As I pack my bags for the ECCOMAS 2024 congress in Lisbon, my excitement is twofold. Not only will I be immersing myself in the latest advancements in computational methods in applied sciences, but I’ll also be exploring one of Europe’s most vibrant and picturesque cities. I decided to take with me my Reflex camera. I’m ready to capture the beauty of Lisbon, creating a perfect blend of professional enrichment and personal adventure.

ECCOMAS 2024

The ECCOMAS (European Community on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences) congress is a premier event that brings together researchers, scientists, and industry experts from around the world. This year, the event is hosted in Lisbon, Portugal. The congress will cover a wide range of topics, including computational fluid dynamics, computational structural mechanics, and multidisciplinary design optimization, among others. With keynote lectures, technical sessions, and workshops, ECCOMAS 2024 promises to be a hotbed of innovation and collaboration.

A Hub of Innovation and Networking

The event will feature a comprehensive technical program with nearly 2600 presentations. This includes 8 plenary lectures, 20 semi-plenary lectures, and 75 keynote lectures, distributed across 188 minisymposia and 15 special technical sessions. Topics span traditional areas in solid and fluid mechanics, computer science, and applied mathematics, as well as emerging methodologies for complex multiphysics problems and data-driven science and engineering.

Key themes include isogeometric methods, enriched finite-element formulations for fracture, advances in meshfree and particle methods, and computational models for predicting cancer progression. Special sessions will focus on greening aviation, renewable energy, and digital twins. The congress also includes the Young Investigators Minisymposium and the 14th PhD ECCOMAS Olympiad, providing platforms for young researchers to present innovative work and discuss open problems.

The Lisbon Congress Centre will host the event, equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Participants will have access to various dining options, including food trucks with vegetarian and vegan choices, ensuring a conducive environment for scientific exchange and networking.

Presenting my work

I am thrilled to share that I have been selected to receive a scholarship to attend the ECCOMAS 2024 conference. This prestigious opportunity will allow me to engage with leading experts and advance my research in computational methods. I am grateful for the support and look forward to contributing to the conference.

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Current research on atherosclerosis is crucial due to its significant implications for global health. Atherosclerosis causes thickening and stiffening of the vascular walls, leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

Atherosclerosis

The primary risk to patients comes from plaque rupture, which can result in strokes. These strokes can cause severe disability or death, underscoring the importance of addressing this pathology effectively.

Current clinical guidelines mainly emphasize imaging techniques to assess the degree of stenosis. While medical therapies and surgical interventions have successfully reduced stroke risks in symptomatic patients, there remains significant room for improvement. The clinical challenges include the variability in individual patient anatomy and plaque characteristics, which complicates the prediction of disease progression and the optimization of treatment strategies.

This is where my work in computational biomechanics comes into play. By simulating the mechanical environment of the carotid artery, these models provide detailed insights into stress and strain distributions within the arterial wall and plaque, helping to identify regions prone to rupture.

However, current biomechanical models need improvement. They often rely on idealized assumptions and face the high computational costs of running detailed simulations. There is also a need to integrate these models seamlessly with clinical procedures. Most importantly, it’s crucial to account for the biological activity of the tissues. Vascular walls are living organisms that respond to various stimuli to maintain homeostasis and minimize the effects of pathology, yet they are often modeled as linear-elastic inert materials.

Computational biomechanics for carotid arteries

My work addresses these limitations by developing more accurate and clinically applicable biomechanical models. This approach aims to enhance the prediction of plaque rupture risks. So to improve the overall management of atherosclerosis including a new Growth & Remodeling algorithm based on the homogenous stress hypothesis.

The talk emphasized the significance of stress levels in driving vascular remodeling and maintaining optimal function within the vascular system. By analyzing how blood vessels adapt to mechanical forces, the presentation illustrated that variations in hypertension can trigger growth and remodeling, resulting in a new homeostatic state. The growth and remodeling (G&R) framework developed uses patient-specific geometries from CT-A scans. It integrates different tissues in the atherosclerotic plaque into finite element models. This approach helps achieve a more homogeneous stress state, reduces peak stresses, and redistributes loads. It highlights the necessity of personalized assessment in evaluating the risk of plaque rupture. The findings underscore the importance of incorporating detailed material distributions and geometry to improve the accuracy and reliability of vascular stress analyses.

Discovering Lisbon: A City of Light and Color

While the congress will keep me intellectually engaged, I’m equally thrilled about exploring Lisbon. The city is renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. Here are some must-visit spots I plan to capture through my lens: