Midwest Mechanics Seminar

The Midwest Mechanics Seminar is a longstanding seminar series where outstanding researchers from around the world (outside the midwest), working in the broad areas of fluid and solid mechanics, are invited to present their research at several midwestern universities in the United States. It was started by Prof. Phil Hodge in 1958 who described its inception in the following words:

I came to Illinois Institute of Technology about 1957 and was immediately put in charge of their monthly seminar program. We had a limited budget and it occurred to me that our money would go further if we could cooperate with some of the other midwestern schools that had mechanics programs. I wrote to the appropriate chairs at several universities and received enthusiastic responses from six of them… Many schools had a traditional day of the week for their seminars but others were flexible, and it was not too difficult to work out a two-week tour that made reasonable geographic sense. Speakers were offered their choice of one long tour in two consecutive weeks, or splitting it into two separate tours. Since I had no desire at all to spend time on finances, we agreed to offer a fixed honorarium, with each school paying the same amount directly to the speaker. In addition, each host was responsible for room and meals of the speaker for the time he (and for many years it was only ‘he’) was at their location. Frequently this was done by inviting the speaker to someone’s home.

adapted from here.

The series has been held every year since 1958 except for 1983 and 2020. Each year, four researchers (2 fluids + 2 solids) are selected through a vote which involves the faculty at all the participating universities.

The seminar series currently invites researchers to present at 10 different midwestern universities under two separate tours.

MMS Tour A:

  • University of Michigan (Monday)

  • Michigan State University (Tuesday)

  • Notre Dame (Wednesday)

  • University of Chicago (Thursday)

  • University of Wisconsin Madison (Friday)

MMS Tour B:

  • Purdue Fluids and Solids (Monday)

  • University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (Tuesday)

  • Illinois Institute of Technology (Wednesday)

  • Iowa State University (Thursday)

  • University of Minnesota (Friday)