Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit focuses on the finite element method (FEM) used for the numerical modelling and analysis of solids, structures and fluids. The FEM formulations and applications introduced throughout this unit include springs, trusses, Euler-Bernoulli and Timoshenko beams, 2 and 3 D elasticity problems, isoparameteric elements, steady state and transient heat transfer, thermo-mechanical coupling, as well as fluid flow in porous media. The unit also contains a brief introduction to the finite volume modelling of transport equations. In addition, students learn the proper use of selected commercial FEM softwares in order to solve practical engineering problems.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) explain the basic theory behind the FEM; (2) identify whether a problem can be solved using the FEM; (3) use commercial software codes to build, constrain, mesh, run and debug FEM solutions for a range of applications; (4) critically evaluate the results of FEM calculations; (5) review the latest advances in the FEM and its applications, benefits and limitations; (6) work effectively in a diverse team to achieve professional outcomes; and (7) communicate effectively through concise written technical reports, using discourse conventions relevant to the discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online assessment; (2) group assignment; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Ali Karrech
Unit rules
Enrolment in 62550 Master of Professional Engineering
Civil Engineering specialisation
or Mechanical Engineering specialisation
Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
and Successful completion of
120 Points and ( GENG2010 Principles of Hydraulics
or GENG2003 Fluid Mechanics

and GENG2004 Solid Mechanics
and GENG3405 Numerical Methods and Modelling )
Advisable prior study
ENSC3003 Fluid Mechanics
or GENG2003 Fluid Mechanics, ENSC3004 Solid Mechanics
or GENG2004 Solid Mechanics, GENG4405 Numerical Methods and Modelling
or GENG3405 Numerical Methods and Modelling
Contact hours
lectures and practical classes
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.