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AF102U 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.

Course offerings are missing for current or upcoming semesters.
Headings with content from the Course syllabus AF102U (Autumn 2017–) 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

derivation of 2D beam element and 4-node plane element

description of the properties of plate, shell and 3D solid 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 FEM modeling aspects. The course also provides the necessary knowledge above the beam theory in structural mechanics. An important goal of the course is to teach students to use a commercial FEM program by analyzing practical problems.

After completing the course the students shall be able to

- explain the basic theory behind the finite element method.

- derive 2D beam element and 4-node plane element.

- describe plate, shell and solid elements.

- use the finite element method to analyse real structures.

- use a commercial FE program.

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

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

The students should be approved in courses that correspond to the following courses:

HF1903 Mathematics 1 7.5 credits

HF1004 Mathematics 2 with mathematical statistics 7.5 credits

HS1003 Structural Mechanics 1 7.5 credits

HS1004 Structural Mechanics 2 7.5 credits

HS1008 Structural Design in Civil Engineering 7.5 credits

Recommended prerequisites

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Egen litteratur

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

P, F


  • INLA - Assignment, 7.5 credits, grading scale: P, 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.

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 web

No information inserted

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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Jean-Marc Battini (