Welcome Message


It's Not Just Modal Anymore

February 8–11, 2021


Welcome to IMAC XXXIX

Picture of Mike Mains
Picture of David Epp

Welcome to virtual IMAC XXXIX! This year’s rich and varied program complements our theme: “Next Frontier in Structural Dynamics.” Although the virtual format is new, we strongly believe we can work together to make this a great meeting.

This is the very first IMAC to be held virtually. Let’s continue to push forward, pursue novel research, broaden the knowledge within our structural dynamics field, and share what we have learned with our community. SEM and IMAC have meant much to our careers, and we have all given much to this community, but we have received so much more. Your research and dedication are what make this a successful conference. Let’s all rise to the challenge of making a virtual IMAC the best it can be and continue to expand the boundaries of what can be done in the field of structural dynamics!

During the week, almost 300 presenters will cover a broad range of technical topics over four days. Our ever-expanding data science track complements the conference theme, and we have two keynote speakers whose presentations will focus on data science. Dr. Russ Salakhutdinov, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, will present advances in deep learning. Mr. Elliott Wolf, leader of the Applied Sciences team at Lineage Logistics, will talk about (re)engineering challenges in the face of sudden changes brought on by COVID-19. We will also continue to offer tutorials during the week, including Nonlinear System ID, Jointed Structures, and Deep Learning for Image Based Analysis. All attendees – from novice to experienced engineers – will find interesting topics to explore and discuss in the program this year.

The virtual format for IMAC will combine the best features from previous SEM virtual conferences and lessons learned from other conferences. With the help of the Technical Divisions, Focus Groups, and the many people who will be chairing the sessions, we will highlight your work and continue to foster the “Friendly Society” atmosphere we have come to expect from this community that’s “Not Just Modal Anymore.” The live session format with brief presentations and discussion with each presenter, along with interactive features such as live meet ups, and other communication options in the Whova app are all designed to encourage as much collaboration as possible. Please be patient with each other as we experience this new format.

Lastly, we want to encourage all IMAC participants to join one or more Focus Group or Technical Division. Although many of these groups only meet during IMAC, they are active all year, developing most of the technical program. Your participation and ideas are needed to keep IMAC responsive to the needs of the structural dynamics community. This year, Technical Division and Focus Group meetings will be held the week prior to IMAC. A schedule and links can be found on the IMAC-Meetings page of the SEM website (sem.org). We can’t thank you enough for being part of this community and sharing your curiosity, enthusiasm, expertise, and time with everyone. We are looking forward to a great meeting, and, once again, welcome to IMAC!

Mike Mains, IMAC Conference Director
David Epp, IMAC Advisory Board Chair