CIVL5458: Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering (2014 - Semester 1)

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Unit: CIVL5458: Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Alonso-Marroquin, Fernando
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Objectives:

The objective of this unit is to provide students with fundamental knowledge of finite element analysis and how to apply this knowledge to the solution of civil engineering problems at intermediate and advanced levels.

At the end of this unit, students should acquire knowledge of methods of formulating finite element equations, basic element types, the use of finite element methods for solving problems in structural, geotechnical and continuum analysis and the use of finite element software packages. The syllabus comprises introduction to finite element theory, analysis of bars, beams and columns, and assemblages of these structural elements; analysis of elastic continua; problems of plane strain, plane stress and axial symmetry; use, testing and validation of finite element software packages; and extensions to apply this knowledge to problems encountered in engineering practice.

Outcomes:

On completion of this unit, students will have gained the following knowledge and skills:

1. Knowledge of methods of formulating finite element equations. This will provide students with an insight into the principles at the basis of the FE elements available in commercial FE software.

2. Knowledge of basic element types. Students will be able to evaluate the adequacy of different elements in providing accurate and reliable results.

3. Knowledge of the use of finite element methods for solving problems in structural and geotechnical engineering applications. Students will be exposed to some applications to enable them to gain familiarity with FE analyses.

4. Knowledge of the use of finite element programming and modeling.

5. Extended knowledge of the application of FE to solve civil engineering problems.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Alonso-Marroquin, Fernando
Tutor/s: Peter Ansourian

Nigel Balaam
Timetable: CIVL5458 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 8.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: Tutorial sessions are held in (i) appropriate university computing laboratories for “hands-on” access to the analysis methods by students and (ii) class environments to gain a better inside into the theory and analytical formulation of the finite element method.

Laboratory: Use of programming and available software for the modelling of finite element problems.

Independent Study: Many learning and tutorial exercises rely on the use of programming and commercial software. Students can work on these tasks in their own time.

Demonstration: Demonstrations of a finite element programming and computer package. These demonstrations provide an introduction to the common features of the software packages used in industry for finite element analysis.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Through identification of the role of finite element techniques in modern engineering analysis and design. Design (Level 4)
By investigation of challenging engineering problems during assignments, using computer-based methods of structural mechanics. Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
By developing awareness of the available software packages for finite element analysis. Information Seeking (Level 1)
Through the need to complete written assignments. Communication (Level 1)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 4)
1. Knowledge of basic element types. Students will be able to evaluate the adequacy of different elements in providing accurate and reliable results.
2. Knowledge of the use of finite element methods for solving problems in structural and geotechnical engineering applications. Students will be exposed to some applications to enable them to gain familiarity with FE analyses.
3. Extended knowledge of the application of FE to solve civil engineering problems.
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
4. Knowledge of methods of formulating finite element equations. This will provide students with an insight into the principles at the basis of the FE elements available in commercial FE software.
Information Seeking (Level 1)
5. Knowledge of the use of finite element programming and modeling.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
3 Quiz No 30.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5,
3 Assignment No 40.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5,
4 Project Presentation and Report Yes 30.00 Week 13 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: 2 Quizzes, 15% point each. Total 30%

5 Assignments, 10%, 10%, 5%, 10%, 5% points each, Total 40%

Final project: 15% oral presentation, 15% report, Total 30%
Grading:
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at http://sydney.edu.au/policies . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/student-policies/ for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Finite Element Modelling for Civil Engineering
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Note on Resources:

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar https://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au/calendar.jsp

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to numerical modelling. Governing equations
Week 2 Finite element method and finite difference method
Week 3 Introduction to Strand7
Week 4 Bar and beam frames
Week 5 Stress and strain in continua
Week 6 Formulation of stress-strain relations, plane stress, plane strain, axi-symmetric analysis
Week 7 Continuum mechanics 1: scalar fields
Week 8 Continuum mechanics 2: structural mechanics
Week 9 Isoparametric finite element formulation
Week 10 Non-linear finite element formulation. Dynamic analysis
Week 11 multi-storey building project. Wind load
Week 12 Earthquake loads in multi-storey building
Week 13 Thermal load in multi-storey buildings
Assessment Due: Project Presentation and Report

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Engineering (Geotechnical) 2011, 2012
Master of Engineering (Structures) 2011, 2012
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2015, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Construction Management) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Environmental) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Geotechnical) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Structures) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) 2010, 2011, 2012
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Science 2011
Graduate Certificate in Engineering 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Master of Engineering (2013+ ) 2013, 2014, 2015
Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering) 2012
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2010, 2015
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Flexible First Year (Stream A) / Science 2012
Civil Engineering / Design in Architecture 2010

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 4) Yes 44.99%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) Yes 27.49%
Information Seeking (Level 1) Yes 27.49%
Communication (Level 1) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.