, and was a delegate to the Implants for Surgery committee from 1976, making what they call “a considerable contribution to international standardization”. He was also president of the International Society of Biomechanics (1987-90), an active member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from The International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty.
Professor Paul and his late wife Bette led an active social life, frequently entertaining overseas visitors at their home in Milngavie. He felt a strong duty of care to the students who flocked from around the world to study at Strathclyde. If they could not get home for Christmas, they had Christmas dinner with the Paul family. If their residence arrangements fell through, he put them up. And he was always ready to use his contacts and influence to help former students advance their careers. One student emailed the family after his death to say “it feels like the passing of a favourite grandfather.”
Almost all the correspondence the family has received mentions Prof Paul’s dry sense of humour and the twinkle in his eye. He frequently shared a bottle of duty-free malt with colleagues in his hotel room after conferences, and one letter notes: “He always dispensed wise advice on those occasions. It’s just a shame I never remembered any of it the following morning.”
He continued to work until just months before his death on November 13, following a short illness. He is survived by his three children, Gillian, Graham and Fiona, and five grandchildren, Ana, Rhuaridh, Barnaby, Harvey and Florence, on whom he was always a strong influence. From him they learned that you can achieve whatever you want in life if you work hard enough for it; that if you get 99 per cent in maths, the 1 per cent lost was due to pure carelessness; they learned to be altruistic, although they will never be able to match his high standards; they also learned the best way to tip someone off an inflatable mattress in a swimming pool and that whisky should be drunk with water but never ice!
To all these great things that I gathered from the press, or have been forwarded to me by Phil Rowe, Sandy Nicol and his friends in Strathclyde, I will only add this, one that I know would make his heart feel warm. He was one of the best sons of Scotland.
Peter Zioupos, 01/12/13