Prof Eckart Schnack from Karlsruhe University, Germany, gave a seminar entitled ‘Research Topics in Solid Mechanics’.

Research in the Institute of Solid Mechanics, Karlsruhe, is concerned with fundamental understanding and development of computational mechanics. It may be broadly divided into three classes:

  1. computational material modelling,
  2. resolution problems, and
  3. computational shape optimization including identification.

In all of these subjects, multi-scale constitutive models have to be considered and on that basis multi-scale failure models have to be developed in order to obtain representative results for industrial needs. The complex interplay between the above classes requires coupled  numerical simulations performed from nanoscopic to macroscopic level using an arsenal of various numerical techniques like, computational molecular dynamics, computational inelasticity, numerical multi-field homogenization, eigenvalue analysis in 3-dimensional context, phase field models and gradientless non-linear programming. These panoply of tools allows us to cross successfully several research areas including, nano- and microstructural material stability, variational multi-field homogenization, fracture of advanced composite materials, fatigue damage and maximization of the product life-time.

The talk covered each of these three classes focusing on the main phenomenological and numerical contributions that our research group achieved in the recent years. Various numerical examples were also be discussed and analyzed.