Press Release:

Computational Contact Mechanics: Advances and Frontiers in Modeling Contact

The Banff International Research Station will host the "Computational Contact Mechanics: Advances and Frontiers in Modeling Contact" workshop from February 16th to February 21st, 2014.

If we can accurately capture the physics of contacting systems, then we can gain important new insights into many open questions that influence our understanding of the large-scale geophysics of earthquakes and iceberg calving  (crucial to understanding the rapid changes in the Antarctic Ice Sheet), the small-scale dissipation in high-frequency MEMS and NEMS devices, as well as prosaic domestic phenomena such as the chattering of chalk on a board, and even the excitation of violin strings. Contact is a dominant and often unavoidable factor in mechanical systems and yet accurately simulating contacting systems continues to stretch the limits of available methods. In part this is due to the unique hurdles posed by contact problems.

Advancing computational contact mechanics is a fundamentally multidisciplinary effort.  Nevertheless, disparate research groups in contact modeling have evolved independently with largely complementary scientific skill sets. This workshop will bring active researchers in contact mechanics together, many for the first time, along with practitioners in the aligned areas of constrained optimization and numerical analysis. Together, we will address current challenges to the design and analysis of predictive and efficient computational methods for contact simulation. By bridging communities and bringing together highly recognized experts in the area, we expect to forge new interdisciplinary links between mathematicians, computational scientists, and mechanicians, enrich ongoing collaborative efforts, and help advance significantly the state of the art. We anticipate that these advances will lead to the accurate and reliable computational tools currently demanded by today’s contact intensive scientific and industrial applications.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).

BIRS Scientific Director, Nassif Ghoussoub
E-mail: birs-director[@]