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CIVL5458: Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering (2018 - 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: 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.

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

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

3. Knowledge in 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. Skills in presentation of finite element analysis results.

5. Skills in writing technical reports on finite element analysis.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Alonso-Marroquin, Fernando
A/Prof Ansourian, Peter
Tutor/s: Faham Tahmasebinia, faham.tahmasebinia@sydney.edu.au
Timetable: CIVL5458 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 2 9
2 Demonstration 1.50 1 7
3 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
4 Independent Study 8.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Lectures: (2 hours/session) Student will attend four hours lecture the first 8 weeks weeks, the lectures include theory sessions. demonstrations on how to use Strand7, and numerical analysis section using iLab (internet lab for computational engineering)

Lectures held in Civil Engineering Lecture Room 1 (Rm 203), Mon 9:00–11:00 and Wed 9:00– 11:00

Tutorials (2 hours/week) will be in Hawkins Lab, Thursday 9:00-11:00

Independent Study: (8 hours/week) Many learning and tutorial exercises rely on the use of pen and paper and use of Strand7.

Students can work on these tasks in their own time.

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 Assignment Yes 30.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5,
3 Quiz No 10.00 Week 11 1, 2, 4, 5,
4 Project Presentation and Report Yes 40.00 Week 13 3, 4, 5,
5 Exam No 20.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: The Quiz is weighted 10%. Final exam will be weighted 30% for students that do not present quiz.

Five group assignments will be posted along the course, total 30%. The assignments will include bar frames, plane elasticity, thermal load and seepage, plate with a hole, and multistorey buildings.

Final project consists of presentations and written report with a total of 40%. The assessment will include 5% project brief presentation, poster presentation 10%, individual contribution 10%, and report 15%. The report and poster will be submitted on week 11 and resubmitted at week 13 after feedback.

Final exam is weighted 20%, or 30% if the student did not present the quiz.
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 Lecture: Monday: Introduction to numerical modelling. Governing equations
Lecture: Wednesday: Interpolation and the finite element method
Week 2 Lecture: Monday: Finite element concepts
Lecture/Tutorial: Wednesday: Bar and beam frames
Week 3 Lecture: Monday: Stress and strain in continua
Lecture/Tutorial: Wednesday: Plane elasticity
Week 4 Lecture: Monday: Bending of beams of plates.
Lecture/Tutorial: Wednesday: Cantilever beam
Week 5 Lecture: Monday: Scalar equations
Lecture/Tutorial: Wednesday: Thermal and seepage analysis
Week 6 Lecture: Monday: Generalized finite element formulation
Lecture/Tutorial: Wednesday: Isoparametric formulation
Week 7 Lecture: Monday: Dynamic of structures
Lecture/Tutorial: Wednesday: Static analysis of multistorey buildings
Week 8 Lecture: Monday: Spectral response analysis
Lecture/Tutorial: Wednesday: Dynamic analysis of multistorey buildings
Week 9 Lecture: Monday: Revision
Team work with Strand7 instructor
Week 10 Project brief
Week 11 Lecture: Monday: How to present a technical report.
Assessment Due: Quiz
Week 12 Presentation series
Week 13 Presentation series
Assessment Due: Project Presentation and Report
Exam Period Assessment Due: Exam

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, 2016, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019
Civil (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Construction Management) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Environmental) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Geotechnical) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Structures) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Civil / Arts 2015, 2016, 2017
Civil / Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Civil / Science 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Civil/Science (Health) 2018, 2019
Civil (Construction Management) 2015
Civil (Environmental) 2015
Civil (Geotechnical) 2015
Civil (Structures) 2015
Civil Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) (till 2012) 2010, 2011, 2012
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Science 2011
Civil/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019
Master of Engineering 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering) 2012
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Flexible First Year (Stream A) / Science 2012
Civil Engineering / Design in Architecture 2010
Civil / Commerce 2015
Civil / Design in Architecture 2015
Civil / Medical Science 2015

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 4) Yes 45.32%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) Yes 27.32%
Information Seeking (Level 1) Yes 27.32%
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.