About SEM

SEM’s 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.

About SEM

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

Frequently asked Questions:

Q: What is SEM?

A: SEM is the Society for Experimental Mechanics, a professional society formed in 1943 by engineers and scientists involved in the validation of new designs and materials. The ever-increasing pressure to reduce the cost and development cycles has directed the work of these “experimentalists” toward the concept stage, predicting design performance and reliability. The dependence on the “experimentalist” has fostered a renewed interest in experimental analysis and test methods.

SEM continues to support the experimentalist’s work, which is with materials, the forces that affect them, and the responses generated by the combination of the two. We provide various opportunities for the exchange of knowledge in all areas involved with experimental mechanics.

Q: Who should Join SEM?

A:You should join SEM if you have an interest in these four areas: materials; modeling and analysis; strain measurement; and structural testing. Within these four areas specific topics are covered by SEM Technical Divisions that all SEM members are welcome to join.

Q: What are the membership requirements?

A: You are eligible for membership if you have an interest in and are willing to support the mission and activities of the society.

Q:How can I get more information?

A:Contact us directly:

Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc.
7 School Street
Bethel, CT 06801-1405 USA
P: (203) 790-6373
F: (203) 790-4472
Email: services@sem1.com

SEM Organization

The governing body of SEM is the Executive Board which is a group of members elected at the Society’s annual meeting. Many of the day to day activities of the Society are carried out by a paid staff. The organization of SEM is shown below.

SEM Executive Board



National Meetings

Technical Activities


Intersociety Liaison
Education Foundation
Past Presidents
SEM Historian



EM Papers Review
EM International Advisory Board
ET Editorial
ET Advisory Group



Technical Program




Technical Divisions:

Composite Materials
Modal Analysis/Dynamic Systems
Fracture and Fatigue
Optical Methods
Applied Photoelasticity
Residual Stress
Structural Testing
TCSG (Strain Gages)
Thermal Methods
Sensors and Instrumentation
Time Dependent Materials
Biological Systems and Materials
MEMS and Nanotechnology
Electronic Packaging
Model Validation & Uncertainty
Dynamic Behavior of Materials
Inverse Problem Methodologies