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Finite Element Analysis


Course Information

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Friday afternoons

This course is drawn from our suite of Civil Engineering masters programmes. In this course you will evaluate the Finite Element Method (FEM) for its application to obtain an approximate solution for the analysis of complex structural problems.

A CPD certificate will be issued upon successful completion of the course. Successful completion of this course can also contribute 15 credits towards a full 180 credit MSc Built Environment award.

Course Code


Course Dates

3rd February 2017 – 12th May 2017

Course Fee

Course Description

In a series of lectures you will be introduced to the theory behind the FEM, how to derive the governing differential equations and how to apply the method in sample structural problems. Via a set of computer labs you will be introduced to proprietary FEM software which is a leading engineering analysis tool that uses a comprehensive element technology, extensive library of material models and advanced post-processing capability.

The aim of the course is to provide you with the intellectual tools necessary to use proprietary FEM software to produce computer models of various complex structural problems in order to obtain approximate (numerical) solutions. You will learn how to use the advanced post-processing capability of the software to produce reports. For this module you will be required to produce solutions for two small projects and these solutions will be assessed for your ability to apply, refine and develop computer models to solve structural problems and to generate reports supported with the appropriate graphs and data.

This course will include:

  • Introduction to FEM. Weighted residual methods – Galerkin finite element method.
  • Derivation of governing differential equations for 1- and 2-dimensional problems.
  • Numerical solution of governing differential equations.
  • Modal analysis of structures – extraction of natural frequencies.
  • Linear transient dynamic analyses.
  • Nonlinear analysis. Modelling material nonlinearity. Buckling and stability of structures.
  • Use of techniques involved in proprietary finite element software (ANSYS): 2D and 3D solid modelling, exploring symmetry, generating FE mesh, bricks and tetrahedral, linear and quadratic elements, boundary conditions, solving systems in time domain, mixed models and constrain equations, nonlinear analysis.

By the of this course you will be able to:

  • Integrate knowledge of mathematics, science, information technology, design and engineering practice to solve a substantial range of problems associated with  finite element analysis, some of a complex nature, apply understanding to novel and challenging situations and be aware of the limitation of the solution.
  • Assess the capabilities and limitation of computer based methods in finite element analysis for problem solving, have awareness of the future developments of IT tools for finite element analysis, and formulate and anticipate needs.
  • Investigate from available finite element data that which is pertinent to an unfamiliar problem and apply, in its solution, computer based tools where appropriate.
  • Argue efficiently and effectively at all levels on matter of finite element analysis.

How to apply

Please read the guidance notes and complete the application form.

You should then email your form to be considered by the academic team.

Any questions?

Email: cpdbe@ntu.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 2813