I had the privilege to attend and present a paper at the 13th International Conference on Wind Engineering, held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from the 10th to 15th of July, 2011. It was a successful conference with over 600 papers, and more than 500 participants from all over the world, including a large majority from Asia.
In 5 days of the conference proper, there were 6 plenary sessions, and 5 concurrent technical sessions at a given time. The title of my paper was "Damping based on EPP Spring Models of Stick-Slip Surfaces," and was unfortunately grouped with papers in a session topic that is totally not related to mine.
It was my first time to present a somewhat scientific research work and my first time in an international conference. Not to mention, it was also my first time in Europe. Africa, South America, and Australia are the only other inhabited continents I have yet to visit. Prior to this, I have only presented not-so-scientific papers at regional wind and civil engineering conferences, or scientific work adjusted to suit the audience at not-so-scientific national civil engineering conferences.
The abstract of the paper goes as follows:
Damping is one of the most important parameters in determining building response to wind loads, but ironically it has a high degree of variability, leading to lower reliability in design. Damping in buildings under wind loads, wherein the structure is still within its linear elastic limit, is thought to be due to friction at contact surfaces, for example between non-structural walls and structural frames. This friction can be modelled as elastic-perfectly-plastic springs to determine their damping contribution in structures. This study starts with analysis of a simple one-degree-of-freedom and one-spring (one-surface) system to gain a basic understanding of the mechanism. A multiple-spring (multiple-surface) system is next studied, with properties varied using a uniform probability distribution.