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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 29/06/2022 07:53:15

Title of Module: Applied Finite Element Analysis

Code: ENGG11022 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Obeid  Obeid

Summary of Module

The role of computational based analysis and simulation techniques are proving to be ever more critical as enabling technologies in the engineering and design environment Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a major analysis tool for the simulation and assessment of components and systems. 

This module will introduce students to advantages, disadvantages and limitations of different FE methodologies, exemplifying these by application of the methods to practical engineering and design problems.

An introduction to traditional H-type element formulation will be presented for beam, 2D planar, 3D shell and solid elements. Solution methods and routines will be discussed as applicable to the analysis type.

Module content will focus on modeling strategies and techniques. Types of modeling such as solid, shell, plane stress and strain techniques, axisymmetric and beam modeling will be discussed and demonstrated. Modeling issues will be highlighted such as the use of symmetry, error issues and convergence checking. Sensitivity studies will be dealt with in a practical manner. Effects of element formulation, equivalent nodal loading, solution schemes, element results, nodal averaging, and constraints will be discussed and assessed. Combination of element types within an analysis will be explored, with various modeling approaches demonstrated.

During the course of this module students will develop their UWS Graduate Attributes ( Universal: Academic attributes - critical thinking and analytical & inquiring mind; Work-Ready: Academic attributes - knowledge of FEA and CFD and relevant ICT skills; Successful : autonomus, driven and resillient.

  • This module will start with a small displacement linear elastic FE analysis and progress to advanced modelling with geometric and material nonlinearities with applications. Assessment will be by means of a major coursework/case study submission. During the course of this module students will gain knowledge and understanding of this important discipline as well as having the opportunity to develop a broad range of ICT, technical and transferable skills. Subject matter will be delivered mainly by an innovative programme of laboratory demonstrations and class assignments where the practical nature of the module will be emphasised and students will gain experience in using state of the art FEA systems. A complementary series of lectures and presentations will also be used to reinforce the subject matter.

  • This module has been reviewed and updated, taking cognisance of the University’s Curriculum Framework principles. Examples of this are found within the module such as active and engaging laboratory and digital tutorial activity, module assessment which reflects industry Computer Aided Engineering activities, learning synergies across modules and levels of study, recorded lecture content supporting students to organise their own study time and the use of real-world practical problems with experimental data to validate simulation activity developing digital intelligence meta-skills.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Develop an in-depth comprehensive knowledge and critical understanding of the theory and application of analysis and simulation systems currently used in a design and analysis engineering environment

L2. Apply advanced skills and techniques, in the application of Finite Element Analysis, to solve practical case studies and complex design problems, reaching substantiated solutions

L3. Demonstrate a critical analysis and assessment of a Finite Element Analysis

L4. Design solutions for complex problems that evidence originality using advanced FEA for problems involving linear elastic small displacement, eigenvalue and eigenvector vibration and buckling, nonlinearity and time dependencies

L5. Adopt a holistic and proportionate approach to the mitigation of security risks

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

A critical knowledge and understanding of finite element methods and techniques and how these fit into engineering and design strategies.

Specific and detailed knowledge and understanding of the application, techniques and practices associated with finite element analysis of engineering and design problems.

Detailed knowledge of appropriateness of methods and techniques to different problems/scenarios.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems

Applying knowledge and understanding to develop modelling and analysis strategies for a wide range of engineering and design problems, using finite element method techniques.

Assessing different strategies with respect to obtaining appropriate efficient solutions to engineering and design problems.

Making use of specialised finite element techniques to solve engineering and design problems such as optimisation methods or open ended problems.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Undertaking, evaluating and assessing critical FE analysis data. Making judgements on analytical data and results. Being able to develop conceptual solutions and strategies to FE problems.

Dealing with unpredictability in results and making critical comparative assessments between theoretical, simulation, and experimental predictions.

Bringing information together from a variety of sources during problem solving and being able to perceive potential problems with methods and strategies.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Ability to perform, interpret and evaluate complex numerical, geometrical and graphical data and using it to solve problems.

Ability to use variables and equations. Ability to integrate existing software with other applications such as spread sheets. Make use of multi-purpose integrated software systems to solve complex problems.

Using communications skills to write detailed, critical technical reports, including text and illustration.

Using finite element hardware and software and associated ICT equipment and systems such as networks to support and perform a wide range of problem solving tasks.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Identifying and addressing their own learning needs both during and outwith class time.

Identifying solution routes and strategies using their own initiative and informed judgements.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered via a blend of lectures, laboratory examples of real engineering problems. Assessment will be via a in class assignments to explore fundamental issues. A major coursework/case study assignment of a real design problem will be compared with actual test results.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity0
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Finite Element Analysis Systems (such as PTC Creo Parametric/Simulate, ANSYS) + 40 seat PC Lab with corresponding network facilities and suitable PCs. Software site licences are required.

NAFEMS QSS Primer 2014, NAFEMS, 2014

NAFEMS Simulation Handbook –Structural Linear Statics, NAFEMS, 2014

Finite Element Analysis for Engineers - A Primer, NAFEMS, 2013

Finite Element Analysis of Composite Materials Using Ansys, E. Barbero, CRC Press, 2014

Finite Element Modeling and Simulation with ANSYS Workbench, X. Chen & Y. Liu, CRC PRESS, 2015

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEngineering
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEngineering
ModeratorTony Leslie
External ExaminerF Inam
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Major Coursework on Basic FEA Modelling & Analysis 50%
Major Coursework on Non linear Modelling & Analysis 50%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case studycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark 500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case study check markcheck mark check mark500
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The programme leaders have considered how the programme meets the requirements of potential students from minority groups, including students from ethnic minorities, disabled students, students of different ages and students from under-represented groups. Students with special needs (including additional learning needs) would be assessed/accommodated and any identified barriers to particular groups of students discussed with the Enabling Support Unit and reasonable adjustments would be made for classes and site visits.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.