Inverse Problems are found in many areas of engineering mechanics and there are many successful applications e.g. in non-destructive testing and characterization of material properties by ultrasonic or X-ray techniques, thermography, etc. Generally speaking, inverse problems are concerned with the determination of the input and the characteristics of a system, given certain aspects of its output. Mathematically, such problems are ill-posed and have to be overcome through development of new computational schemes, regularization techniques, objective functionals, and experimental procedures.
Following the IUTAM Symposium on these topics, held in May 1992 in Tokyo, another in November 1994 in Paris, and also the more recent ISIP'98 in March 1998 in Nagano, it was concluded that it would be fruitful to gather regularly with researchers and engineers for an exchange of the newest research ideas. The most recent Symposium of this series "International Symposium on Inverse Problems in Engineering Mechanics (ISIP2000)" was held in March of 2000 in Nagano, Japan, where recent developments in inverse problems in engineering mechanics and related topics were discussed.
The following general areas in inverse problems in engineering mechanics were the subjects of ISIP2000: mathematical and computational aspects of inverse problems, parameter or system identification, shape determination, sensitivity analysis, optimization, material property characterization, ultrasonic non-destructive testing, elastodynamic inverse problems, thermal inverse problems, and other engineering applications. The papers in these proceedings provide a state-of-the-art review of the research on inverse problems in engineering mechanics and it is hoped that some breakthrough in the research can be made and that technology transfer will be stimulated and accelerated due to their publication.