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Finite Element Analysis

The purpose of this module is to provide both an introduction to the theory underpinning finite element analysis (FEA) and hands on experience using the well-established FEA package named Ansys. Students will gain a unique experience to master and comprehend numerical calculation methods.




Dr Glenn Leighton
Dr Renaud Jourdain


21 hours lectures + 14 hours hand on  time and 50 hours written assignment


Coursework worth 15 credits


On successful completion of this study the student should be able to:

  • Understand the theory underpinning finite element analysis (FEA).
  • Identify and evaluate the requirements to carry out  FEA.
  • Apply the good practices associated to the use of FEA.
  • Use a commercial FEA package named Ansys.
  • Solve a range of mechanical and thermal problems.



  • Overview of the FEA method, pre-processing, solution. and post-processing, basic terminology, range of applications.
  • Presentation of a software package named Ansys.
  • Presentation of FEA for mechanical linear (elasticity) analysis mechanical analysis using various element types: bars, beams, 2D, 3D, shell elements.
  • Presentation of CAD model, meshing, symmetry, model development, implementation of force boundary conditions, solution, and post processor analysis.
  • Presentation of FEA for heat transfer analysis, equivalence with other field problems, convergence issue, boundary conditions, model creation and solution.
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