MABY4100 Finite Element Method in Structural Analysis Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Finite Element Method in Structural Analysis
Master’s Programme in Civil Engineering
10 stp.


When dimensioning large, complicated structures, the Finite Element Method (FEM) is used to calculate stresses and strains in different parts of the structure. The course provides the theoretical basis for the finite element method and describes the different types of elements used in the modelling of frames, beams, discs, plates, shells and massive structures. The course shows how the fundamental linear theory behind the method, combined with numerical calculations, predicts displacements, strains and stresses. The properties of the elements, convergence requirements and modelling errors are also addressed. In the modelling of structures, emphasis is placed on the choice of element types, the application of loads and the introduction of boundary conditions, as well as the verification of the final analysis results.

To give students a deeper understanding of the theory, a project assignment is included where a simple structure is analysed using FEM software.

Anbefalte forkunnskaper

No formal requirements over and above the admission requirements.

The course is based on knowledge acquired in the course BYVE3300 Statics, part of the bachelor's degree programme in civil engineering (OsloMet), or a course with a equivalent learning outcomes.


No formal requirements over and above the admission requirements.


After completing the course, the student is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student:

  • has in-depth knowledge of the theoretical basis of the finite element method
  • has in-depth knowledge of matrices and load vectors
  • has advanced knowledge of numerical integration methods and convergence criteria
  • has advanced knowledge of the formulation of element types for the modelling of beams, discs, plates, shells and massive (three-dimensional) structures for linear static structural analysis.


The student:

  • is capable of calculating stiffness matrices and load vectors for elements, understanding stiffness relationships for a structure and assembling the stiffness matrix of a structure based on the stiffness matrices of the individual elements
  • is capable of using FEM software to perform linear static analyses of simple structural systems.

General competence:

The student:

  • is familiar with the basis for the finite element method for solving structural problems
  • understands the need for and use of the finite element method as an analysis and dimensioning tool
  • is familiar with the calculation process involved in the finite element method, and its limitations
  • is capable of evaluating the results of finite element method calculations.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The teaching will consist of lectures, voluntary and compulsory exercises building on the theory being taught, and a compulsory individual assignment (project).

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter


Vurdering og eksamen

Type of assessment:  

1) Individual written exam under supervision (three hours), weighted 65 %

2) Project report (individual work for every student), weighted 35

All assessment parts must be awarded a pass grade (E or better) in order for the student to pass the course. 

Assessment parts: 1) and 2) may be appealed.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All printed and written aids and a calculator that cannot be used to communicate with others.


Grade scale A-F. 


One internal examiner.

External examiners are used regularly.


Vagelis Plevris