The ESB Conference will take place this year from 7-10 July for the 25th time, the first time in Vienna. The Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences is a member of the Organizing Committee together with the Vienna University of Technology and the European Society of Biomechanics. Around 750 participants from more than 30 nations will take part in the conference.
While Vienna is a city most commonly associated for its unparalleled contributions in music and the arts, it is also the home of several Nobel Laureates in Medicine as well as the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), which the oldest edition of its type in the German-speaking part of Europe. Therefore, it is perhaps not surprising that Vienna is a place where the biomechanics discipline is steadily increasing in activity and importance.
At TU Wien itself, biomechanical activities date back at least to the late 1980s and early 1990s, arising from interactions between groups from TU Wien’s Mechanical and Civil Engineering Departments and the Viennese Medical institutions. They comprise pioneering forms of bone micromechanics and adaptation modelling at the then Institute of Lightweight Design and Aerospace Engineering, or the first-ever testing device for anisotropic elasticity testing of skin, at the then Institute for Strength of Materials. In 2003, the first professor of biomechanics was appointed at TU Wien who not only established a working group in this area, but also founded the Interfacultary Laboratory for Micro- and Nanomechanics of Biological and Biomimetical Materials.
In the following years an English-taught, internationally competitive MSc program in biomedical engineering was established. It comprises lectures and courses provided by the aforementioned departments, as well as those of electrical engineering, of physics, chemistry, informatics, and mathematics; further it also includes contributions from the Medical University of Vienna as well as the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. As a result, all fields of biomedical engineering are thriving, as there are young and eager students from all over the world studying, working on research projects, and seeking further education and employment beyond their MSc degree.
In 2013, the TU Wien was involved in establishing the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences with jointly appointed professors in musculoskeletal biomechanics and microbiological diagnostics. Most recently, a joint initiative has been launched by TU Wien and the Medical University Vienna, in the form of the newly established Vienna Center for Engineering in Medicine – a platform for further strengthening and deepening the cooperation between engineers and clinicians in the Vienna region, in order to widen their local research portfolio, and to promote the latter on a global scale.
Finally, we, the chairs, have been active members of the biomechanics research community, with interests in bone mechanics, soft tissue mechanics, collagen mechanics, finite element modelling, multiscale and homogenization techniques, tissue engineering applications, surgical implants, and more. We have continuously cared about embedding these activities within the European Society of Biomechanics, and have recently intensified these activities through foundations of an Austrian National Chapter in 2015.
In this line, we are delighted to host the 2019 ESB congress, and to cordially welcome you in the very center of Europe, in Austria’s beautiful capital.
Philipp Thurner, Dieter Pahr, Christian Hellmich
ESB 2019 chairmen