Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for Design Engineers
I.D. # WB1241 Duration 12 Hours

The Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been widely implemented by automotive companies and is used by design engineers as a tool during the product development process. Design engineers analyze their own designs while they are still in the form of easily modifiable CAD models to allow for quick turnaround times and to ensure prompt implementation of analysis results in the design process. While FEA software is readily available, successful use of FEA as a design tool still requires an understanding of FEA basics, familiarity with FEA process and commonly used modeling techniques, as well as an appreciation of inherent errors and their effect on the quality of results. When used properly, the FEA becomes a tremendous productivity tool, helping design engineers reduce product development time and cost. Misapplication of FEA however, may lead to erroneous design decisions, which are very expensive to correct later in the design process.

This six-session web seminar provides design engineers with the skills necessary for proper use of FEA in the design process and to ensure that this powerful tool is implemented in the most efficient and productive way. Participants will study different types of analyses typically performed, discuss common misconceptions and traps in the FEA, and review Implementation of Management of FEA in the design environment. The online format will allow for some customization so problems of particular interest to participants and an exchange of FEA experiences may be discussed during the live sessions. Hands-on exercises focusing on the analysis of FEA errors and proper modeling techniques will be assigned.

All topics are illustrated by hands-on examples using FEA software SolidWorks« Simulation for which participants will be provided a Student License (compatible with Windows 7 SP1, 8.1, 10; IE 10,11; MS Excel and Word 2010, 2013, 2016). Acquired skills, however, are not software specific and no prior exposure to FEA software is required. The eBook, "Engineering Analysis with SolidWorks« Simulation" by Paul Kurowski, will also be included in the course materials. In-class, hands-on exercises and between-session assignments will provide an opportunity to put what is learned into practice.

Learning Objectives
By participating in this web seminar, you will be able to:

  • Select preferable modeling approaches
  • Analyze errors inherent to FEA results
  • Identify FEA advantages and shortcomings
  • Avoid mistakes and pitfalls in FEA
  • Produce reliable results on time
  • Request FEA analysis and use FEA results
  • Provide effective FEA project management
  • Ensure quality and cost-effectiveness of FEA projects

Who Should Attend
This course addresses the needs of design engineers who are not specialized analysts but need to use the Finite Element Analysis to analyze new product during the design process. Also non-specialist FEA users, R&D engineers and managers, project engineers, and product engineers will benefit from its coverage of different FEA formulations, tools for error analysis, common errors, traps and misconceptions, and an introduction to FEA project management.

Looking for more advanced FEA courses? Consider FEA Beyond Basics: Nonlinear Analysis and FEA Beyond Basics: Thermal Analysis.

Seminar Content
Session 1
  • Fundamental Concepts in the FEA
  • Finite Element Analysis Process
  • Origins and Types of FEA Errors
  • Finite Element Mesh
  • In-class Exercises

Session 2
  • Control of Discretization Error ┐ Convergence Process
  • Verification and Validation of FEA Results
  • In-class Exercises
  • Homework Assignment

Session 3
  • Control of Modeling Error
  • Types of Finite Elements
  • Types of Boundary Conditions
  • Useful Modeling Techniques
  • In-class Exercises
  • Homework Assignment

Session 4
  • Modal Analysis
  • Buckling Analysis
  • In-class Exercises
  • Homework Assignment

Session 5
  • Nonlinear Geometry Analysis
  • Nonlinear Material Analysis
  • Contact Stress Analysis
  • In-class Exercises
  • Homework Assignment

Session 6
  • Steady State Thermal Analysis
  • Transient Thermal Analysis
  • FEA Implementation
  • FEA Project Management
  • FEA Traps and Misconceptions
  • Quiz in preparation to post-course learning assessment

Instructor(s): Paul Kurowski
Paul KurowskiDr. Paul Kurowski is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. His teaching experience includes finite element analysis, machine design, mechanics of materials, kinematics and dynamics of machines, mechanical vibration and product development. He is also the President of Design Generator Inc., a consulting firm specializing in product development, design analysis and training in Computer Aided Engineering methods. Dr. Kurowski has published multiple technical papers and taught professional development seminars for SAE International, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, the Parametric Technology Corp. (PTC), Rand Worldwide, SolidWorks Corp. and other companies and professional organizations. He is the author of the SAE book, Finite Element Analysis for Design Engineers, Second Edition, and contributes regularly to several engineering publications focusing on the implementation of CAE methods into the product development process. He is a member of SAE International and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario. Dr. Kurowski obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from Warsaw Technical University and completed postdoctoral work at Kyoto University.

*Global toll-free telephone numbers are provided for many countries outside the U.S., but are limited to those on the WebEx call-in toll-free number list. Check here to see
if your country has a global call-in toll free telephone number for this web seminar. If your country is not listed, you may still connect using the US/Canada Call-in toll number or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Although WebEx Training Manager will automatically launch when you join the web seminar, you or your system administrator are encouraged to download the plug-in in advance to help ensure successful setup. Click here, then follow the onscreen instructions.

"Good instruction, informative, covers a wide range of topics effectively and efficiently."

Quincy DeWitt

Professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Okanagan College

"Vital to engineers at any point in their career. Dr. Kurowski was the perfect instructor for this type of course. Subjects were always explained in as much detail as needed."

Tomasz Hejmowski



"The instructor took his time explaining topics in details and there wasn't a question he could not answer."

Mark Welch

Sr. Mechanical Engineer

Second Sight Medical Products

"Enjoyed Dr. Kurowski┐s knowledge, he was quick and effective in answering questions during class and via email outside of class.┐

Brandon Wren

Engineering Coordinator

Honda North American Services, LLC

"Challenging, thorough, and concise. Come into the course not knowing FEA; leave as a
functional design engineer."

Elgin Miller

Principal Materials Engineer

IBC Materials & Technologies Inc.



Fees: $870 SAE Members*: $696 - $783
* The appropriate SAE Member discount will be applied through the Registration process.  Discounts vary  according to level of membership: Elite Member 20%; Premium Member 15%; Classic Member 10%
CEU 1.2