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Facilitate students to integrate FEA simulation skills through a practical simulation project

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Mechatronics & Simulation

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Xiaobin Le P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Professor, Ph.D, PE., Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA 02115, Phone: 617-989-4223, Email:, Specialization in Computer Aided Design, Mechanical Design, Finite Element Analysis, Fatigue Design, Solid Mechanics and Engineering Reliability

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Anthony William Duva P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Anthony W. Duva
An Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Technology Department at Wentworth Institute of Technology since 2001 with 14 years of prior full time industrial experience. He has worked in the design of various technologies from advanced underwater and ultrahigh altitude propulsion systems to automated manufacturing equipment. His interests include advanced thermal and mechanical system design for green power generation.

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Facilitate students to integrate FEA simulation skills through a practical simulation project Abstract The FEA (Finite Element Analysis) simulation is one of the daily tools utilized by design engineers in the industry. Many undergraduate engineering programs offer FEA-related courses to train students to use FEA simulation software. The primary goals of these courses are to teach students how to use commercial FEA software and then provide a team-design project which includes the FEA simulation of a real or proposed product. The commercial FEA software typically has a user-friendly interface. Students can successfully follow the lecturing and demonstration of each main skills, and implement skills learned during lecturing and lab hours to complete homework. However, we found that most of the students had difficulty initiating and carrying through such simulations on a design project. In order to solve these issues in our FEA-related course, we created a faculty-guided team design project (a minor design project) before the major design project on a real product. The main objective of this faculty-guided team design project is to support the development of student’s FEA simulation skills through a guided FEA simulation of a practical project. The faulty-guided team project presented in this paper is to obtain the bolt-joint member’s stiffness through FEA simulation. This paper will present how to create such a faculty-guided team design project along with methods for implementation of such a project. Based on the class survey data and direct observations, we believe that this minor project significantly integrated and improved their skills to run an FEA simulation on a design project. The data analysis of the class survey will be also presented in this paper. Keywords: Finite Element Analysis, Finite Element Meshing, Finite Element Meshing Control, Pre-processing, Boundary Conductions, Convergence condition, Data Analysis, Bolt-Joint Member Stiffness

Le, X., & Duva, A. W. (2020, June), Facilitate students to integrate FEA simulation skills through a practical simulation project Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34657

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