Over the past decades, the Boundary Element Method has emerged as a ver satile and powerful tool for the solution of engineering problems, presenting in many cases an alternative to the more widely used Finite Element Method. As with any numerical method, the engineer or scientist who applies it to a practical problem needs to be acquainted with, and understand, its basic principles to be able to apply it correctly and be aware of its limitations. It is with this intention that we have endeavoured to write this book: to give the student or practitioner an easy-to-understand introductory course to the method so as to enable him or her to apply it judiciously. As the title suggests, this book not only serves as an introductory course, but also cov ers some advanced topics that we consider important for the researcher who needs to be up-to-date with new developments. This book is the result of our teaching experiences with the Boundary Element Method, along with research and consulting activities carried out in the field. Its roots lie in a graduate course on the Boundary Element Method given by the authors at the university of Stuttgart. The experiences gained from teaching and the remarks and questions of the students have contributed to shaping the 'Introductory course' (Chapters 1-8) to the needs of the stu dents without assuming a background in numerical methods in general or the Boundary Element Method in particular.