The Fifth International Conference on Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation (SEMC 2013) took place in Cape Town, South Africa, from 2 to 4 September 2013. Close to 500 participants from the following 60 countries attended: Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Canada, USA, Brazil, China, Turkey, Korea, Spain, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Austria, Egypt, Portugal, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sweden, Israel, Belgium, Hungary, Russia, Ireland, Tanzania, Slovenia, Romania, India, Venezuela, Iran, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ghana, Algeria, Greece, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, Slovakia, Norway, Libya, Nigeria, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Pakistan, Croatia, New Zealand, France, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Namibia, South Africa.

A total of 420 papers were presented in 72 sessions over the 3 days. Keynote lectures were delivered by Prof. Rene de Borst (UK), Prof. Klaus-Jürgen Bathe (USA), Prof. Yozo Fujino (Japan), Prof. George Rozvany (Hungary), Prof. Dinar Camotim (Portugal) and Prof. Wilfried Kraetzig (Germany). A wide range of topics were covered under the following broad categories: (i) structural mechanics (vibration, dynamics, impact response, buckling, seismic response, soil-structure interaction, fluid-structure interaction, thermal response); (ii) mechanics of materials (elasticity, plasticity, creep, shrinkage, transport processes, fatigue, fracture, damage and deterioration phenomena); (iii) numerical methods, simulations and computational modelling; (iv) practical aspects of the analysis, design, construction and maintenance of structures.

The SEMC 2013 Proceedings were published by Taylor & Francis (London) in the form of shortened versions of papers appearing in a printed book, and full-length versions on an accompanying CD. All Proceedings papers are featured in SCOPUS, the well-known Elsevier Science database.

The memorable Conference dinner, hosted by the Deputy Mayor of the City of Cape Town, saw existing friendships being strengthened and new ones being forged. Feedback received from participants after the Conference pointed to a very successful event. Many delegates expressed the view that the Conference had been a most worthwhile event, with much exchange of information and ideas having occurred over the 3 days. The aims of the Conference had truly been fulfilled.

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