Finite Element Method for Frame and Plate Structures





Offered by

Civil Engineering




Fundamental skills in structural engineering.

Main purpose

The students will be introduced to the Finite Element Method for frame and plate structures. The core of the course consists of structural modeling techniques and the discretization of load bearing structures into finite elements.


After completion of the course, the students must:
–  Have knowledge about theory that covers basic aspects of matrix mechanics including stiffness relations for 2D-beam elements. The theory will be accompanied by MATLAB exercises and followed up by applications on steel, concrete and timber structures using the commercial STAAD PRO software package.


After the completion of the course, the student must:
– Transform a conventional structural model into a model appropriate for FE-treatment.
– Adopt the procedures of commercial finite element programs in general and the STAAD PRO software in particular.


After completion of the course, the student must be able to use knowledge and skill within all subject areas to plan and make relevant choices of techniques and theories in order to solve structural design project.



Teaching methods and study activities

The course is scheduled for 14 weeks with 4 lectures each week. Workload for the students corresponds to 138 hours. 50% of the lectures are scheduled for self-studies.
Theory lectures and practical applications are dealt with in class. Hands on exercises using commercial packages take place in the TC Lab.
Note that written homework including a major mini-project is mandatory.
Student Activity Model
Category 1: 31%, ~ 43 hours: (Participation of lecturer and students, Initiated by the lecturer): Lessons, scheduled, Excursions, Project guidance, Laboratory work, Exams and tests
Category 2: 48% ~ 66 hours: (Participation of students, Initiated by the lecturer): Assignments, self-study, Project and group work, Homework and preparation for exams, Evaluation of the teaching
Category 3: 20% ~ 27 hours: (Participation of students, Initiated by the students): Homework and preparation for exams, Self-study, Project work, Study groups, Literature search
Category 4: 1% ~ 2 hours: (Participation of students and lecturer, Initiated by the students): Debate meetings, Study guidance


• Course material will be provided via Dropbox


The assessment is based on the following criteria.
1. All home assignments, must be handed in on time and be approved. (20%)
2. The mini-project must be presented and the technical documentation must be handed in no later than the day of presentation. The mini-project must be approved as a hole. (80%)
100% of these criteria must be met.



Grading criteria

Grading based on the Danish 7-point scale.

Additional information


Torben Brøchner

Valid from

8/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Course type

Structural Design


Structural modeling techniques, finite element method, STAAD PRO.