The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course introduces students to the development and use of finite element analysis and modelling for structural, water and geotechnical engineering.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

BCA Singapore

  • Semester 2 - 2020


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): CIVL4830. Students who have successfully completed CIVL4830 are not eligible to enrol in CIVL3840.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply interpolation and numerical integration to derive and evaluate finite element stiffness equations from first principles.

2. Apply finite element techniques to solve simple engineering problems.

3. Modify an existing finite element program to implement alternative finite elements and/or finite element techniques.

4. Use a commercial finite element package.

5. Interpret results and evaluate the efficiency and accuracy of a finite element analysis.

6. Describe sources nonlinearity and compare techniques for solving linear and nonlinear finite equations.


  • Finite element analysis, programming and modelling concepts
  • Interpolation and numerical integration
  • Finite element used in structural mechanics, solid mechanics and fluid flow in porous media
  • Nonlinear finite element analysis
  • Sources of error in finite element modelling
  • Solving finite element equations, influence of boundary conditions, element size, time step, initial conditions on results

Assumed knowledge

CIVL1100 Fundamentals of Engineering Mechanics (previously GENG1001); CIVL2060 Numerical Methods (previously CIVL2050);

ENGG1002 Introduction to Engineering Computations (previously GENG1002); Knowledge of Calculus - surface and volume integrals.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Presentation: Group Research Seminar

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact hours

BCA Singapore and Callaghan

Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 2


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 2