Last Updated T032020


Unit Code MME603
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Master of Engineering (Mechanical)

Duration 2 years

Year Level 2nd
Unit Creator / Reviewer Shailesh Vaidya & Dr Poonam Savsani / Dr Milind Siddhpura
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites Nil
Credit Points


Masters total course credit points = 48
(12 credits (Thesis) + 3 credits x 12 (units))

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

10 hours per week:

Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

This unit will serve as an advanced course in Finite Element Method. This unit introduces finite element methods for the analysis of solid and structural problems. Steady-state, transient, and dynamic conditions are considered. Finite element methods and solution procedures for linear analyses are presented using largely physical arguments. The assessments and projects involve the use of the general-purpose finite element analysis program. Applications include finite element analyses, modelling of problems, and interpretation of numerical results.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Evaluate and make recommendations for design validation by performing strength, rigidity or dynamic analysis.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  2. Formulate a mathematical model and solve it by finite element methods for the structural, thermal and dynamic engineering systems
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  3. Evaluate and optimize industrial engineering systems by using FEA
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  4. Plan different FEA approaches for   practical industrial problems and solve it with different practical constraints
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  5. Formulate the theoretical concepts of FEA related to structural, frequency, dynamic and heat transfer problems
    • Bloom’s Level 5

Student assessment

Assessment Type (e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic) Examination (specify length and format)) When assessed(e.g. Week 5) Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test (Proctored) / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation

Topic: 1-3.


Topic 3
15% 1, 2, 5

Assessment 2

Type: Mid-semester test (Proctored) / Report / Research / Paper / Case Study / Site Visit / Problem analysis / Project / Professional recommendation

Example:  Develop finite element model by using bar, truss, and beam, frame or grid elements. Solve finite element model manually and compare solution with the FEA package/software. Solution of Eigen value and time-dependent engineering problems.  


Topic 7
25% 1, 2, 3, 5

Assessment 3

Type: Practical assessments, Remote labs, Simulation software or Case studies.

Example: Solve engineering problems by using FEA packages/software. Students should be able to: apply different materials, develop physical model, decide appropriate element type, decide suitable type of analysis, develop mesh and mesh refinements, apply loading and boundary conditions, generate solutions (stress, displacement, frequency modes, mode shapes, temperature distribution, etc.), represent solutions visually and numerically, and check the validity of results by using FEA package/software  


Topic 9
20% 1 - 5

Assessment 4

Type: Report (Final Project)

Solve industrial problems by using FEA packages/software. Student will solve the problem and represent their work in the form of a report. Report must consist of problem definition, mathematical background, methodology, results, discussions and summary/ conclusion. 

Word length: Open


Topic 12
35% 1 - 5

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 - 5

Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required Textbook

  • Seshu, Textbook of finite element analysis. PHI Learning, ISBN-978-812032315-5
  • L. Logan, A First Course in the Finite Element Method, Thomson-Engineering (Nels; 5 edition, ISBN-10: 0495668257, ISBN-13: 978-0495668251

Reference Materials

  • N. Reddy, An Introduction to the Finite Element Method, McGraw-Hill Education; 4 edition, ISBN-10: 1259861902, ISBN-13: 978-1259861901
  • Bathe, K. J.Finite Element Procedures. 2nd ed., 2014. ISBN: 9780979004957.
  • com, " Login", 2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 14- Dec- 2015].
  • Other texts, peer-reviewed journals and websites. To be advised during lectures.

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

Mathematical Modelling and Introduction to Finite Element Method

  1. Development of mathematical models for the structural, heat transfer and dynamic engineering systems
  2. Solution of mathematical models by numerical simulations
  3. Introduction to finite element method: Discretization, element equation, assembling elements, and convergence of solution

Topic 2

Integral Formulation and Variational Approaches

  1. Understand different variational principles and methods
  2. Formulate weighted integral for variational formulations
  3. Develop integral formulations and using weak formulation for the solution
  4. Understand and solve mathematical models for the engineering systems by different variational methods

Topic 3

Finite Element Models

  1. Represent second order differential equation for solving it by finite element method
  2. Develop model boundary value problem for the engineering system
  3. Perform basic finite element method steps on model boundary value problem
  4. Represent axisymmetric problem mathematically and solve it by finite element method

Topic 4

Application of FEM for one dimensional problems.

  1. Understand discretization by elastic spring system, electrical network representation, and flow system network
  2. Apply FEM for heat transfer and flow systems  
  3. Solve linear elastic structural bar and truss problems by finite element methods
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving one dimensional bar and truss problems

Topic 5

Beam Equations

  1. Develop mathematical model for the beam structures
  2. Solve governing beam equations by finite element method with different boundary conditions
  3. Compare solutions of FEM with the exact mathematical solutions
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving beam structural problems

Topic 6

Frame and Grids

  1. Develop mathematical equations for 2D oriented beam element
  2. Solve plane frame structures with FEM for different loading conditions
  3. Develop finite element model for the grid structure with different boundary and loading conditions
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving frame and grid problems

Topic 7

Two Dimensional Problems

  1. Formulate model equations for the 2D engineering system with boundary conditions
  2. Develop finite element model and evaluate it by element assembly and post computations
  3. Apply FEM for solving 2D engineering problems
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving 2D engineering problems

Topic 8

Eigen Value and Time-Dependent Problems

  1. Formulate Eigenvalue problems and develop its finite element models
  2. Implement time –dependent variables for dynamic analysis of physical system
  3. Apply time-dependent dynamic analysis for engineering problems
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving time-dependent engineering problems

Topic 9

Axisymmetric Element

  1. Derive stiffness matrix and element assembly for axisymmetric element
  2. Solve axisymmetric problem with different loading conditions
  3. Apply axisymmetric concept for different engineering problems
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving axisymmetric engineering problems

Topic 10

Plane Elasticity and Plate Bending

  1. Develop governing equations and finite element model for the plane elastic element
  2. Understand classic and shear deformation plate theory
  3. Apply the concept for plate bending for different engineering problems
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving plate bending engineering problems

Topic 11

Heat Transfer, Fluid Flow and Thermal Problems

  1. Develop finite element formulations for 1D and 2D heat transfer problems
  2. Understand the use of FEM for different fluid flow analysis
  3. Apply the concept of FEA for calculating thermal stresses in the structure
  4. Use FEM-Package/software for solving heat transfer, fluid flow and thermal stress engineering problems

Topic 12

Project and Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far.  Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues.  Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3. Professional and Personal Attributes
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanor.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: ANSYS workbench
  • Version: 18.2/19.2   
  • Instructions:  N/A    
  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A