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Processes of learning and sharing technical knowledge constituted the permanent focus of SMD activities, not only through the printed medium, but also by direct personal interaction of Division associates and visitors. Such interaction found its expression in various seminars, workshops, conferences and symposia, as well as lectures by invited guests on topics within the stated SMD mission.

A systematic listing of all SMD live-events is rather difficult to achieve because of the variety of venues (Waterloo or elsewhere), sponsorships (SMD, other, combined), publishers (UW or other), and orientation (research or teaching). A sample of the major events with SMD involvement is given in Appendix 6. The publication activities for these events have been surveyed in the preceding section. We now turn our attention to communication events of either research or teaching orientation.

2.3.1. Research-oriented Events

From the late 1960s to the early 1980s a number of topics in solid mechanics captured the interest of investigators around the world. At the time SMD was a centre of exciting developments in structural plasticity and optimization, reliability and codification, and stability and experimental mechanics. Interaction of SMD faculty, associates, students and friends allowed the planning and organizing at Waterloo of some notable international meetings on these topics. Images of the delegate participation at three such events are shown in Figures 8, 9 and 10.

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Figure 8. NATO ASI – Engineering Plasticity by Mathematical Programming, Waterloo 1977

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Figure 9. International Symposium-Nonlinear Design of Concrete Structures, Waterloo 1979

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Figure 10. Int’l Symposium-Nonlinearity and Continuity in Prestressed Concrete, Waterloo 1983

The first SMD meeting was the Colloquium on Limit Design for Structural Concrete, September 6­8, 1967. The purpose of the meeting was to clarify the theory and practical design application of three methods of Limit Design under debate by the joint ASCE-ACI Committee 428. The premises and feasibility of the three (European, American and Canadian) approaches were each discussed for one full day, with the basic principles presented by their authors during the morning sessions. Three representative structure examples, fully worked out by the Waterloo group of faculty and graduate students, were presented in the afternoon sessions. The latter results are summarized in the first issue of the SM Paper/Report Series (Cohn et al, 1969). The 1967 meeting was the beginning of an intense activity of live-events, whose contents and output is reflected by the Special Publications reviewed in the preceding section (see Appendix 6).