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MICDE / AIM Seminar: Blaise Bourdin, PhD, Professor of Mathematics & Statistics, McMaster University

February 25, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Venue: Zoom Event

Blaise Bourdin

Zoom Link

Bio: Blaise Bourdin is a professor in the department of mathematics and statistics at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON, Canada). Dr. Bourdin’s formal training is at the meeting point of solid mechanics, scientific computing, and applied mathematics. He borrows techniques for these areas to study problems in mechanical science with a specific focus on problems involving defect mechanics and optimal design. He has cultivated this multi-disciplinary training by revisiting “classical” problems with more advanced technical tools, by skewing my theoretical work towards problems of particular relevance to engineering and science, and by using investigative numerical simulations as a modeling tool in complex multi-scale problems.

Dr. Bourdin’s research focusses on modeling, analysis, and numerical implementations of problems arising in reservoir engineeringdefect mechanicsoptimal design, and image processing. He is the recipient of multiple research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Louisiana Board of Regents and industry, totalling over $6M. He has written several high impact publications, including three ESI highly cited papers in two disciplines (mathematics and engineering). He also maintains several open source software projects.


In this talk Dr. Bourdin will start with a modern interpretation of Griffith’s classical criterion as a variational principle for a free discontinuity energy and will recall some of the milestones in its analysis. Then he will introduce the phase-field approximation per se and describe its numerical implementation. He will illustrate how phase-field models have led to major breakthroughs in the predictive simulation of fracture in complex situations. He will show how this applies to current issues, including crack nucleation in nominally brittle materials, fracture of heterogeneous materials, and inverse problems.


The MICDE Winter 2022 Seminar Series is open to all. University of Michigan faculty and students interested in computational and data sciences are encouraged to attend.

This seminar is cohosted by the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery (MICDE) and the Applied & Interdisciplinary Mathematics program at the University of Michigan. Dr. Bourdin will be hosted by Dr. Selim Esedoglu, Professor of Mathematics.

This is a hybrid event and will be held in-person and broadcasted online via Zoom. Join here. 

Questions? Email


February 25, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Zoom Event