This report summarizes the activities conducted under IFPRI support from November 98 to November 99. The main target of our work is to understand, characterize, and quantify the behavior of powders in the early stages of compaction attendant to the intrinsic properties of the material and the processing conditions. The project involves theoretical, numerical, and experimental components. It is framed within a collaborative effort with concentration on pharmacautical manufacturing, but the results are relevant to powder compaction in many other industries. The topics addressed in this report include the rnicrornechanics of particle rearrangement (Section 2); the energetics of particle rearrangement (Section 3); the effects of die roughness and particle deformability (Section 4); and a brief precis of ongoing experimental work (Section 5). In the Introduction these topics are motivated in the context of the overall goals of the project.