Topic outline

  • General

    This course belongs to the six-pack of the compulsory courses forming the Common Studies module of the MSc program Building Technology. Therefore -- according to the name of the course, Engineering Computation and Simulation -- this course has a twofold goal: providing 

    1. some generic fundamentals concerning computational engineering models, methods and software for civil (or mechanical) engineering students orienting to any direction of advanced studies
    2. a solid foundation for advanced studies for students focusing on analysis and simulation in (civil) engineeringstructural design and engineeringbuilding physics or fire safety engineering.


    The course starts with a remote lecture on Tuesday the 2nd of November at 12.15.
    Week 1: No Monday exercises, the course starts with a Tuesday lecture (Nov 2).
    Week 6: Normal Tuesday and Thursday lectures (Topics 8 and 9) and a visiting lecture (professionals from Ramboll, Topic 9) on Fri 12--14 (hall R1) but no exercise sessions.

    Week 7: No other activities than the examination on Dec 14 at 13--16.
    Weeks 8 and 9 (until the end of the year): Compensating elective Project Works on Topics 8 and 9.


    Students are asked to register to the course in the Sisu-system:
    1. Registrate to Course first.
    2. Registrate to Theoretical Exercises, choose between groups
    • A: Thursdays 10--12 and Fridays 12--14 (class room sessions, hall R1)
    • B: Thursdays 12--14 and Fridays 14--16 (remote sessions via the Zoom-software).
    3. Registrate to Computer Exercises, choose -- independently of the previous choice -- between groups
    • A: Mondays 12--14 (class room sessions, class Maari C-D)
    • B: Mondays 14--16 (remote sessions via the Zoom software).
    Please note, however, that attending Lectures, Theoretical Exercises or Computer Exercises is not compulsory.


    Professor-in-Charge: associate professor Jarkko Niiranen

    Lecturer: associate professor Jarkko Niiranen
    Assistants: doctoral student Tomi Kankkunen


    Tuesdays 12--14 and Thursdays 14--16 (remote sessions via the Zoom software)


    Theoretical -- Group A: Thursdays 10--12 and Fridays 12--14 (class room sessions)
    Theoretical -- Group B: Thursdays 12--14 and Fridays 14--16 (remote sessions via the Zoom software)
    Computer -- Group A: Mondays 12--14 (class room sessions)
    Computer -- Group B: Mondays 14--16 (remote sessions via the Zoom software)


    It should be noticed that more than 50% of the hours related to the "holy trinity" of teaching--studying--learning is related to independent studying (reading and preparation 26%, theoretical assignments 27%), whereas contact teaching covers the smaller complement (lectures 18%, exercise sessions 27%, examination 2%).

    The following nominal hours (total 133) should guarantee for a student with average prerequisites (grade 3, good) middle range learning outcomes (with the average grade 3, good).

    Contact Teaching -- Lectures 18%:
    - 2 double-hours per week (total 24)
    - attending the lectures: pre-browsing, listening, writing notes, asking etc.
    Contact Teaching -- Theoretical Exercise Sessions 18%:
    - 2 double-hours per week (total 24)
    - advice hours for theoretical hands-on exercises (instructed by the assistants)
    Contact Teaching -- Computer Exercises Sessions 9%
    - 1 double-hour per week (total 12)
    - advice sessions for software hands-on exercises (instructed by the assistants)

    Independent Studying -- Reading 18%: 
    - 2 double-hours per week (total 24)
    - self-studies: reading and writing the derivations in the lecture slides and/or textbook
    Independent Studying -- Theoretical Assignments 18%:
    - 4 hours per week (total 24)
    - self-studies for theoretical, hands-on exercises: problem solving, calculating, writing solution documents
    Independent Studying -- Computer Assignments 9%:
    - 2 hours per week (total 12)
    - self-studies for software, hands-on exercises: reading manuals, programming, modeling, preparing solution plots

    Final Exam and Preparation 10%:
    - 3 + 10 hours (total 13)


    1. Recognising possibilities, advantages and risks of applying computational methods and simulation tools in engineering problems
    2. Realizing of 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 by implementing well-structured programs for solving basic engineering problems (FEM, FDM, CM)
    5. Ability to apply the basic civil engineering (FEM) software tools for solving engineering problems from different fields of civil engineering


    Exam 1 of the course (Dec 14, Tue, 13--16) will be a remote exam as detailed below.

    This exam will be a standard pen & paper one, but a computer with an internet connection or a smart phone is required for

    (a) downloading the exam document from MyCourses in the beginning and
    (b) uploading the solution files to MyCourses in the end.

    The exam will follow an open book style as follows: 

    • the course material and other source material can be used 
    • but this material must be used independently and alone
    • meaning that any "source material" in the form of interaction with other human beings is not allowed.

    The exam practicalities are the following:

    1. A link to a Zoom session will be announced via MyCourses at 12.45 -- this session will be opened for students to ask the teachers about any exam practicalities or to inform about possible other problems (especially in the beginning).
    2. The exam document will be published via MyCourses (folder Assignments) between 12.55 and 13.00
    3. The exam ends at 16.00 (or after three hours).
    4. After the end, students have 15 minutes to scan or take photos of their solution papers and to upload these files into a MyCourses return box (folder Returns).

    NOTE: There is no need to use time for combining the return files, there will be space for 20 separate files per student.

    Finally, it should be noticed that the type and style of the exam problems will be quite similar to the ones of a normal class room exam (for old exams, see the MyCourses pages of the past years):
    -- some items of the problems will be mini-essays without any calculations,
    -- others will require similar calculations as the weekly theoretical exercises.
    Accordingly, the exam targets at assessing both theoretical understanding and calculation skills and routine.