'The birth of the boundary element method from conception to application'

by Carlos A. Brebbia


The Boundary Element Method (BEM) has now become a well established numerical technique with a numberof computer programmes to its credit oriented towards industrial applications. They are reliable and robusttools which stress its unique features versusfinite elements, ie reduced dimensionality which makes it easier tointerface it to CAD codes; better accuracy, the elegant way in which moving boundaries are dealt with and thepossibility of taking into consideration infinite domains without the need of introducing artificial boundaries. Anexcellent paper on the early work that led to the development of boundary elements has been given by A & DCheng and from which many of the illustrations depicting famous scientists were taken. The presentcontribution aims to explain further how the methodology developed and consolidated towards the end of the1970s, beginning of the 1980s.

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