Computational mechanics research at Northwestern is blazing new ground in multiscale analysis, meshfree methods and large-scale simulation. Multiscale methods, which link methodologies from quantum mechanics to macromechanics, are being developed for the analysis and design of new materials and the analysis of nanosystems and mircrosystems.
An example of a hierarchy of computational models is in Figure 1, which shows the intermediate scales: atomistic models, dislocations, micromechanics and macromechanics. Meshfree methods are being developed for problems of large deformations and fragmentation and failure, which were previously inaccessible by finite element methods. In addition, a new method, the extended finite element method (XFEM) was discovered at Northwestern and is being developed for many applications.