Finite Element Method





Offered by

Mechanical Engineering




Knowledge about distribution of stresses and strains in solids as well as confidence performing calculations with matrices is required. This is covered in the courses ME-MAT 2 and ME-MEC 2.

Main purpose

The main purpose of the course is to enable the student to solve linear static problems using the FE method and be able to recognize possibilities and limitations in using a commercial FE software.


The student will gain knowledge about the FE method and its applications. He/she will gain an understanding of how the method works and will be able to solve simple problems analytically and using a commercial software.
The course will include the following topics:
* Introduction to the FE method
* Theory of elasticity
* Bar and beam elements
* Linear membrane elements
* Quadratic membrane elements
* Introduction to plates and shells
* Introduction to 3D elements
* Formulation of the stiffness matrix using different approaches
* Boundary conditions
* Mesh convergence and singularities
* Parametric optimization
* Introduction to Ansys Workbench


The student will be able to:
* Solve linear static problems using different element formulations
* Convert and idealize different types of geometries to accommodate the FE method
* Perform FE calculations using Ansys Workbench
* Optimize simple designs using Ansys Wokbench
* Validate the results obtained from Ansys Workbench


Upon taking the course, the student will be able to judge about the possibilities in using commercial FE software in linear static problems. The student will be able to apply and compare the performance of different types of elements in FEA.


Teaching methods and study activities

The teacher will go over the course topics in the classroom, combining theory with exercises and blackboard teaching with PowerPoint presentations.
The student is expected to read the detailed literature and to solve homework between lessons.
4 lessons per week for 11 weeks. The workload for student is expected to be 138 hours.
Student Activity Model:
According to the Study Activity Model, the workload is divided as follows:

Category 1, Initiated by the lecturer with the participation of lecturer and students: 33 hours – 24%

Category 2: Initiated by lecturer with participation of students: 78 hours – 56 %

Category 3: Initiated by students with participation of students: 27 hours – 20 %

Category 4: Initiated by students with the participation of lecturer and students: 0 hours – 0%



- Chen, Xiaolin & Liv, Yijun; Finite Element Modelling and Simulation with ANSYS Workbench; 1st edition; CRC Press; ISBN 978-1439-87384-7.
- Cook, Robert D. [Et al]; Concepts and applications of finite element analysis; Latest edition; Wiley; ISBN 978-0471-35605-9




Requirements for attending examination:
A course assignment handed in before deadline, presented in class and approved. The course assignment will be solved in Ansys Workbench. The course assignment is done in groups. Each group component answers to all statements and assumptions given in the handed in assignment.

Type of examination:
Individual oral examination about the theory of FEM based upon a subject found by draw.
Examination accounts for 100% of the final grade
Duration: 20 minutes
Censor: External

Allowed tools:
The lecturer will provide 1 sheet of paper with a few FEM related notes that the students may use along the examination (such material will be shared with the students in advance)

As ordinary

Grading criteria

Additional information



Paula Macias

Valid from

2/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Course type

Mechanical Engineering Classic