Computer Aided Engineering


CAE is a computer based method of analysing engineering systems when subjected to either steady, transient or dynamic loads in the fields of thermal, structural or fluid mechanics.  In CAE models of systems are discretised and the governing laws of mechanics are solved over the discretised domain using the Finite Element Method (FEM). A successful CAE simulation therefore requires knowledge of a diversity of fields such as; appropriate element selection, mesh sizing techniques, load modelling methods, material constitutive relationships (both linear and nonlinear) and results verification algorithms. The aim of this module is to provide the learner with the salient background information on the FEM process, so the learner can incorporate best practice in their CAE simulations. This will be achieved through a combination of FEA theory and practical applications of a commercially available CAE software so that the learner will be able to analyse, critique and optimise the design of engineering systems.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply and development  linear and quadratic interpolation functions to one and two dimensional elements.

  2. Apply the principal of Minimum Potential Energy to the development of the 2-D element stiffness matrix and force vector.

  3. Derive the constitutive matrix for problems in the plane stress/plane strain 2-D domain.

  4. Generate and verify solutions to steady state and transient heat transfer problems in one, two and three dimensions using FEA Software.

  5. Analyse flexible and rigid structural models subjected to dynamic and kinematic loading.

  6. Analyse nonlinear structural problems incorporating large defections, intermittent contact and material non-linearities such as plasticity.

  7. Assess numerical results both quantitatively and qualitatively with a view to improving the accuracy of the simulation.

  8. Gain hands-on user experience with a well-known proprietary finite element software package.

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