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EG3001 - Finite Element Analysis

Credit points: 3
Year: 2022
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

Students will learn fundamental theory of numerical methods in engineering and will learn to apply such methods in the analysis of various thermal, static and dynamic mechanical problems. The complementary numerical theory and application sections will be taught in parallel during the semester to provide context for one another and to expose graduates to the wide variety of numerical tools available to today's engineers. Within the theory section of the subject, students will learn the fundamentals and implementation of a variety of numerical methods; specifically the finite element method (FEM) and the discrete element method (DEM). The main topics of FEM include: matrix analysis methods; the derivation of element stiffness matrices of spring and bar elements as well as stiffness matrices of quadrilateral elements for plane elasticity, shell and solid elements; work equivalent forces; the concept of natural coordinates and isoparametric element formulation; numerical integration and gauss points and for DEM include: introduction to DEM and its applications, hard particle collision dynamics in DEM, classic and regularized Coulomb laws. Students are exposed to the theory underlying the FEM and DEM. Therefore, upon successful completion of this subject students can conceptualize alternative FEM and DEM procedures for different projects and ensure that used methods are based on fundamental principles. In the application proportion of the subject, students will be trained in the use of the ANSYS commercial FEM package for static and dynamic mechanical problems, as well as in the interpretation and analysis of results. Students will learn the place of numerical software in the design workflow and will graduate with practical skills in analysis.

Learning Outcomes

  • assess numerical model accuracy, determine sources of errors, and implement systematic approaches to problem decomposition that facilitate solution (EAC2.1b,c,d);
  • produce written analysis briefs that effectively and concisely report the approach and outcome of computational modelling (EAC3.2b);
  • develop practical experience in the application of commercial finite element packages to solve static and dynamic mechanical problems in engineering (EAC1.3a);
  • explain the fundamental numerical mathematics behind a variety of numerical methods allowing informed use of such methods in practice (EAC1.2a);
  • identify which numerical method is most appropriate for a given engineering application, including selection of the most suitable sub-class (EAC2.2b, c,d).

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (30%) - Individual
  • Written > Project report - (40%) - Group & Individual
  • ANSYS workshop: 15% Coding workshop: 15% - (30%) - Individual.
Prerequisites: EG1002 AND EG1011 AND MA2000
CS4006 ME3514


Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 24-Mar-2022
Coordinator: Dr Mehdi Khatamifar
Lecturers: Dr Mehdi Khatamifar, Mr Jeremy Gordon.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 26 hours lectures (didactic or interactive)
  • 13 hours tutorials
  • 52 hours workshops
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.