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A Start Up Manual For Using "Ansys" In Undergraduate Engineering Courses

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Software and e-learning in the ME curriculum

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.123.1 - 11.123.16



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Paper Authors


Thomas Wedlick The College of New Jersey

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Thomas Wedlick is a graduating mechanical engineering senior at The College of New Jersey. He presently serves as the president of TCNJ’s student ASME chapter. His current areas of interest are engineering pedagogy, PEM fuel cell analysis using computational fluid dynamics, and robotics. He will continue his research in graduate school.

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Shou Rei Chang The College of New Jersey

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Shou-Rei Chang is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the College of New Jersey. Dr. Chang is an active member of SAE and has served as the Primary and Technical advisor of the Mini-Baja teams at the College of New Jersey for the past twelve years. For years, he served as the advisor for the department’s ASME club. He teaches subjects related to Finite Elements, Machine Design and Advanced Stress Analyses.

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Bijan Sepahpour The College of New Jersey

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Bijan Sepahpour is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the College of New Jersey. He is actively involved in the generation of design-oriented exercises and development of laboratory apparatus and experiments in the areas of mechanics of materials and dynamics of machinery for undergraduate engineering programs. In the period of September 1997 to 2002, he served as the Primary and Technical advisor of TCNJ Lunar Rover teams. He is an active member of ASME and ASEE.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Start-Up Manual for Using ANSYS in Undergraduate Engineering Courses

Finite element methods (FEM) have achieved considerable use within academia and industry, and therefore, justifiable motivation exists to present those techniques within an undergraduate engineering curriculum. FEM are typically introduced to upper-class students, if they are taught at all—well after their introductory solid mechanics courses. The objective of this paper is to describe the development of a manual intended for undergraduate engineering students. The manual is straightforward enough for sophomore students with no prior FEM exposure, and also is comprehensive enough to provide students with the skills necessary to complement their coursework with analyses of fundamental engineering concepts, such as beam theory and buckling. The manual has accompanying problem cases which are formulated and arranged to enrich current traditional engineering classes and also a training computer program which virtually eliminates ANSYS’s learning curve. ANSYS, the finite element software package taught in the manual, possess a broad help file, but the instructional material that accompanies the program can be difficult for sophomore students with little or no background in FEM and engineering analysis to understand. To bridge this gap, the manual introduces ANSYS to students simply and then provides them with the techniques to perform standard and advanced analyses. The manual is not meant to teach significant finite method theory; rather, it presents how ANSYS can be used to solve standard undergraduate engineering analyses. Furthermore, the manual strengthens students’ ability for self-instruction and the formulation of their own analysis approaches. Through these techniques, the manual has a continued impact on students. Additionally, the manual and case package have a website to support their continued development.

Keywords: ANSYS, Finite Element Methods, FEM, FEA, Undergraduate, Curriculum

I - Introduction

In recent years, industry-driven engineering programs nationwide place an appreciable emphasis on the proficiency of their graduates in the use and application of industry-standard engineering software for design, optimization, verification, analysis, etc. One class of such programs implements finite element methods.

Finite element methods (FEM) 1 is a broad technique that models phenomena described by a terminable number of data points or equations. These techniques are vital when an analytical description of the system either does not exist or is overwhelmingly complicated when conducted manually. FEM is often the only applicable analysis technique to study non- standardized shapes and/ or highly complicated loadings. As a result, FEM offers engineers and scientists many investigative techniques that would otherwise be unavailable, and therefore, it is used extensively within industry 2 and graduate studies 3, 4.

ANSYS is a prominent FEM software package within industrial and academic fields 1. The models analyzed by ANSYS are constructed either within (the solid modeling module of)

Wedlick, T., & Chang, S. R., & Sepahpour, B. (2006, June), A Start Up Manual For Using "Ansys" In Undergraduate Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1173

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015