Third World Congress on Biomechanics

2 - 8 August 1998 | Sapporo, Japan

The Third World Congress of Biomechanics (WCB ’98) was held in Sapporo, Japan, on 2-8 August 1998, under the sponsorship of the Science Council of Japan and the Japan National Committee on Biomechanics (JNCB).

The Congress was organised by the request and support of The World Council for Biomechanics which was established in 1990 during The First World Congress of Biomechanics held in La Jolla, California. The purpose of the Council is to provide permanence and stability for periodic meetings of the World Congress of Biomechanics and to communicate information about the World Congresses and associated satellite meetings, as well as about the scientific priorities in biomechanics to as many people interested in the field as possible. The Second Congress was held in Amsterdam in 1994.

In The Third Congress, we had 989 participants including 135 students and 80 accompanying persons from 31 countries (530 from Japan and 459 from abroad). 1047 abstracts were accepted for presentations, which include five plenary lectures, 15 tutorial lectures, 430 presentations at 23 symposia (92 sessions), and 597 presentations for free communication (63 sessions including three poster sessions), although 122 were cancelled.

The themes of the plenary and tutorial lectures and symposia, and the lecturers and organisers of the symposia were selected from the proposals offered from the members of all the committees for organising the Congress, in particular from the members of the Program Committee and the International Advisory Committee. The plenary lectures were:

  1. Haemodynamics and arterial disease (D.N. Ku, Georgia Institute of Technology)
  2. Load and energy aspects in locomotion (B.M. Nigg, The University of Calgary)
  3. Biomechanics in orthopedics - report from the junction of the body and the mind (L. Ryd, University Hospital in Lund)
  4. Imaging and nano-manipulation of single biomolecules at work: working principle of biological molecular machines ( T. Yanagida, Osaka University)
  5. The coronary circulation (N. Westerhof, Free University of Amsterdam)

The tutorial lectures and symposia covered almost all the fields of biomechanics, which included: cellular and molecular biomechanics, cardiovascular biomechanics, respiratory biomechanics, orthopaedic biomechanics, muscle mechanics and movement control, maxillofacial biomechanics, biomechanics of crash injury and impact, locomotion and movement analysis, bioheat transfer and biothermal engineering, development and evaluation of artificial organs, measuring and analytical methods for biomechanics.

The social program of the Congress consisted of a 'get together party' at the Sapporo Factory Hall, an excursion to the historical village of Hokkaido, and banquet at Sapporo beer garden and museum. At the banquet, participants very much enjoyed a tasty Mongolian Genghis Khan barbecue and the world famous Sapporo beer with old and new friends. In addition, there was a guided walk on the Hokkaido University campus and to the Red Bricks (Old Hokkaido Government Building), the Botanical Garden of Hokkaido University, and A Dip into Japanese Traditions (japanese flower arrangement, origami paper craft, calligraphic works, japanese traditional tea ceremony, and japanese kimono dressing-up) were prepared for accompanying persons.

The Congress was held on the campus of Hokkaido University in Sapporo. Sapporo was selected as the site for the Congress, partly because the city is well-known for its wonderful natural beauty, modernised but quiet town, and tasty food, and partly because it is not hot nor humid even in summer, and more comfortable compared with the other big cities in Japan. In fact, the weather was nice during the Congress. Hokkaido University, which is well known for its high quality of research and education as well as for its beautiful campus, is located in the central part of the city Sapporo. Therefore, the Congress participants could enjoy not only the scientific and social programs but also their stay in the city.

During the Congress, meetings of the World Council for Biomechanics were held, and new members and officers of the Council have been elected. The new officers are: Chair, Savio L-Y. Woo (University of Pittsburgh); Vice Chair, Kozaburo Hayashi (Osaka University); Secretary, Leendert Blankevoort (University of Nijmegen); Treasurer, James C.H. Goh (National University of Singapore). The former Chair, Y.C. Fung was named Honorary Chair of the Council. In addition, it has been decided to hold the Fourth Congress in Calgary, Canada, on 3-8 August 2002, with Benno M. Nigg (The University of Calgary) as the Congress Chair.

Kozaburo Hayashi

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