Computational Methods in Materials Science

Part 1: Introduction to the Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

The UZWR is responsible for one of the three parts of the joint lecture "Computational Methods in Materials Science" for Students of International Master of Advanced Materials Science.  This first part consists of three lectures and three computer labs and is a basic introduction to the finite element method (FEM) and its practical usage taking a the commercial FE package ANSYS. The course takes place each winter term.


Dr. Ulrich Simon, Ali Mirhaji (Labs)
(Prof. Herr and Prof. Krill are the lecturers of the other two parts)

Schedule for WS 2017/18

DateMorning Afternoon
26.10.201710:15 - 11:45
Lecture FE 1 (Simon)
in regular room 45.2.102

no lab
02.11.201710:15 - 11:45
Lecture FE 2 (Simon)
in regular room 45.2.102
13:00 - 15:15
Lab FE 1 (Simon)
in MAC-Pool
09.11.201710:15 - 11:45
Lecture FE 3 (Simon)
in regular room 45.2.102
13:00 - 15:15
Lab FE 2 (Simon)
in MAC-Pool
16.11.201710:15 - 11:45
Lecture (Krill)
in regular room 45.2.102
13:00 - 15:15
Lab FE 3 (Simon)
in MAC-Pool


  1. General Introduction to FEA
  2. Mechanical Basics, Elastostatics, Material laws and properties
  3. Introduction to the FE theory, very simple example

Handout of slides used for lectures

Computer Labs

The 3 FE labs will take place in our "MAC pool", Helmholtzstr. 18, room U.41.

Topics of the three FE labs are:

  1. Getting started with ANSYS. Example: Three point bending
  2. Mesh control, performing convergence analyses, specialized element types
  3. Advanced Material Models: Plasticity and Anisotropy

Lab Report

For this first part of the course regarding the FEM, students will be asked to perform one lab report together in groups of up to three students

  • This lab report is home work and consists of
    • a simple experiment,
    • an analytical calculation and
    • an FE simulation of the experiment.
  • For the simulation part you can either download and install ANSYS Student.
  • ... or download and install ANSYS Academic Teaching from the kiz. To reach the license server, you have to be inside the campus network (e.g. login via WiFi/WelcomeNet/eduRoam or use VPN).
  • In case you cannot install ANSYS on your own computer, you may use the ANSYS installations in our "MAC Pool". To get access, ask somebody from the UZWR.
  • Results should be presented in one written report (PDF) for each group.
  • Reports should be sent by e-mail to the lecturers (due date see in the instructions). 
  • Please include the e-mail addresses of all other members of the group in CC
  • Detailed instructions

See also

Course Pages from Prof. Krill (Institut für Mikro- und Nanomaterialien) including the full schedule of lectures and labs.


Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Simon
Executive Manager
Helmholtzstraße 20
Room 1.43 (access via 1.40)
89081 Ulm

Phone +49 (0)731 50-31700
Fax +49 (0)731 50-31709