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Finite Element Methods, Basics

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Vectors, coordinate system transformations, elements of matrix algebra. The principle of direct equilibrium. Element equation of springs and bars. FE analysis of trusses. Element equation of beams. FE analysis of frames. The principle of Minimum Potential Energy for springs, bars and beams. Elasticity equations for 2D and 3D elements. Isoparametric elements. FE analysis of plane stress problems. FE modelling of heat conduction and convection problems - Modeling and analysis using computer algorithms in MATLAB & CALFEM. Modeling and analysis using contemporary commercial software (ANSYS).

Learning outcome

After the completion of the course, the students will have sufficient knowledge and basic understanding of the finite element method. They will be able to solve basic problems of trusses, frames and two-dimensional structures. Furthermore, with the use of finite element computer programs, the students will acquire skills in solution of mechanical and structural engineering problems.


Main topics of the course include: An Overview of the Finite Element Method- Mathematical Background- Linear Spring Elements-Bar Elements- Trusses- Beams- Frames- The principle of Minimum Potential Energy for 1-D Elements- Elasticity equations for 2-D and 3-D solids- The principle of Minimum Potential Energy for 2-D and 3-D elements- Finite Element modelling of Heat Transfer

Required prerequisite knowledge

BYG140 Structural Mechanics 1

Recommended previous knowledge

FYS100 Mechanics, MAT200 Mathematical Methods 2


Written exam and project
Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam7/104 hoursA - FValid calculator.
Project work3/10 A - F
Written exam 4 hours and project work. Written exam is weighted 7/10 and project work 3/10 of total grade. Both parts must be passed to obtain an overall pass in the subject.
No resit or deferred exam is arranged for the project work. If a student fails the project work, she/he will have to take this part again the next time the subject is lectured.

Coursework requirements

Compulsory assignments
To take exam in this course, 6 out of in total 7 of the compulsory assignments must have been approved.
Compulsory course attendance that must be completed and approved before access to the laboratory: Electronic Course in Health, Safety and Environment

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Dimitrios Pavlou
Coordinator laboratory exercises
Adugna Deressa Akessa
Course teacher
Adugna Deressa Akessa
Head of Department
Tor Henning Hemmingsen

Method of work

4 hours lectures pr week. 2 hours exercises and project work for 4 weeks with tutor 2 hours pr week. Compulsory assignments. The project is done as a team work and is graded.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Finite Element Methods (BIM140_1) 5

Open to

Bachelor in Mechanical and Structural Engineering at the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Course assessment

Form and/or discussion.


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 15.08.2020