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Information for Researchers No. 9 | 2. Februar 2017
Priority Programme “Reliable Simulation Techniques in Solid Mechanics” (SPP 1748)

Development of Non-standard Discretisation Methods, Mechanical and Mathematical Analysis

In 2013, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) announced the establishment of the Priority Programme “Reliable Simulation Techniques in Solid Mechanics” (SPP 1748). The programme is scheduled to run for six years; the DFG invites with this call proposals for the second three-year funding period.

The main objective of this Priority Programme is the development of modern non-conventional discretisation methods, based on e.g. mixed (Galerkin or least-squares) finite element or discontinuous Galerkin formulations, including the mathematical analysis for geometrically as well as physically non-linear problems in the fields of e.g. incompressibility, anisotropies and discontinuities (cracks, contact). It is the aim to pool the expertise of mechanics and mathematics in Germany and to create new and strengthen existing networks. In the framework of this cooperation the experiences should be exchanged in between the different working groups to create synergies, save time and costs and raise the efficiency. Furthermore, it is intended to lead this research union to international excellence in the field of non-conventional discretisation techniques.

In detail the Priority Programme will drive research towards the following directions concerning non-conventional finite element formulations:

  • deep mathematical understanding of the structural requirements of reliable non-conforming finite element method (FEM) approaches for finite deformations,
  • mathematically sound variational formulations,
  • robust and stiffening-free discretisations at finite deformations for (quasi-)incompressible, isotropic and anisotropic material behaviour as well as for domains with oscillating coefficients,
  • accurate approximation of all process variables in the latter mentioned extremal cases,
  • insensitive behaviour concerning significant mesh deformation,
  • convergence of adaptive mesh refinement,

and discontinuities:

  • creation of a variational basis as well as suitable discretisation techniques for discontinuities: convergence, stability and approximation properties,
  • resolution of discontinuities based on isogeometric formulations,
  • novel crack growth and crack branching models,
  • contact formulations based on non-conventional discretisation techniques exceeding Mortar-methods.

In the first funding period of the Priority Programme the specification of benchmark problems ensured an extensive basis for test- and comparative calculations and is mandatory for all participants as basis in the second funding period. The benchmark problems will guarantee a suitable foundation for detailed in-depth discussions on the topics related to the different research fields as for instance incompressibility, anisotropy, plasticity, crack propagation and contact. Furthermore, the attendance of periodical workshops, SPP-meetings and conferences is obligatory for all participants.

The projects must be alliances of researchers (typically two or three) optimally representing different scientific fields as e.g. mathematics and mechanics. All proposed applications should clearly include concepts for a new quality of non-standard three-dimensional FEMs in combination with the essential mathematical analysis in the area of geometrically and/or physically non-linear problems. Proposals concerned with phase field-models must have a focus on the numerical stability, mesh refinement and parameter-dependency. Projects that are restricted only to either methodological/material modelling, particle based methods, structural mechanics (e.g. beams, plates, shells), or solver technologies are excluded. It is expected that the proposals provide clear visionary aims.

Proposals for the second three-year funding period are now invited. All proposals must be written in English and submitted by 21 April 2017 through the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system ”elan”. In this system please select ”SPP 1748” when submitting your proposal. Please include a title page with your name, your address, and the title of your project in your application. When writing the proposal, please consult the current guidelines for Priority Programmes (DFG form 50.05en) and follow the instructions for the preparation of project proposals including the naming protocol for proposal documents (DFG form 54.01en). Proposals by one applicant must not exceed 20 pages. Joint proposals may comprise five additional pages for each additional applicant. You are further asked to send a PDF file of the application to the coordinator of the Priority Programme (

Further Information

Further information on the scientific goals on the SPP website:

The DFG’s electronic portal “elan” can be found at:

Proposal guidelines and preparation instructions are outlined in DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01, which can be found on the DFG’s website at:

For scientific enquiries concerning the scope of the programme, please contact one of the SPP coordinators:

Further instructions on submitting a proposal are supplied by the DFG:

For scientific matters:

For administrative matters:

Additional Information

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