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Finite Element Analysis For Biological Engineering Applications: A Web Based, Distance Education Venue

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.267.1 - 4.267.5

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Paper Authors

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Z. Chambers

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Terry H. Walker

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M. B. Taylor

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A. J. Baker

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

Session 1308

Finite Element Analysis for Biological Engineering Applications: A Web-Based, Distant Education Venue

Terry H. Walker, Z. Chambers, M. Taylor and A.J. Baker Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge/ University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Abstract A web-based computational analysis course (URL was recently developed at the University of Tennessee to enable the accessibility of the general concepts of finite element analysis for the engineering sciences. This rigorous, first-level graduate course addresses computational methods that easily adapt to a wide range of curricula. Specific examples of biological problems are discussed. These problems include transport phenomena in biochemical and biological systems solved with the finite element method presented in this web-based course using readily accessible computational software, i.e., MATLABĀ® 1.

I. Introduction

Computational Mechanics for the Engineering Sciences is offered at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK) for students across engineering and science disciplines. The course introduces the finite element method applied to a wide array of engineering and natural science problems with focus on transport phenomena and solid mechanics, i.e., computational continuum mechanics 2. Momentum transfer problems include the application of conservation principles to steady-state and unsteady conditions for one-dimensional and n- dimensional systems. The final topic in the course covers an unsteady convection-diffusion problem of n-dimension solved with the application of varying non-uniform meshes. The ability to alter the uniformity of the solution meshes allows for greater computational speed for demanding problems where mesh refinement may be efficiently applied. Fundamental heat transfer phenomena is covered in great detail to introduce n-D steady and unsteady applications.

This course was developed over several years with increasing emphasis on converting homework and laboratory assignments via html documentation. This led to the recent comprehensive effort to create a distant education venue with live, streaming video made possible by recent technological advances with digital video. Obtaining reasonable resolution and sound quality requires large amounts of digital information to be stored, which is also eventually archived for later viewing. However, the end user receives only instantaneous streaming video and sound; therefore, receiving the web-based course does not require storage space on the receiving computer. Requirements include only a computer with an

Chambers, Z., & Walker, T. H., & Taylor, M. B., & Baker, A. J. (1999, June), Finite Element Analysis For Biological Engineering Applications: A Web Based, Distance Education Venue Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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