In the late XX century a new scientific direction — fracture mechanics was formed in the science about strength of materials and structures. The essence of this scientific direction is as follows. Instead of the classical postulation (typical of classical fracture mechanics) of phenomenological criteria of fracture and integrity of material macrovolumes and prediction on this basis the structural materials durability, a new concept was created that consisted in detailed study of the physicochemical processes of material fracture itself, in particular, the initiation and propagation of cracks in a deformed body and establishing, using the obtained knowledge, of the criteria for structural elements strength and durability assessment.

It follows from this concept that it is important to establish the conditions of boundary equilibrium of cracked bodies, to study the kinetics of crack initiation and propagation at stress concentrators in the deformed body under short-term or long-term loading and service environment effect, to obtain data on crack growth resistance etc. Fundamental and applied investigations are carried out in many countries, numerous results, important for theoretical studies and engineering application, have been accumulated. However, these results are published in separate books, papers, journals, manuals etc. Engineers, young researchers, students, specialising in materials science and strength of materials and structures, are inadequately acquainted with the achievements and practical application of the fracture mechanics concepts.

The above mentioned indicates that it is necessary and worth to organise the scientific education schools on fracture mechanics for engineers, lecturers of technical universities, post-graduate students, and students with the aim to acquaint them with the up-to-date progress in the science on physicochemical properties of the materials, in particular, with the concepts and methods of fracture mechanics. Thus, in 1995 the idea was put forward by Prof. W. Kasprzak and Dr. M. Szata (Institute of Materials Science and Mechanics of the Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland), Prof. V. Panasyuk and Prof. O. Andreikiv (Karpenko Physico-Mechanical Institute, Ukraine, Lviv), Prof. S. Séihn (Dresden University of Technology, Germany) to organize and hold the annual Polish-Ukrainian-German Summer Schools on fracture mechanics. In 1995 (from June 24 to June 30) the 1st Summer School was organized in Sklarska Poręba (near Wrocław, Poland). Later Slovak Republic (Prof. L. Vérkoly) and Hungary (Prof. L. Toth) joined the organisers. For 1995—2007 ten schools were held.

Lectures of professors, participating in the work of Summer Schools, are published in special books or in publications of the Wrocław University of Technology (Series: Conferences) and the Opole University of Technology (Series: Mechanics). The brief information about these Schools is given in the journal “Physicochemical Mechanics of Materials”, published by Karpenko Physico-Mechanical Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Lviv and translated into English by “Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers” under the title “Materials Science”.

Summer Schools on fracture mechanics in European countries, especially in Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Slovak Republic and Hungary are regular and proved to be useful for engineers, young researchers, post-graduate students and students who deal with the problems of materials science and structural strength. They could acquaint with theoretical achievements and practical application of the fracture mechanics methods, to use them in prediction of structural integrity.

Summer Schools are the component of the European Structural Integrity Society (ESIS). The ESIS always supported the holding of such education schools on fracture mechanics within ESIS TC 13 (Education and Training) and according to the decision of the ESIS Council (12th September, Crakow, Poland) these schools have obtained the status of ESIS Summer Schools in Central and Eastern Europe.

Summer Schols
  1. Szklarska Poręba (Poland), June 24–30, 1995 – Fracture Mechanics and Strength of Structures
  2. Szklarska Poręba (Poland), June 23–29, 1996 – Dynamic Aspects of Fracture Mechanics
  3. Szklarska Poręba (Poland), June 22-28, 1997 – Corrosive Environment influence Aspects in Fracture Mechanics
  4. Lviv–Lysovets (Ukraine), June 26-30, 1998 – Methods for Experimental Study of the Material Crack Growth Resistance Characteristics
  5. Zlate Hory (Czech Republic), June 20–24, 1999 – Nondestructive Methods in Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue of Materials
  6. Dresden (Germany), June 13–16, 2000 – Initiation and Behaviour of Small Cracks under Cyclic Loading (you can find some information here).
  7. Pokrzywna near Opole (Poland), June 18–22, 2001 – Current Research on Ffatigue and Fracture
  8. Lviv (Ukraine), June 25–26, 2004 – Application of Fracture Mechanics methods for assessment and prediction of structural integrity
  9. Zakopane (Poland), June 19-25, 2005 – New Results in Fracture and Fatigue
  10. Trzebieszowice (Poland), June 11–14, 2007 – Fracture Mechanics and Strength of Materials in Hydrogen
  11. Lviv (Ukraine), 2009
  12. Warsaw (Poland), 2011
  13. Trzebnica (Poland), 2013
  14. Ternopil (Ukraine), 2015

In 2002, in Wroclaw, was held Session of Scientific Committee of Summer Schols on Fracture Mechanics (September 6–7).