Mission Statement

The Society for Experimental Mechanics is composed of international members from academia, government, and industry who are committed to interdisciplinary application, research and development, education, and active promotion of experimental methods to: (a) increase the knowledge of physical phenomena; (b) further the understanding of the behavior of materials, structures and systems; and (c) provide the necessary physical basis and verification for analytical and computational approaches to the development of engineering solutions.


The Society for Experimental Mechanics, originally called The Society for Experimental Stress Analysis, was founded in 1943 as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with the original goal to "further the knowledge of stress and strain analysis and related technologies." In the years since its founding, SEM has continued to adapt itself to the needs of the members in the experimental mechanics community. The members of SEM encompass a unique group of experimentalists, development engineers, design engineers, test engineers and technicians, and research and development scientists from industry and educational institutions.

This international network of engineers and scientists is interested in the research and application of engineering measurements and test methods with the mission to promote and encourage the furtherance of knowledge pertaining to the education, research and application of experimental mechanics to the determination of materials and system behavior.

The Society ascribes to that mission and adds to it the commitment to the development, application and general use of experimental methods to (a) better understand the physical phenomena that impede technological progress; and (b) complement analytical and computational approaches to the search for engineering solutions.

History of SEM

SEM publishes a bimonthly journal, Experimental Techniques. Starting in the September/October 1997 issue there has been a series of articles documenting the History of SEM. The link below will bring you to the current list of articles available for viewing on line. The articles make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history of SEM or, in fact, the history of science and engineering in the US. Click here for History of SEM.