international association for shell and spatial structures

Working Group 13: Computational Methods


Encourage the development of computational aspects appearing in the different phases of creation, design, construction and maintenance of shell and spatial structures.

History and Background

IASS Working Group No. 13 was founded in 1984 at the Dortmund Annual IASS Symposium under the leadership of Prof. Avelino Samartín. The original name of the WG was Numerical Methods in Shell and Spatial Structures, but this has since been generalized to accommodate all types of computational approaches.  Therefore, the group interacts with the activities of other IASS Working Groups and aims to support them on their specific tasks.

Over the years, a principal activity of the WG has been to organize International Colloquia.  The first three of these were held in Leuven, Belgium in 1986; Tokyo, Japan in 1993; and Taipei, Taiwan in 1997.  Subsequently, they have been organized jointly with the International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM), and these IASS-IACM Conferences have been held in Chania, Crete in 2000; Salzburg, Austria in 2005; Ithaca, New York, USA in 2008; and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2012.

A Sub-Working Group on Computational Morphogenesis was established in 2003 at the IASS Symposium held at Montpellier, France, as a part of this WG. The Sub-Working Group, led by Prof. Hiroshi Ohmori, organized the IWCM2006 (International Workshop on Computational Morphogenesis) at Nagoya, Japan to diffuse thoughts on how computational morphogenesis can contribute to the art of structural design and to exchange ideas on utilization of structural optimization for structural design. Subsequently, the sub-group was merged as one of the integral parts of WG13 and Prof. Ohmori became co-chair of the WG.

In the period between 2009 and 2012, Profs. Samartín and Ohmori stepped down as chairs, and the leadership of the group moved to the current co-chairs.

At the start of 2020, a new study group on Next Generation Parametric Design has been established under the initiative of Dr. Jeroen Coenders.  It formalizes the activity and contributions in this field presented in organized sessions over the past IASS Symposia.

Main Topics

  • Computational Morphogenesis, Structural Optimization and Form Finding of Shells
  • Analysis and Design of Flexible Rods and Structures, including Latticed Shells and Tension Structures
  • Dynamic Analysis for Seismic and Wind Loads
  • Nonlinear and Buckling Analysis
  • Other Computational Methods related to Shell and Spatial Structures
The creation of a study group on Next Generation Parametric Design reflects the aim to include aspects of computation with increasing relevance in the creation and design of shell and spatial structures, as: Parametric Modelling, Generative Design, Data Visualization and Integration, Machine Learning, AI Approaches.
Current Objectives
  • Organize sessions at IASS Symposia related to computational methods in shell and spatial structures
  • Expand the scope of the group, incorporating state-of-the-art aspects of computation that have increasing influence in the design of structures, as parametric modelling, data visualisation, machine learning, AI approaches
  • Organize sessions and contribute to other conferences related to computational aspects of shell and spatial structures
  • Coordinate with and support other IASS WGs in matters relating to computational methods

Recent Activities

  • Organizes regular meetings of the study group "Next Generation Parametric Design"
  • Organized two sessions for the IASS 2023 Melbourne Symposium on "Numerical methods for geometry, form-finding and optimization of lightweight structures" and "Next generation parametric design".
  • Co-organizes the Structural Membranes 2023 Conference
  • Started a new study group on "Next Generation Parametric Design" (2021-22)
  • Edited a special issue of the IASS Journal on "Computation of Shell and Spatial Structures" (vol. 62, n.208, 2021)
  • Organized two sessions titled "Optimization methods for analysis and design of roof structures" and "Next generation of parametric design" for the IASS 2021 - Surrey 7 Symposium
  • Contributed to the organization of the IASS 60th Anniversary Symposium 2019 - Structural Membranes 2019 in Barcelona.
  • Organized sessions on "Form-finding of Tension Structures" and "Wind Engineering and Fluid Structure Interaction" at IASS 2019 Barcelona.
  • Participation in the 13th World Congress on Computational Mechanics held in New York in July 2018.
  • Organized a session on "Computational Optimization, Form-finding and Control" at IASS 2018, Boston.
  • Contributed in the organization of Structural Membranes 2017 in Munich.

All current members of the WG are members of the IASS. The WG seeks to add additional members, and those interested are urged to contact one of the co-chairs of the WG.

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai-Uwe BLETZINGER (Co-Chair) - Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Carlos LAZARO (Co-Chair) - Spain
  • Prof. Makoto OHSAKI (Co-Chair) - Japan

As of July 2023, this page has been updated to reflect the last changes in the WG.

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