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Introducing Finite Element Analysis In An Met Strength Of Materials Course

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.653.1 - 6.653.5

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Paper Authors

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Laurence Logue

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Kathleen A. Hall

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

Session 3248

Introducing Finite Element Analysis in an MET Strength of Materials Course

Laurence J. Logue, Kathleen A. Hall Southern Polytechnic State University


The MET Strength of Materials course at Southern Polytechnic (SPSU) was recently expanded from a four quarter-credit-hour (3-3-4) format to a four semester-credit-hour (3-3-4) format. One result of the increased instructional time available in the course was the addition of an introduction to the techniques of Finite Element Modeling (FEM) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for the stress analysis of objects and structures. The topics covered include FEM principles, element geometries, element types, material properties, boundary conditions, model loading, and accuracy and precision. These topics are discussed in lectures as well as in a series of exercises in which students model and analyze several different systems. Non-linear material models are introduced which show permanent deformations and residual stresses. The paper focuses on our successes, our less-than-successes, and our proposed plans for future development and improvement.

I. Introduction

The Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) Department at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) was forced to completely redesign its curriculum recently when the University System of Georgia converted from the quarter system to the semester system. As part of this conversion the system expanded its mandated core curriculum for all system institutions at the same time that it reduced the number of hours allowed in all baccalaureate degrees. The system maximum for all programs was set at 120 semester hours but the SPSU MET program was granted an exception based on ABET accreditation requirements and other program-specific factors. Even with the exception, the department was faced with the need to reduce the length of the program to 128 semester hours. Topics in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) were being taught as part of an upper-level elective course in computer applications but were not part of the required Strength of Materials course. It was decided to drop the elective course but to add some time to the Strength of Materials course to include FEA topics as an integral part of the required curriculum.

II. Content and Emphasis

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Logue, L., & Hall, K. A. (2001, June), Introducing Finite Element Analysis In An Met Strength Of Materials Course Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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