Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


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


Not currently offered.

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 using a commercial finite element package

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

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

5. Describe sources nonlinearity and compare technique for solving linear and nonlinear finite equations

6. Perform a detailed finite element study to investigate and design a real world engineering problem


  • 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  


This course has similar content to CIVL3840. If you have completed CIVL3840, you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

CIVL2130, CIVL2060, CIVL3280, CIVl2310

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Report: Group Research Report

Presentation: Group Research Seminar

Formal Examination: Final exam