The Congress that almost wasn’t and ended in success

  • The 19th European Mechanics of Materials Conference, organised by IMDEA Materials Institute and held at the Technical University of Madrid, has wrapped up with more than 550 people in attendance over the course of the three-day event.
  • EMMC is one of the largest annual European conferences dedicated to the mechanics of materials field and brought together several hundred international experts in the field.

Organisers of the 19th European Mechanics of Materials Conference (EMMC19) have heralded its success in putting IMDEA Materials Institute on the map in the mechanics of materials field.

The event, held last week over three days at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), was organised by IMDEA Materials and UPM researchers, Profs. Javier Segurado and Carlos González, saw more than 550 people in attendance.

As one of the leading European conferences with a focus on materials for mechanical applications, EMMC19 is among the largest events to have been organised by IMDEA Materials during its 16 years of existence.  

“The fact that the institute has organised such a prestigious event, and that the two event Chairman are IMDEA Materials researchers, I think really highlights the institute’s relevance in the field”, said Prof. Segurado.

“It also puts both IMDEA Materials and the UPM on the international spotlight […] and has allowed us to spread our image internationally”.

Aside from organising EMMC19, IMDEA Materials researchers also played a key role in the event’s proceedings, with more than 20 researchers participating as speakers and organising volunteers.

In addition, several symposia were organised by the institute’s senior researchers, while IMDEA Materials Deputy Director, Dr. Jon Molina, was one of three plenary speakers, along with Prof. Davide Bigoni from the University of Trento and Prof. Laura de Lorenzis from ETH Zurich.

More than half of IMDEA researchers work on the study of materials for structural applications, making the biannual EMMC of particular relevance.

“Although there are other, larger scientific conferences in Europe with a more general materials focus, where EMMC stands out is its’ specific mechanics of materials focus”, explained Prof. Segurado.

“We saw that over the three days. While there was a great variety of topics presented, ranging from more theoretical papers to solid mechanics, to others with a pure materials focus, what connected all of them was a central focus of materials for mechanical applications”.

The conference that was canceled by the pandemic

EMMC19’s resounding success is perhaps all the more remarkable when one considers that the event very nearly never took place at all.

IMDEA Materials was originally chosen to host the previous edition of the conference four years ago, before organisers were forced to cancel at the last minute owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have to say that we are very grateful to both EUROMECH (the European Mechanics Society) and to all of the participants of the previously cancelled conference in 2020”, said Prof. Segurado.

“They played a major role in ensuring that cancellation didn’t end up resulting in a financial disaster, which is what allowed us to re-present ourselves as organisers for this year’s event,” he added.

During the event, it was confirmed that EMMC20 will be organised by the University of Florence and will be held from May 27-29, 2026. You can view a photo gallery of selected images from EMMC19, here: