A. When and Where

The General Assembly of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics has met every other year since the founding of the Union in 1946. Every second General Assembly has been held in conjunction with the International Congress which is attended by almost all members. The intermediate meetings have been held by invitation at a reasonably convenient and interesting location. Of the 36 meetings listed in the appendix, 7 were held in countries that hosted one each. The remaining 29 took place in 10 other countries.

Present practice is to schedule each meeting for two days. All issues of importance are raised on the first day with final decision taken on the second. This allows ample time for the participants to discuss and become fully familiar with any complex or difficult matters that arise from time to time and to reach consensus prior to the formal vote. One day meetings had been held in the early days. However, when the number of symposia increased dramatically and the General Assembly began to play a much stronger role in the direction of the affairs of the Union, one day did not provide sufficient time for the members either to form firm conclusions in response to recommendations of the Bureau, the Symposia Panels, and the Electoral Committee or to propose other matters of interest to them. Meetings have been remarkably harmonious over the years. The General Assembly is a body where lasting friendships as well as fruitful professional interactions develop.

The two day duration has provided an additional side benefit for the intermediate meetings. Periods now are available for stimulating scientific lectures or other activities of professional interest. These make a General Assembly meeting between congresses intellectually rewarding as well as a necessary gathering for the transaction of the essential business of the Union.

B. Membership

The membership of the General Assembly consists of the appointed representatives of the adhering organizations, representatives of the affiliated organizations, and persons elected by the General Assembly as Member-at-Large. In the early days of IUTAM also personal members were selected, some even for lifetime. Since the Pallanza General Assembly in 1950 there has been a shift toward a membership that is mainly representative. Members-at-Large now are elected for a period of four years from one congress to the next and may be reelected if the members of the General Assembly so choose. The current General Assembly (Report 2014) consists of 123 individuals, including 97 persons representing Adhering Organizations, 14 members without voting right representing Affiliated Organizations as well as 12 elected Members-at-Large. This contrasts with a 32 member General Assembly as listed in the first IUTAM Report. Adhering and Affiliated Organizations are listed in the appendices as well as all General Assembly members of the past and present.

C. Activities

The agenda for the first day of a General Assembly meeting contains reports for the information of the members, and reports that recommend action to be taken on the second day. Among the important items requiring action at each meeting are the choice of symposia to sponsor from among the many proposed for the upcoming two years hence, and the fixing of the unit dues for that same time period. The election of officers and ordinary members of the Bureau occurs every four years at the time of a congress. Recommendations of the Electoral Committee, based upon nominations solicited six or more months earlier from each member of the General Assembly, are presented on the first day of the meeting.

A typical agenda for a meeting held in conjunction with a congress follows.

Agenda—21 August, 2012

  1. 1.

    Opening of the meeting by the President

  2. 2.

    Report by the Secretary-General

  3. 3.

    Report by the Treasurer on financial matters

  4. 4.

    Preliminary discussion on annual dues

  5. 5.

    Report by the Secretary of the Congress Committee

  6. 6.

    Matters concerning Adhering Organizations

  7. 7.

    Matters concerning Affiliated and Associate Organizations

  8. 8.

    Reports and preliminary discussions on Working Parties

  9. 9.

    Report of the Electoral Committee

  10. 10.

    Proposals for election of Members-at-Large

  11. 11.

    Proposals for election of members of Symposia Panels

  12. 12.

    Preliminary discussion on future IUTAM Symposia.

  13. 13.

    Preliminary discussion on future Int. Summer Schools on Mechanics

  14. 14.

    Preliminary discussion on a resolution for the eligibility for election as Bureau Officer and as Bureau member

  15. 15.

    Preliminary discussion on a change of statutes concerning the Congress Committee

  16. 16.

    Publication of Proceedings

  17. 17.

    IUTAM Prizes for Fluid Mechanics and for Solid Mechanics.

Agenda—22 August, 2012

  1. 18.

    Presentation of ICSU by Prof. Dov Jaron, member of ICSU Executive Board

  2. 19.

    Matters concerning Inter-Union Committees

  3. 20.

    Matters concerning non-ICSU Organizations

  4. 21.

    Future IUTAM co-sponsored events

  5. 22.

    Continued discussion and final decision regarding future IUTAM Symposia

  6. 23.

    Continued discussion and final decision regarding future International Summer Schools on Mechanics

  7. 24.

    Continued discussion and final decision regarding annual dues

  8. 25.

    Continued discussion and final decision regarding Working Parties

  9. 26.

    Election of Officers and members of the Bureau

  10. 27.

    Election of Members-at-Large

  11. 28.

    Election of members of the Congress Committee of IUTAM

  12. 29.

    Final decision on re-appointment of four members of Symposia Panels and the election of two new members for the Solid Panel

  13. 30.

    Continued discussion and final decision regarding the resolution for the eligibility for election as Bureau Officer and as Bureau member

  14. 31.

    Date and venue of the next General Assembly

  15. 32.

    Any other business.

The agenda for an intermediate meeting would not have the Electoral Committee report and the elections. Several topics arise just from time to time, such as admission of Adhering and Affiliated organizations, revision of Statutes, report of a study group or other issues.