Single-Course Danish 5 ECTS

Computational Structural Modelling 1: The Finite Element Method

Overall Course Objectives

The Finite Element Method (FEM) is a widely used tool among Civil Engineers (and Engineers in general) due to its generality and flexibility in a large number of engineering problems. Although most practitioners use commercial programs, an understanding of the underlying theory is a necessity for performing reasonable, realistic and reliable analyzes using FEM.
This course focuses on the fundamentals behind the method and provides the theoretical basis for further studies, as well as the use of FEM as a design tool. The course is oriented towards constructions and the structural mechanics area.

Learning Objectives

  • Establish the Finite Element Method equations directly for bar and beams.
  • Establish the Finite Element Method equations for bars, beams, discs, plates and shells based on the principle of virtual work.
  • Understand, use and derive interpolations for approximation of field variables.
  • Understand and apply the isoparametric method for the development of elements.
  • Understand different structural element types.
  • Apply and evaluate the results obtained using different structural element types.
  • Perform and assess stability analysis of structures.
  • Apply a commercial FEM program and perform critical assessment of the results
  • Program and modify linear Finite Element programs.

Course Content

Introduction to the finite element method for structural design purposes. Emphasis is placed on the systematic development of the Finite Element Method based on the principle of virtual work. The course is structured around lectures and exercises covering both analytical approach, programming the Finite Element Method and the use of a commercial software.

Recommended prerequisites

01035/11343/41955/02601/02631, …or equivalent

Teaching Method

Lectures and exercises


See course in the course database.





13 weeks


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 41958
Course type Bachelor
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Tues 13-17

7.500,00 DKK