Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years (1.8.2018-31.7.2020), which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


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

Credits: 5

Schedule: 01.03.2021 - 12.04.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Jarkko Niiranen

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Jarkko Niiranen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    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:
    - Finite element methods for free vibrations
    - Finite element methods for buckling
    Week 6:
    - Nonlinearities in finite element simulations
    Week 7:
    - Exam
    - Compensating project work

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

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    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).

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    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%)
    - 4-6 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%)
    - 1-3 per week
    - self-studies for computer hands-on exercises: reading manuals, programming, modeling, preparing solution plots

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


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    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).

    Secondary course material:
    1. T. J. R. Hughes: The Finite Element Method: Linear Static and Dynamic Finite Element Analysis, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1987.
    2. F. Hartmann (Author), Casimir Katz (Author): Structural Analysis with Finite Elements, 2nd Edition, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2007.
    3. J. N. Reddy: An Introduction to the Finite Element Method, McGraw-Hill Education, 2005.
    4. J. N. Reddy: An Introduction to Nonlinear Finite Element Method, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Course Rak-54.3200 Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering can be replaced by course CIV-E1060 Engineering Computation and Simulation or CIV-E4010 Finite Element Methods in Civil Engineering.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    - 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)

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities



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