Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, 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 computational methods and simulation tools in engineering problems
2. Realizing the role of verification, validation and uncertainty quantification in computational science and engineering
3. Understanding of the theoretical foundations of the most relevant computer methods applied in civil engineering: finite element methods (FEM), finite difference methods (FDM) and collocations methods (CM)
4. Ability to apply the most relevant numerical methods in civil engineering (FEM, FDM, CM) by implementing well-structured simple programs for solving basic engineering problems
5. Ability to apply the most common civil engineering software tools (FEM) for solving engineering problems from different subfields of civil engineering

Credits: 5

Schedule: 01.11.2021 - 19.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Jarkko Niiranen, Tomi Kankkunen

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

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Week 1:
    - Modelling principles and boundary/initial value problems in engineering sciences
    - Basics of numerical integration and differentiation
    Week 2:
    - Basic 1D finite difference and collocations methods
    Week 3:
    - Energy methods and basic 1D finite element methods (bars/rods, beams, heat diffusion, seepage, electrostatics)
    Week 4:
    - Basic 2D and 3D finite element methods (heat diffusion, seepage)
    - Numerical implementation techniques and accuracy of basic finite element methods
    Week 5:
    - Finite element methods for beam models
    Week 6:
    - Finite element methods for 2D and 3D elasticity
    - Basics of algorithmic design in architectural engineering
    Week 7:
    - Exam
    - Compensating project work

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

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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 for whole curriculum period:

    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 Assignmen


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Computer software utilized throughout the course will be Matlab for programming exercises and Comsol (and/or RFEM) for other computer exercises, i.e., finite element analysis.

    The software tools are available in the computer classes of the university and/or downloadable for students' personal computers for free.

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn II

    2021-2022 Autumn II

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.