Variational Models of Fracture (16w5090)


(Louisiana State University)

(Université Paris Nord)

(Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

(Sorbonne Université)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Variational Models of Fracture" workshop from May 8th to May 13th, 2016.

Fracture mechanics may be viewed as a grand success of the past century: planes do not fall out of the sky, ships do not split in two, microelectronic chips rarely fail, retinal detachment is preventable in myopic patients and the spectacular failure of large structures such as the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis is more often attributed to aging infrastructure than to faulty design. Yet, the controversy around hydraulic stimulation ("fracking") in gas shales, induced seismicity and subsidence near geothermal fields, or sinkholes caused by collapsing made-man caverns and over-extraction of water from aquifers highlight how technology has gotten ahead of the predictive understanding of failure in solids.

Variational models of fracture allow for an unprecedented predictive understanding of fracture. They have given rise to a new class of numerical simulation tools potentially capable of tackling these new challenges and are being rapidly adopted in engineering and industrial application.

This workshop comes at a pivotal moment when where the mathematics and engineering or computational science communities are becoming increasingly divided. This workshop brings together a group of leading experts and junior researchers from the mathematics, mechanics, and engineering communities, with academic and industrial background. Its goal is to share the state of the mathematical analysis of these problems, to gain a better understanding of coming up challenges, and to devise sets of standard problems to be used to compare the accuracy and performance of various methods.

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)..