I.D.# PD531241
Access Period: 90 Days
Duration: 8 Hours

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a computer-aided engineering (CAE) tool used to analyze how a design reacts under real-world conditions. Useful in structural, vibration, and thermal analysis, FEA has been widely implemented by automotive companies. It’s used by design engineers as a design tool during the product development process because it allows them to analyze their own designs while they are still in the form of easily modifiable CAD models, providing quick turnaround times and ensuring 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 the FEA process and commonly used modeling techniques, and 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 on demand course provides the skills necessary for proper use of FEA in the design process and ensures that the powerful tool is implemented in the most efficient and productive way. Participants will begin with the foundational FEA process, observe expert demonstrations showing how FEA is conducted using real models, study different types of typically performed analysis, discuss common misconceptions and errors made, and explore how FEA can be implemented within the design environment. Hands-on exercises focusing on FEA fundamentals, different types of analysis, and proper modeling techniques are included.

While the course is approximately eight hours in length, the estimated time to completion, including practice exercises, knowledge checks and the learning assessment is twelve hours.

Is this On Demand Course for You?

This course addresses the needs of design engineers using Finite Element Analysis on a new product during the design process. Non-specialized analysts and FEA users, R&D engineers and managers, and project and product engineers can benefit from this introduction to FEA concepts.

Select the Purchase Options tab for details on buying this full course package, the introductory module only, and/or the core modules that build on the introduction. Have colleagues who need this course? See Special Offers to the right.

Prefer live, instructor-led training? Consider the Finite Element Analysis for Engineers web seminar. For an indispensable guide, SAE also offers the book Finite Element Analysis for Engineers by Dr. Paul Kurowski.

1.2 CEUs

"I think the whole teaching experience flows very well with the examples and the interactivity. A course worth the money and definitely useful for the design engineer of the workplace."
Athanasios Dimopoulis
Design Engineer


By participating in this On Demand course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the purpose of using FEA in the design process
  • Identify and avoid errors inherent to FEA results
  • Identify FEA advantages and shortcomings
  • Recognize and avoid common FEA mistakes
  • Produce reliable results on time
  • Interpret and use FEA results
  • Explain an effective approach to FEA project management
  • Ensure quality and cost-effectiveness of FEA projects


Module I: Introduction to Finite Element Analysis

  • FEA Definition and Process
  • Discretizing and Characteristics of Finite Elements
  • Degrees of Freedom
  • Common FEA Assumptions
  • Mesh Concerns
  • Discretization Error and the Convergence Process
Module II: Conducting the FEA Process
  • FEA Preparation Using SOLIDWORKS
  • Model Setup
  • Analysis of Displacement, Strain, and Stress Results
  • Analysis of Convergence Results
  • Types of Convergence Analysis
Module III: Avoiding FEA Errors
  • Singularities
  • Verification and Validation of Results
  • Control of Modeling Error
  • Useful Modeling Techniques
  • Types of Boundary Conditions
Module IV: Common Types of FEA
  • Modal Analysis
  • Buckling Analysis
  • Thermal Analysis
Module V: Conducting Nonlinear Analysis
  • Classifications of Nonlinear Behavior
  • Nonlinear Geometry Analysis
  • Nonlinear Material Analysis
  • Contract Stress Analysis
Module VI: Implementation of FEA into the Design Process
  • FEA and the Product Design Process
  • Interfacing between CAD and FEA
  • Project Management of an FEA Project

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of online single-user access (from date of purchase) to the eight hour presentation
  • The eBook, Engineering Analysis using SOLIDWORKS® Simulation by Paul Kurowski (loaded into My SAE Library)
  • Student License to SOLIDWORKS® 2015
  • Job Aids (included in each module of published course)
  • SOLIDWORKS® Models
  • Integrated knowledge checks to reinforce key concepts
  • Follow-up to your content questions
  • 1.2 CEUs*/Certificate of Achievement (with satisfactory learning assessment score)
*SAE International is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this course.

About On Demand Courses

SAE On Demand Courses offer an interactive and engaging online learning experience and provide a high-quality, self-paced learning solution with instructor support. Access courses using your computer or, for some titles, by tablet any time from any location.

Equipment Requirements

  • Windows 7, 8 (Apple OSX and Unix/Linux are not supported but may work)
  • Pentium 4 PC
  • Minimum 512 MB RAM; recommended 1 GB RAM
  • Internet Explorer 8-11, Mozilla Firefox 37 , Google Chrome 42 (Safari and Opera are not supported)
  • Broadband-1Mbps minimum

Purchase Options

Longer courses are divided into several components called modules. They may be purchased through the following options:

Introductory module – If you’d like only an introduction or overview of the topic, this module can be purchased as a stand-alone course.

Core modules – After completing the introductory module, you may purchase the remaining course modules as one package, without the need to repurchase the introductory module.

Full course – If you'd like to take the complete course, this purchase option includes all the course modules in one package.

Full Course
Core Modules
Members save up to 20% off list price.

Have colleagues who need this course? Purchase access for one individual at the appropriate member or list price, then purchase access for up to four additional employees at 10% off the list price. Contact SAE Customer Service to arrange on demand access for all individuals at the same time or mention the invoice number for the first purchase. The offer is good for only the same On Demand Course. All participants will receive a personal account in the SAE Learning Center. 


Quantity discounts for six or more students and corporate access options also are available - complete a Corporate Learning Solutions Request Form for a quote.

Email CustomerService@sae.org, or call 1-877-606-7323 (U.S. and Canada) or 724-776-4970 (outside US and Canada).
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