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AF1024 Structural Analysis with Finite Element Methods (FEM) 7.5 credits

This course deals with the finite element method and its applications to practical problems in Infrastructure and Civil engineering.

The aim of this course is to give basic knowledge about the Finite Element Method and knowledge of how to model real structures such as bridges and buildings with FEM. An important goal of the course is to teach students to use a commercial FEM program by analysing practical problems.

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For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus AF1024 (Autumn 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Structural mechanics:

· multiaxial strains and stresses, principal stresses

· dynamics: natural frequency, damping and resonance for simple systems

FEM theory:

· discretization, interpolation functions, elements, nodes and degrees of freedom

· internal and external work, virtual work

· assembling, stiffness matrix

· 2D bar element, 2D beam element, plane elements, solid elements, shell elements.

FEM modeling:

· choice of elements, boundary and support conditions

· modeling of loads and details

· modeling of concrete slabs

· modelling of bridges

Intended learning outcomes

The course will treat both theoretical and more applied aspects of FEM-modelling. In addition to knowledge in beam theory give the course also a necessary specialisation in structural mechanics. An important goal of the course is to teach students to use a commercial FEM program by analyzing practical problems.

After the course, the students should be able to:

· Explain and apply the basic theory behind the finite element method.

· Describe the common elements.

· use the finite element method to analyse real structures.

· Use a commercial FEM-program.

· explain in which cases a simple dynamic analysis is needed, and the principles behind such analysis.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed courses: AF1746, AF1747

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • INL1 - Assignments, 3.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written Exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Grading criteria are announced at the beginning of the course.

Other requirements for final grade

Examination (TEN1; 4.0 credits) grading scale A-F

INL1 - Written assignments 3.5 credits in grading scale P, F

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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Jean-Marc Battini (