Avoimen yliopiston kurssit

Finite Element Methods in Civil Engineering D


27.2.2023 – 18.4.2023


30.1.2023 – 6.3.2023


Päiväopetus, Kevät

Opintojen muoto:









5 opintopistettä


75,00 €


Week 1:
- Abstract formulation and accuracy of finite element methods
- Finite element methods for Timoshenko beams
Week 2:
- Finite element methods for Kirchhoff plates
- Finite element methods for Reissner--Mindlin plates
Week 3:
- Finite element methods for shells
Week 4:
- Finite element methods for time-dependent problems
Week 5:
- Nonlinearities in finite element simulations
Week 6:
- Finite element methods for free vibrations
- Finite element methods for buckling
Week 7:
- Exam

(The actual order of some of the weeks 1--6 may vary.)

Jarkko Niiranen

Study material

Primary course material:
- Lecture slides and home assignments
- Text book by A. Öchsner abd M. Merkel: One-Dimensional Finite Elements, An Introduction to the FE Method, Springer, 2013 (available as an E-book or a downloadable pdf-file in the university library)
- Text book by J. N. Reddy: An Introduction to the Finite Element Method, McGraw-Hill Education, 1984,..., 2019

Secondary course material:
-  T. J. R. Hughes: The Finite Element Method: Linear Static and Dynamic Finite Element Analysis, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, 1987/2000 (E-book with downloadable chapters in Aalto Learning Centre)
F. Hartmann (Author), Casimir Katz (Author): Structural Analysis with Finite Elements, 2nd Edition, Springer-Verlag, 2007
J. N. Reddy: An Introduction to Nonlinear Finite Element Method, Oxford University Press, 2004

Workspace for the course - MyCourses
MyCourses online learning environment is a tool for both students and teachers for communication and managing everyday course work. You need an Aalto User ID to log in to the course's MyCourses workspace and participate in teaching. You can activate your Aalto User ID the day after the registration and you should activate it no later than the day before the start of the course. Instructions for activating your Aalto User ID https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university-open-university/aalto-user-id-student-information-systems-and-student

Course workspace: https://mycourses.aalto.fi/course/view.php?id=35450

More details on completing the course will be available at MyCourses closer to the start of the course.

Learning outcomes

1. Recognising the possibilities, advantages and risks of applying advanced computational methods and simulation tools in engineering problems
2. Understanding of the theoretical foundations of the advanced finite element methods (FEM) applied in civil engineering
3. Understanding of the main assumptions and features of specialized structural finite elements and finite element analysis types
4. Ability to apply the most relevant advanced finite element methods in civil engineering by implementing well-structured simple programs for solving basic engineering problems
5. Ability to critically utilize advanced finite element software tools for the most typical civil engineering problems


Lectures: 2 double-hours per week (24 h = 18%)
- contact teaching: attending the lectures (pre-browsing, listening, writing notes, asking etc.)

Reading: 2 double-hours per week (24 h = 18%)
- self-studies: reading and writing the derivations in the lecture slides and/or textbook

Theoretical Exercises: 2 double-hours per week (24 h = 18%)
- contact teaching: advice hours for theoretical hands-on exercises instructed by assistants

Computer Exercises: 1 double-hour per week (12 h = 9%)
- contact teaching: advice sessions for computer hands-on exercises instructed by assistants

Theoretical Home Assignments: 4 hours per week (24 h = 18%)
- a few per week
- self-studies for theoretical hands-on exercises: problem solving, calculating, writing solution documents

Computer Home Assignments: 2 hours per week (12 h = 9%)
- a few per week
- self-studies for theoretical hands-on exercises: problem solving, learning software features, preparing solution documents

Final exam and preparation: 3 + 10 hours (13 h = 10%)

Registration for Open University courses in Aimo-service. Registration for Aimo-service and course registration: Aimo-service

Registration starts on 30.1.2023 at 9.00  
Registration ends on 6.3.2023 at 23.59

The course fee is paid upon registration for each course at a time and it is binding. Familiarize yourself with registration and payment rules as well as other guidelines for students https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university-open-university/registration-payments-and-rules

The number of participants is limited to 3.

This course is organised by Aalto University School of Engineering


- Basic courses of BSc level engineering mathematics, physics, mechanics and computer science
- Common studies (compulsory) courses CIV-E1060 Engineering Computation and Simulation, CIV-E1020 Mechanics of Beam and Frame Structures, CIV-E1050 Heat and Mass Transfer in Buildings (or comparable knowledge and skills)
- Preferably Common studies (compulsory) course CIV-E1030 Fundamentals of Structural Design and Advanced studies (elective) course CIV-E4090 Mechanics of Plate and Shell Structures (or comparable knowledge and skills)


1. Theoretical home assignments:
- returned according to weakly deadlines (assessed weekly by assistants)

2. Computer home assignments:
- returned according to weakly deadlines (assessed weekly by assistants)

3. Final exam:
- on week 7 (assessed by the lecturer)

The final grade (0 5) is composed of the points collected from the final examination (50% = 18 pts) and exercise assignments (theoretical 25% = 9 pts, computer 25% = 9 pts). The passing grade 1 can be achieved by about 50% (18 pts) of the total maximum (36 pts).

Teaching time and location

The teaching time and the location of the course can be found at Sisu information system here

  1. The link leads to Completion methods tab of the course page  
  2. From the top of the page (Version drop-down menu), check that academic year 2022-2023 is selected  
  3. From the blue bar, click Lecture and open the Groups and teaching times tabto see the teaching time and the location of the course. Exam times can be seen by clicking Exam.

The coronavirus situation can cause changes. The teaching of the course can change into remote teaching, the course can be taught both remote and contact teaching or only contact teaching. There may also be changes to the teaching time and the classroom information.

Access Token on Aalto University Campus
To be able to enter campus premises and classrooms you need the student access token of Aalto University. You can get the student access token from campus lobby services. The access token need to be activated with your Aalto account and password before you can use it. Please, arrive the campus well in advance before your first class so that you can make the access token work. Please, see here the instructions how to activate the access token.

Otaniemi Campus, Espoo https://www.aalto.fi/en/campus/campus-maps-addresses-and-getting-to-otaniemi

Information on examinations

Further information

If you need individual study arrangements in order to attend a course, contact the Open University office ([email protected]) in good time, at least 14 days before the start date of the course or the examination date. Further information individual study arrangements https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university-open-university/individual-study-arrangements-at-the-open-university.

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