Section: Scientific Foundations
Finite element methods on quadrilateral and hexahedral meshes
The construction of finite element methods on quadrilateral, and particularly, hexahedral meshes can be a complicated task; especially the development of mixed and non-conforming methods is an active field of research. The difficulties arise not only from the fact that adequate degrees of freedom have to be found, but also from the non-constantness of the element Jacobians; an arbitrary hexahedron, which we define as the image of the unit cube under a tri-linear transformation, does in general not have plane faces, which implies for example, that the normal vector is not constant on a side.
In collaboration with Eric Dubach (Associate professor at LMAP) and Jean-Marie Thomas (Former professor at LMAP) we have built a new class of finite element functions (named pseudo-conforming) on quadrilateral and hexahedral meshes. The degrees of freedom are the same as those of classical iso-parametric finite elements but the basis functions are defined as polynomials on each element of the mesh. On general quadrilaterals and hexahedra, our method leads to a non-conforming method; in the particular case of parallelotopes, the new finite elements coincide with the classical ones  ,  .