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Finite Element Methods, Basics MSK250

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).

Course description for study year 2021-2022

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Semester tution start


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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 prerequisites
FYS100 Mechanics, MAT200 Mathematical Methods 2

Written exam and project

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 7/10 4 Hours A - F Valid calculator
Project work 3/10 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.
Open for
Bachelor in Mechanical and Structural Engineering at the Faculty of Science and Technology.
Course assessment
Form and/or discussion.
Overlapping courses
Course Reduction (SP)
Finite Element Methods (BIM140) 5
The syllabus can be found in Leganto