GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 23, 2013 – The 6th International Conference on Discrete Elements Methods and Related  Computational Techniques (DEM6), was held at Colorado School of Mines Aug. 5-6, and sponsored by the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences (CECS) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

More than 100 of the world’s foremost researchers and practitioners in discrete element technology attended and participated in DEM6. Plenary and keynote papers were presented in a variety of theoretical topics and industrial applications areas.

In the plenary paper, Professor Antonio Munijza from the University of London, concluded that, the science of discontinua represents a paradigm shift equivalent to discovery of algebra and differential calculus, and as such is likely to influence scientific thought in 21st century and also include economics and humanities. 

In a keynote paper, Earl Knight from Los Alamos National Laboratories, described a new DEM-based technology for simulating deformation and fracture of solids. This technology has been packaged into a suite of tools termed HOSS, short for Hydrofrac Optimization Software Suite. HOSS is primarily focused for analyses for the mining and oil and gas industries, and is designed to enhance productivity and reduce costs by optimizing hydrofracturing and material modeling. 

Overall, the theoretical topics at DEM6 included high performance computing algorithms, various multi-physics problems and continuum-discontinuum behavior. Example of applications presented were: flow and constitutive behavior of granular media, fluid-particle flows, thermal-hydraulic-mechanical fracture modeling for CO2 sequestration, oil and gas reservoirs, and geothermal systems, analysis of bulk materials systems, materials processing and coastal engineering.

This conference was the first held in the new west wing of Brown Building and this location proved to an excellent location for DEM6. The conference was chaired by Professor Graham Mustoe in mechanical engineering and organized by Professors Mustoe, John Berger, Vaughan Griffiths and Paul Martin in CECS.