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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Peter Mackenzie-Helnwein
CEE 504
Seattle Campus

Finite Element Methods in Structural Mechanics

Extension of the matrix methods of structural analysis to the solution of elasticity, plate, and shell problems by use of finite element approximations. Discussion of convergence and bounding and extension to investigation of stability and finite deformations. Prerequisite: CEE 501 or permission of instructor. Offered: W.

Class description

This course will cover the following topics * The basics of the Finite Element Method (FEM) from both a variational and an energetical point of view * Similarities and differences between FEM and the Stiffness Method * Thermal problems (2D partial differential equation) * Plane stress problems using triangular and isoparametric quadrilateral elements * Convergence criteria, patch test, and error estimates * Kichhoff-Love and Reissner-Mindlin plate theories * Shells and layered structures (if time permits)

Student learning goals

You will be able to perform linear elastic finite element analyses for beam/frame/plate structures.

You will be able to assess the accuracy of your model through convergence studies.

You will be able to formulate your own displacement based finite elements for basic structures.

You will be able to use advanced commercial finite element software (MSC.marc)

General method of instruction

Lectures (three days per week) with weekly homework assignments, one midterm exam and one final exam project (over multiple weeks).

Recommended preparation

Completion of a continuum mechanics course (e.g. CEE 501).

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Peter Mackenzie-Helnwein
Date: 03/13/2012