Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Finite Element Analysis and Applications A

Module aims

The aim of the module is to teach the students to be able to use Finite Element programs in a practical way to solve problems in linear elastic stress analysis.  A student who has studied the module should be able, in a later industrial setting, to undertake the analysis of real problems with a fair understanding of sensible modelling procedures.  In support of this, the module is split into two stages: (1) Theoretical study of the Finite Element method, with emphasis on understanding what goes on inside a typical, modern, commercial program; (2) Practical experience in analysis using an industry-standard, interactive, Finite Element program. This is a level 6 version of the enhanced level 7 FEAA module and students cannot take both for credit towards their final degree. 

ECTS units:    5    

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to:

1. Explain the basic theoretical principles of the Finite Element Method,

2. Employ industry standard software for interactive FE model generation, analysis and post processing of results.

3. Interpret the output from this software critically and intelligently in order to yield the required information,

4. Formulate the boundary conditions of a problem in a suitable form for correct analysis

5. Assess alternative strategies (of element type, mesh design, boundary condition defintion etc) for economical and accurate FE modelling of specific 2D, 3D and axisymmetric structural problems.

Module syllabus

Truiss frame example
The constant strain triangle
Element formulation
Element libraries
Guide to good modelling



Teaching methods

Students will be introduced to the main theoretical topics through 5x3hr lectures, supported by technology (PowerPoint, Panapto and Blackboard). Two tutorial problem sheets are provided to support understanding of the theoretical topics. Practical skills are developed in 6x1.5hr computer laboratory sessions devoted to four tasks listed in the syllabus. Students work in groups of 2 or 3. 


Assessment details        
      Pass mark   
Grading method Numeric   40%
Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Pass mark Must pass?
Examination 3 Hour exam 80% 40% N
Coursework 4 small task reports 20% 40% N

Module leaders

Dr Jun Jiang