The Sixth International Conference on Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation (SEMC 2016) was successfully held in Cape Town from 5 to 7 September 2016. The venue was the River Club in Observatory. Over 300 papers were presented in 57 sessions of the Conference, with authors representing some 60 countries from all five continents. Keynote speakers were Prof. Kim Rasmussen (University of Sydney, Australia), Prof. Adnan Ibrahimbegovic (Universite Technologie Compiegne, France), Prof. Klaus-Jürgen Bathe (MIT, USA), Prof. Amr Elnashai (Pennsylvania State University, USA), Prof. Jian-Fei Chen (Queen’s University of Belfast, UK) and Prof. Guido De Roeck (KU Leuven, Belgium).

The Opening Ceremony on 5 September was witnessed by nearly 400 participants, who included authors, non-authors, exhibitors, sponsors and invited guests. Prof. Danie Visser, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Cape Town, welcomed Participants. The SEMC 2016 Young Researcher Awards, for the best 3 papers by principal authors under the age of 35 (as judged by a panel of international experts), went to Ms Laura Marimon Giovannetti (University of Southampton, UK), Mr. Matthias Labusch (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany), and Mr. Ou Zhao (Imperial College London, UK). The ceremony also saw the presentation of Elsevier’s K.J. Bathe Award for the best paper published in Computers & Structures in the period 2014 and 2015 by an author below the age of 40. This went to Dr. Marcos Valdebenito of Santa Maria University (Chile).

The highlight of the social programme was the Conference Dinner. This was held on 6 September 2016 at the Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands, Cape Town, and was attended by 400 delegates and accompanying persons. The Guest Speaker was Dr. Bernie Fanaroff, founding director of South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Telescope Project, who informed the largely international audience about the role of South African scientists in the SKA Project and the benefits it had brought.

The SEMC 2016 Proceedings comprises 360 peer-reviewed papers. These have been published by CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group) as a printed book of short versions of the papers (784 pages), and a CD-ROM with the full versions of the papers (2,200 pages).

The next SEMC conference will be held in 2019 (exact dates will be announced in due course).