ME 471 / AE 420 / CSE 451: Finite Element Analysis

Description: The finite element method and its application to engineering problems: truss and frame structures, heat conduction, and linear elasticity; use of application software; overview of advanced topics such as structural dynamics, fluid flow, and nonlinear structural analysis.

Prerequisites: CS 101 and ME 370 (or equivalent courses)

Credit: 3 or 4 undergraduate hours; 4 graduate hours. Students seeking the additional hour (4 credits instead of 3) will be assigned additional homework and/or programming assignments.

Reference texts:

  • D. Tortorelli, Solid Mechanics: Analysis and Design with the Finite Element Method , not yet published. Students registered in this course will have access to relevant chapters of this textbook. Electronic files will be posted in the Schedule page (Supplemental material).
  • R. D. Cook, D. S. Malkus, M. E. Plesha, R. J. Witt, Concepts and Applications of Finite Element Analysis, 4th edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2002.
  • T. J. R. Hughes The Finite Element Method: Linear Static and Dynamic Finite Element Analysis, Dover, 2000.

There is no required textbook for this class.

Grading: The total score for the course is computed with the following weights:

Homework 20% Programming Assignments 40%
Midterm 15% Final Exam 25%

Final grades: The total score s corresponds to final grades as follows.

97% ≤ s < 100% A+ 93% ≤ s < 97% A 90% ≤ s < 93% A-
87% ≤ s < 90% B+ 83% ≤ s < 87% B 80% ≤ s < 83% B-
77% ≤ s < 80% C+ 73% ≤ s < 77% C 70% ≤ s < 73% C-
67% ≤ s < 70% D+ 63% ≤ s < 70% D 60% ≤ s < 63% D-
s < 60% F

Midterm: Wednesday, March 15 (during lecture time at MEB 253 and MEB 243)

Final Exam: Friday, May 5, 2016, 7:00pm - 10:00pm, location TBD

Office hours:

Prof. Silva: Tuesdays 12:00pm - 1:00pm, 136A MEB, Wednesdays 10:00 - 11:00am at 154 MEB

Fan Chan: Thursdays 10-11am and Fridays 2-3pm at 344 MEB

Online forum (Piazza):

This class uses Piazza for ALL communications between the instructor, TA, and students. Students should not communicate with the instructor and TA via email . This is so we can ensure a faster response and keep everyone informed about what's going on.

Students are encouraged to post public messages on Piazza ("Post to Entire Class"). If you like, you can post anonymously, but we encourage everyone to use their name because it makes a friendlier and more welcoming environment. We will never judge anyone for asking anything on Piazza, and you will see professors and TAs making mistakes and saying stupid things as well!

You can use the private feature on Piazza by posting a message visible only to the instructors. In this, you must type "Instructors", instead of sending a message to a specific TA or instructor. Again, this helps to ensure that you get a prompt response. Private posts will also be used for conflict and excused absence requests (see policies page).

We expect that you will be courteous and post only material related to this course. Please try to avoid asking questions that have already been asked and answered. Also, do not post code or the complete answer to a homework!!!

The use of Piazza should not replace the office hour time, since some questions cannot be fully addressed via an online forum.