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Advanced Finite Element Analysis

Identify and demonstrate advanced Finite Element Analysis (FEA) skills including command-line input for Abaqus and design optimization in Abaqus.

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Advanced Finite Element Analysis
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  • Dec 05 2022-Jan 09th, 2023


  • Jan 23-Feb 27th, 2023


  • Mar 13-Apr 17th, 2023


  • May 01-Jun 05th, 2023



Extended Enrollment Available

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Based on practical application of Abaqus software, this course builds on the introductory level course to provide a fuller appreciation of how Abaqus works as well as FEA in general.  Presented in five modules, the course emphasizes the various aspects of structural analysis.  The topics covered can also be abstracted to provide a useful guide for use of FEA for non-structural applications.

This is an online, instructor-supported course, allowing you to work at your own pace and convenience.  Each of the modules has a short quiz to be performed after it is completed.   In addition, there is a final exam to be completed after all modules are reviewed.

You Will Learn To

  • Identify command-line input for Abaqus
  • Describe structural dynamics, including modal and harmonic response analyses
  • Identify Structural Dynamics II, featuring transient dynamic analysis
  • Explain nonlinear structural analyses
  • Demonstrate design optimization in Abaqus 

Who Should Attend
Anyone wishing to gain better insight into the application of Abaqus software to FEA requirements

As this is an “advanced” course, it is expected that the student will enter into the course with knowledge of basic FEA principles, such as:

  • Basic terminology (node, element, degrees of freedom, etc.)
  • Basic mathematical principles (element equations f = kd; global equations (F+R) = KD; etc.)
  • Concepts of shape functions and interpolation functions
  • Have a basic familiarity with Abaqus. 

This last is not absolutely critical, as the Abaqus documentation includes several good tutorials which should help the student to get up to speed, and the first modules of this course are written to provide a “brush-up” on the use of Abaqus.   However, it would be beneficial to the student, if he or she enters the course with some familiarity with Abaqus.

To take this course you should have a personal computer, Web browser, Internet connection, and software to display PDF files (such as Adobe Reader).


Module 1

  • Abaqus Command Line Inputs
    • A method for entering commands into the Graphic User Interface, as an alternative to using graphical means.
    • A means of creating files for run in batch-mode 
      • This method admits quick, easy editing, and can be used to create sophisticated programs within the Abaqus environment

    Module 2

    • Nonlinear FEA
      • Geometric, material and contact nonlinearities

    Module 3

    • Contact problems in Abaqus
      • Abaqus/ Standard vs. Abaqus Explicit
      • Example problems

    Module 4

    • Structural Dynamics
      • Modal analysis (free vibration)
      • Harmonic response (steady-state response to harmonic loading)
      • Transient analysis (response to arbitrary time-varying force)

    Module 5

    • Additional Capabilities of FEA, with reference to Abaqus

    Course materials are specific to Abaqus software; students not familiar with Abaqus will need to perform a bit of “catch-up” work with the software in order to come up to speed.  This is easily done using the Abaqus-provided tutorials that are contained in the Abaqus “Help” documentation.

    All modules have specific worked examples; many have reference to additional examples that can be explored by students working on their own initiatives.


Scott Steinbrink, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Gannon University

Dr. Scott Steinbrink holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering. He is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Gannon University, in Erie, PA.

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