Nonlinear Structures and Systems


Gaetan Kerschen
University of Liege

Vice Chair
Matthew Brake
Rice University

Ludovic Renson
University of Bristol




Even if it is not well-recognized by practitioners, the vast majority of real engineering structures behave nonlinearly. Common nonlinearities include friction, contact, nonlinear materials and large displacement-related effects. This Technical Division supports the emerging field of nonlinear vibrations; it intends to highlight and share the important progress that has been realized in the area over the last 30 years.

Specifically, the objective is to show how nonlinear effects can be included in all steps of the engineering design: in the experimental analysis tools (so that the nonlinear parameters can be correctly identified) and in the mathematical and numerical models of the structure (in order to run accurate simulations). In so doing, it will be possible to create a model representative of the reality which (once validated) can be used for better predictions.

The purpose of the Nonlinear Structures and Systems Technical Division is:

  • Providing a unique multidisciplinary forum to disseminate and exchange information on new research and technical developments in the testing, identification, simulation and design of nonlinear structures and systems.
  • Enhancing research, technical developments, and standard practices in structures testing in the presence of nonlinearity through the identification of critical research needs and the validation and dissemination of emerging methods and promising technologies.
  • Promoting and/or organizing special sessions, tutorials, symposia, short courses, workshops, manuals or monographs that respond to identified needs of the TD member community and facilitate transfer of developed technologies and methods to the larger professional community.
  • Interacting, assisting and cooperating with other committees, societies, associations or organizations by serving as a focal point on nonlinear structures and systems.
  • Planning and coordinating, in cooperation with others, nonlinear dynamics activities of the Society.

Recent Activities
During the last IMAC, 8 different sessions on, e.g., nonlinear modes and modal interactions, joints, friction and damping, experimental nonlinear dynamics, were organized for a total of more than 80 presentations. Because nonlinearity and its impact on the dynamics of mechanical systems might still be obscure for many conference participants, four tutorials on nonlinear oscillations, reduced-order modelling, nonlinear modelling and simulation and nonlinear system identification were delivered by experts in the area of nonlinear systems. A one-day preconference short course on nonlinear system identification was also taught.

A Benchmark for Nonlinear Structural Identification
Click to download a .zip file containing resource documents for A Benchmark for Nonlinear Structural Identification.