National Committee on Applied Mechanics

Dedicated to the practical application of mechanics.

What is Applied Mechanics?

Applied Mechanics is a branch of the physical sciences and the practical application of mechanics. Applied mechanics examines the response of bodies (solids and fluids) or systems of bodies to external forces.

Some examples of mechanical systems include the flow of a liquid under pressure, the fracture of a solid from an applied force, or the vibration of an ear in response to sound. A practitioner of the discipline is known as a mechanician.

Applied mechanics, as its name suggests, bridges the gap between physical theory and its application to technology. As such, applied mechanics is used in many fields of engineering, especially mechanical engineering. In this context, it is commonly referred to as engineering mechanics.

Much of modern engineering mechanics is based on Isaac Newton's laws of motion, while the modern practice of their application can be traced back to Stephen Timoshenko, who is said to be the father of modern engineering mechanics.

Within the theoretical sciences, applied mechanics is useful in formulating new ideas and theories, discovering and interpreting phenomena, and developing experimental and computational tools.

In the application of the natural sciences, mechanics was said by the American chemist Gilbert N. Lewis and the American physical chemist Merle Randall to be complemented by thermodynamics, the study of heat and more generally energy, and electromechanics, the study of electricity and magnetism.

About the National Committee on Applied Mechanics

The National Committee on Applied Mechanics (NCAM) is part of the Mechanical College, along with other related groups such as the National Committee on Engineering Design , the National Committee on Nano-engineering and the National Panel on Mechatronics.

We aim to promote and advance the science and practice of Applied Mechanics with particular reference to:

  • Noise & Vibration
  • Robotics
  • Machine Condition Monitoring
  • Tribology
  • Machine Design and Applications
  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Materials Behaviour and Fabrication Technology

Related groups

Applied Mechanics awards

Student Paper Prize

About this award

This award encourages students to submit papers to the Australian Congress on Applied Mechanics, held approximately every two years.

Nomination criteria

The submitted papers are assessed on:

  • relevance of the problem to the Applied Mechanics community
  • significance of contribution
  • demonstration of critical insight
  • structure of the paper
  • quality of content
  • quality of visuals
  • quality of writing

Terms & Conditions

To be eligible for the award, the student must be the primary author (first author) in the full paper and the paper must be presented at the congress by the author.

Presentation of award

The award will be presented at the dinner of the Australian Congress on Applied Mechanics. There will be a monetary prize for first, second and third, as well as a framed certificate.

2014 winners

1st place - Jesse McCarthy

'Piezoelectric energy harvesting utlising fltter: an overview of angle, proximity and turbulence effects'

Joint 2nd place - Jiawen Su, L.R. Francis Rose, Martin Veidt and Chun H. Wang

'Use of the mode-converted scattered Lamb waves for baseline-free imaging of structural damage.'

Joint 2nd place - Wentian Wang, Adrian Lowe and Shankar Kalyanasundaram

'Non-linear quasi-isotropic material modelling of chopped flax fibre reinforced polypropylene composites in stamp forming.'

Joint 3rd place - Jae Nam, Wesley Cantwell, Raj Das, Adrian Lowe and Shankar Kalyanasundaram

'Evolution of meridian strains in stamp forming of steel-based fibre metal laminate.'

Joint 3rd place - Chandarin Ung, Scott Moss and Wing Chiu

'A comparison between 1- and 2- degree of freedom electromagnetic energy harvester for heavy haul railcar application.'

Best student poster at ACAM 5

Three students won awards in the student poster competition at ACAM 5:


Ross Batten (University of Queensland) - "The effects of passing speed distribution on rail corrugation growth rate."

Runners Up

Stuart Wildy (University of Adelaide) - "Monitoring of crack propagation using a cluster of piezo-sensors."

Md Mainul Islam (University of Newcastle) - "Properties and mechanical behaviour of novel sandwich composites made of syntactic foam and paper skin."

Innovation in teaching of Applied Mechanics

The Innovation in the Teaching of Applied Mechanics Award is presented on a triennial basis at the Committee's Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics (ACAM).

The award is open to anyone who has successfully introduced innovative programs or teaching aids on Applied Mechanics for engineering students.

Previous winners

2005 - Dr Rebecca Gravina, RMIT University

1999 - Dr Nathan Scott and Professor Brian Stone, University of Western Australia.

Contact us

For any enquiries regarding the National Committee for Applied Mechanics please contact:


Engineers Australia
Engineering House
11 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600


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