The XFEM-research project ended in 2013. This section of the website is no longer maintained. The members of the project have successfully graduated. The head of the former research group, Thomas-Peter Fries, is now professor for structural analysis at Graz University of Technology in Austria.

Project Overview

Project title: Numerical methods for discontinuities in continuum mechanics
Research field: Extended finite element method (XFEM)

What we do: the research topics

The extended finite element method (XFEM) is a numerical method for the approximation of solutions that involve jumps, kinks, singularities, or general high gradients in some parts of the domain. Typical applications are found in the simulation of cracks, shear bands, dislocations, multi-phase problems, two-fluid flows and fluid-structure interaction. In these cases, the classical finite element method (FEM) relies on carefully constructed and maintained meshes. In the XFEM, however, jumps and kinks within elements can be considered with optimal accuracy and mesh manipulations are thus avoided. This is achieved by enriching the approximation space of the classical FEM. Recently, the XFEM has gained an enormous attention in research and industry and has been realized in commercial software packages.

Method-oriented research topics:

Application-oriented research topics:

General information on the XFEM is found here.

Who we are: the staff involved

Please see the section Members for further information.

Where we are located: address and other contact data

Address: Chair for Computional Analysis of Technical Systems (CATS)
RWTH Aachen University
Schinkelstr. 2
52062 Aachen

Phone: +49 (0)241 80 99930
Fax: +49 (0)241 80 92910

How we are funded: the Emmy-Noether program

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the frame of the Emmy-Noether program. It was started in October, 2006 and lasts at least five years with an optional sixth year.

Thomas-Peter Fries (