Credits: 3


Restriction: Senior standing; and permission of ENGR-Mechanical Engineering department.
Basic concepts of the theory of the finite element method. Applications in solid mechanics and heat transfer.

Semesters Offered

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Summer 2023, Fall 2023

Learning Objectives

The main objectives are to provide students with a conceptual understanding of the principles of finite element analysis systems, the implementation of these principles, and its connections to CAD and design optimization. The main software systems used in teaching/learning are Creo Simulation, SolidWorks Simulation, Autodesk Simulation, NX Simulation and ANSYS.

Topics Covered

our (4) software systems will be used to complete the homework assignments and team projects. They are Creo Simulation, SolidWorks Simulation, Autdodesk Inventor Simulation, NX Simulation, and ANSYS. These software systems are widely used by industry and by the research community. The participating students will gain a good understanding of the science-based computational modeling methodology, and learn the skills essential to obtain numerical solutions to a variety of engineering problems. Additional topics include:

  • Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
  • Concept of Constitutive Equations and Stiffness Matrix
  • Material Properties and Basic Types of Elements
  • Structural Idealizations: Beams (trusses) and Shells
  • Modeling using 3D Elements and Mesh Generation
  • Error Analysis and Criteria of Convergence
  • Modeling of Constraints and Loads
  • FEA with Components and Assemblies
  • Buckling Analysis and Thermal Analysis
  • Simulation-Driven Design Optimization

Learning Outcomes

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Additional Course Information


Zhang, Guangming


Engineering Analysis with Pro/Mechanica and ANSYS, Guangming Zhang, College House Enterprises, LLC., 2011. ISBN:978-1-935673-03-3

Supplemental Materials: Finite Element Analysis, Theory and Applications with ANSYS, Moaveni, Prentice Hall, 1999.

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • Three 50 min lecture sessions per week
Last Updated By 
Guangming Zhang, June 2017