About these proceedings
Configurational mechanics has attracted much attention from various research fields over the recent years/decades and has developed into a versatile tool that can be applied to a variety of problems.
Since Eshelby's seminal works a general notion of configurational mechanics has evolved and has successfully been applied to many problems involving various types of defects in continuous media. The most prominent application is the use of configurational forces in fracture mechanics.
However, as configurational mechanics is related to arbitrary material inhomogeneities it has also very successfully been applied to many materials science and engineering problems such as phase transitions and inelastic deformations.
Also, the modeling of materials with micro-structure evolution is an important field, in which configurational mechanics can provide a better understanding of processes going on within the material. Besides these mechanical, physical, and chemical applications, ideas from configurational mechanics are now increasingly applied within computational mechanics.
In this regard, in particular the combination of configurational mechanics and the finite element method has a notable impact on computational mechanics.
New methods based on configurational mechanics are developing in computational fracture mechanics, structural optimization and adaptivity. These methods include, for example, r- and h-adaptive methods for mesh optimization and refinement.
The IUTAM Symposium on "Progress in the Theory and Numerics of Configurational Mechanics" that took place at the University of Erlangen/Nuremberg, Germany, from October 20th to 24th, 2008, shed light on the most recent state of affairs in configurational mechanics. This proceedings volume brings together a number of peer reviewed papers that were presented at the symposium.