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Syllabus for

Academic year
IMS090 - Simulation based mechanics and strength of materials
Simuleringsbaserad mekanik och hållfasthetslära
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-05 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKIEK
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: First-cycle
Main field of study: Mechanical Engineering

Teaching language: Swedish
Application code: 51143
Open for exchange students: No
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0121 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   02 Jun 2022 pm J_DATA,  23 Aug 2022 am J_DATA

In programs

TKIEK INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT - Industrial production, Year 2 (compulsory)
TKTEM ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS, Year 3 (compulsory elective)


Magnus Ekh

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General entry requirements for bachelor's level (first cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

The same as for the programme that owns the course.
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Mathematics, in particular linear algebra, differential equations and integrals. Basic knowledge in Matlab or Python (code structure, functions, matrix calculations, plotting).


The main aim is that students should obtain fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes for solving problems in mechanics and strength of materials. This is necessary for designing, analyzing and predicting function, reliability and life time of mechanical structures. Furthermore, students will train on mathematical modelling and of using mathematical software (Matlab or Python-NumPy) as well as finite element software for being able to do accurate and reliable analyzes.

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

  • Explain the concepts of mechanical force and moment.
  • Apply vector algebra to calculate the moment with respect to a point or an axis.
  • Explain the meaning of equilibrium and conditions of equilibrium.
  • Draw free body diagrams, formulate and solve equilibrium equations.
  • Use matrix algebra and mathematical software (Matlab or Python-NumPy) to solve equilibrium equations.
  • Describe and to compute fundamental concepts in strength of materials such as deformations, strains, internal forces and stresses.
  • Discuss the role of and apply some constitutive models as elasticity, thermo-elasticity and ideal plasticity.
  • Compute and analyze displacements, strains and stresses of truss structures with Matlab or Python-NumPy.
  • Explain the concepts of stress and strain in 2D and 3D.
  • Compute principal stresses and corresponding directions with Matlab or Python-NumPy.
  • Describe and use Hooke’s generalized law for linear isotropic elasticity.
  • Calculate equivalent stress according to von Mises and Tresca. Use von Mises’ and Tresca’s yield/fracture criterion to judge the risk of yielding or failure.
  • Explain the basic ideas of the finite element method (FEM)
  • Use software for FEM (e.g. COMSOL or ANSYS) for analyzing structures.
  • Use simulations with FEM software to validate simplified mathematical models such as (Euler-Bernoulli) beam and shaft.
  • Adopt mathematical model and compute stresses and deformations of, for example, simply-supported and clamped beams.
  • Predict stress concentrations with finite element simulations and compare against handbook values.
  • Explain the fundamentals of fatigue, buckling and eigen frequencies in structures.
  • Calculate buckling loads and eigenfrequencies with FEM to validate simplified mathematical models such as for beams.
  • Be able to perform risk assessment of buckling and resonance in beams with validate simplified mathematical formulas for some basic cases.


  • Mechanical forces and moments.
  • Free body diagrams, equilibrium and conditions of equilibrium.
  • Matrix algebra with mathematical softwares (Matlab or Python-NumPy).
  • Deformations, strains, internal forces and stresses.
  • Elasticity, thermo-elasticity and ideal plasticity.
  • Simulations of truss structures in Matlab or Python-NumPy.
  • Principal stresses and directions.
  • Hooke’s generalized law.
  • Von Mises’ and Tresca’s yield/fracture criterion.
  • Introduction to the finite element method (FEM)
  • Commercial FEM software (e.g. COMSOL or ANSYS)
  • Simple structures such as: Euler-Bernoulli beams and shafts.
  • Stress concentrations, fatigue, buckling and eigen frequencies.

Throughout the course mathematical software (Matlab or Python-NumPy) and finite element software will be used as tools for simulations, analyzes and understanding of mechanics and strength of materials.

In relation to the UN's sustainability goals, the course deals with reliable design of mechanically loaded structures, components, products and buildings. This relates to Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation and Goal 12 Responsible consumption and production.


Lectures, tutorials and computer tutorials.


Lecture notes in mechanics and strength of materials.

Examination including compulsory elements

Written exam and compulsory assignments.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.