Finite Element Analysis – A distance learning package

Martin, Keith and Matela, Raymond J. (1997). Finite Element Analysis – A distance learning package. In: NAFEMS World Congress ' 97 on Design, Simulation & Optimisation, Reliability & Applicability of Computational Methods, 9-11 Apr 1997, Stuttgart, Germany.



This paper describes a comprehensive distance learning education package designed for users to follow at their own pace. The package has been produced by a group of European partners with support funding from the EU COMETT Programme. The aim is to raise the level of understanding for effective and safe use of modern finite element design tools. The material has been designed to introduce the finite element method, its place in current engineering design, and the limitations and assumptions involved.

The package comprises a combination of media including interactive computer aided learning packages for use with a PC, commercial F.E. Code, VHS video tapes, case studies, a standard textbook, various other written materials and comprehensive study guides. Exercises, examples, and self assessment questions (with specimen answers) are also included.

A comprehensive study guide takes the users through all the course components drawing upon different parts as appropriate and in a structured way. By this means it is hoped that the level of instruction, training and understanding of the engineering essentials will be improved for both new and practising users of F.E. systems.

The paper outlines the background to the design of the course, roles of the partners involved, results of market surveys etc. It describes the course materials themselves, the subject areas covered and the necessary hardware and software required to use the package.

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