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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TME245 - Finite element method - structures
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-19 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAME
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department: 42 - APPLIED MECHANICS

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: C

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0111 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   21 Mar 2015 am M,  17 Aug 2015 pm M

In programs

MPAME APPLIED MECHANICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Professor  Fredrik Larsson
Docent  Håkan Johansson
Professor  Kenneth Runesson


VSM014   Finite element method - applications


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

A basic course on the finite element method e.g. MHA021 or VSM167


The aim of the course is to provide a deeper knowledge and increased understanding of how to apply the finite element method (FEM) to more advanced problems in solid and structural mechanics. In particular, problems involving nonlinearities, structural components (such as beams and plates) and stability analysis are considered.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

- apply the finite element method to solve problems for structural components, such as beams and plates,
- apply the finite element method to non-linear problems, in particular for non-linearities with respect to non-linear constitutive relations (e.g. material behavior),
- evaluate and choose suitable iterative method for solving a non-linear problem,
- apply the finite element method to linearized pre-buckling theory, in terms of beams and plates,
- explain the fundamental aspects of general stability problems for a fully nonlinear problem,
- explain the inputs, connections and steps in a FEM program required for solving nonlinear problems and linearized pre-buckling stability analysis,
- implement a simple finite element code for non-linear problems and linearized pre-buckling analysis in the MATLAB software, using the finite element toolbox CALFEM,
- critically review the capabilities of commercial finite element codes,
- compute solutions to basic solid mechanics problems using the commercial FE-software ABAQUS


Linear analysis of structures and solids: Beams and plates in bending. Structural (in)stability: Timoshenko quotient, LPB, buckling of frames and plates. Nonlinear analysis: Nonlinear systems of equations, iterative methods. Application to material inelasticity and nonlinear heatflow.


The course is organized into approximately 28 h of lectures, 28 h of computer classes and 4 h of computer lab. The main theory is presented in the lectures. The main part of the computer classes is dedicated to group work with the computer assignments. However, during computer class, small size problems are solved by the instructors, exemplifying the theory. A compulsory computer lab, giving an introduction to the FE-software ABAQUS, is included in the course.


N. Ottosen and H. Petersson: Introduction to the finite element method, Prentice Hall, New York 1992
CALFEM manual, A finite element toolbox to MATLAB
Lecture notes available for downloading


Three computer assignments (CA) and the written final examination are graded and give together a maximum of 18 points towards the final grade (9 points from the three CA:s and 9 points from the final exam). 10 points, together with participation in the compulsory computer lab, is required for passing grade.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.