Skip to main content

Unit information: Finite Element Analysis 3 in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Finite Element Analysis 3
Unit code CENG30003
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Macdonald
Open unit status Not open

Structures and Materials 2 (or equivalent) Computational Modelling 2 (or equivalent)



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Aims 1. To develop students’ understanding of the finite element method and its use in the analysis and design of structures. 2. To introduce the concepts of structural dynamics of single and multi-degree-of-freedom structural systems subject to free vibration and simple excitation. 3. To equip students to use the finite element method to estimate the static and dynamic responses of structures to realistic loads.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students will;

1. understand the basic concepts in finite element analysis,

2. be able to derive stiffness and mass matrices for elastic elements such as beams and plates,

3. understand the fundamentals of structural dynamics,

4. be able to calculate the dynamic response of single-degree-of-freedom structures to simple dynamic loads,

5. understand the use of stiffness and mass matrices and the concept of modal decomposition in the dynamic analysis of multi-degree-of-freedom structures,

6. be able to select appropriate elements and apply the finite element method to a range of static and dynamic problems,

7. be aware of issues and potential pitfalls in the practical application of finite element analysis to realistic structures.

Teaching details

Lectures, Computer classes

Assessment Details

2-hour examination 100% (Note some of the exam questions will be related to the hands-on exercises carried out in the computer classes).

Reading and References

Y.K Cheung, and M.F. Yeo, A practical introduction to finite element analysis

R.D. Cook, Finite Element Modelling for Stress Analysis

R. Clough & J. Penzien, Dynamics of Structures. (1993) Mcgraw-Hill Inc

J.R. Maguire & T.A. Wyatt, Dynamics, an introduction for civil and structural engineers. ICE Design and practice Guide. (1999) Thomas Telford Ltd.

J.W. Smith, Vibration of Structures - Applications in Civil Engineering Design