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Computational Science is essential in the solution of complex problems in every sector, from traditional science and engineering domains to key areas of national security, public health and economic innovation. The expansion in our ability to model and simulate an almost limitless variety of natural and engineered systems, allow us to explore complex problems that have long defied traditional methods of study. Technological applications of numerical methods and computer simulation cross a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from nano-mechanics and materials design, to product manufacturing and large urban infrastructure projects. These simulations facilitate faster parametric studies with fewer errors, and shorter and less expensive cycles of design compared to methods that require physical prototypes. Numerical methods and simulation offer the prospect of improved prediction skills and solution optimization, enabling more efficient use of financial and human resources for designs, risk assessment and management.

Bioengineering applies the principles and methods of computational mechanics to identify, understand and help solve problems associated with medical practice. Bioengineers need to understand clinical problems, be able to develop and use appropriate methodologies to analyze them and to translate the results back into the clinical environment. Thus, bioengineering research contributes to improving the understanding of the mechanisms of many diseases and helps the development of innovative technologies for both their diagnosis and their treatment.

The PASI on “Numerical Methods and their Application in Bioengineering” is an intensive course in advanced numerical tools and their application to bioengineering applications. The topics will include an unusual combination of finite element, boundary element and discrete element methodologies in a single framework; a combination rarely encountered in a traditional university course. Although participating students may already have had some exposure to these topics at their home universities, this workshop will take the knowledge to a higher level, including hands-on sessions in computer labs provided by the host university.

Objectives

Educating and training future bioengineers is one of the most important tasks ahead, together with the strengthening and creation of R+D bioengineering groups in both academe and industry. Seeking to contribute in this work, the present Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes Program (PASI) sets up an intensive two week workshop on "Numerical Methods and their Application in Bioengineering" with the following objectives :

Attendance at the seminars and workshops are of value for disseminating the state-of-the-art in bioengineering analysis, while exposing the trainees to the latest advances in numerical modeling and applications in industry.

The conferences and workshops open new opportunities for the researchers in the labor market, in addition to bringing industrial collaborators closer to the innovative work of the academics and researchers. The interaction between researchers, scientists and engineers from different organizations' R&D centers, universities and industries during the seminar pursues this aim.

LONGER TERM GOALS

Both the US and Latin American organizations taking part in this workshop are currently implementing several initiatives to consolidate collaboration, to establish new, and strengthen existing networks of engineers and scientists in the U.S. and Latin America, with expertise in computational modeling directed at applications in bioengineering. The Latin American organizations participating in this seminar, created a network of collaboration in advanced numerical methods in bioengineering that has been operating for some years the "International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) Classroom Network", whose aim is the promotion of numerical methods and computational mechanics within engineering and applied sciences including bioengineering. The first Workshop on Bioengineering of the CIMNE Classroom Network was organized in March 2010 in Mérida (Venezuela), under the supervision of Prof. M. Cerrolaza, and sponsored by the Iberoamerican States Organization for the Education, Science and Culture.

In this way, collaboration between partners and further action is ensured. To encourage continued future collaboration, special sessions during the workshop will be scheduled to design a "roadmap" to facilitate dissemination of learning materials, priorities for research and plans for national and international conference and symposia presentations. To maintain the group activities, webinars and other tools, virtual meetings and information sharing will be promoted. Special efforts will be directed at encouraging new members in order to enlarge the reach of the network.