ENEQ623-21X (C) General non-calendar-based 2021

Finite Element Analysis of Structures

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 1 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 2 May 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 14 February 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 9 April 2021


Strong, weak, Galerkin, and matrix forms of differential equations; accuracy and characteristics of finite element solutions; isoparametric elements; 1d, 2d, and 3d linear elasticity problems; dynamic analysis of structures with lumped and distributed mass; introduction to nonlinear analysis.

The finite element method is a numerical method ubiquitously employed to solve boundary value problems arising in a wide range of fields, e.g. structural mechanics, heat flow, advection-diffusion, and electromagnetics problems.

This course covers the mathematical underpinnings of the finite element method, and its application to solve structural mechanics and heat flow problems. Although emphasis is on the linear static analysis of continuum and framed structures, dynamic analysis is introduced towards the end.

This course caters to Structural, Geotechnical, Mechanical, and Fire engineers. It is designed to enable students to conduct robust analyses using commercial software packages, and to confidently interpret the results.

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop the finite element formulation for 1d, 2d, and 3d boundary value problems.
2. Design smooth, continuous, and convergent finite element meshes to discretise the problem domain.
3. Apply the finite element method to compute approximate solutions for structural mechanics and heat flow problems using efficient numerical solution algorithms.
4. Apply the finite element method to analyse linear models of continuum and framed structures under external static and dynamic loads.
5. Apply the finite element method to compute the modal frequencies and dynamic mode shapes of a structural model.
6. Interpret the accuracy of the analysis results in light of the factors like the conditioning of the system, the order of numerical integration employed, the quality of the mesh, and the influence of mesh refinement.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department or
the Programme Director

Course Coordinator

Reagan Chandramohan


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Assignments 30%
Project 30%
Exam 40%

Your course grade will be decided based on your total course score, which is computed as the
weighted average of your scores in the following three components: assignments, a project,
and an exam.

Late submissions will not be accepted beyond the due date of any assessment component,
unless you can provide evidence of extenuating personal circumstances well in advance of
the due date.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Hughes, Thomas J. R; The finite element method : linear static and dynamic finite element analysis; Dover Publications, 2000.

Recommended Reading

Bathe, Klaus-Jurgen; Finite element procedures; Prentice Hall, 1996.

Fish, Jacob. , Belytschko, Ted; A first course in finite elements; John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2007.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,114.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.

All ENEQ623 Occurrences

  • ENEQ623-21X (C) General non-calendar-based 2021