I.D.# PD531241ON
Access Period: 90 Days
Duration: 0.8 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 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.

This introduction to FEA will expose you to key concepts in FEA and give an overview of the FEA process, including the steps needed to conduct FEA, finite element types and orders, common assumptions that lead to serious errors in results, and areas you should be concerned with when discretizing a model. This SAE-produced course also includes an introduction to discretization error and convergence analysis and explains how they impact results in FEA projects.

While the course module is just over 50 minutes in length, the estimated time to completion, including knowledge checks and the learning assessment is one hour.

Is this On Demand Course for You?

This SAE-produced course addresses the needs of design engineers who are not specialized analysts but need to use the Finite Element Analysis to analyze a new product during the design process. Also non-specialist FEA users, R&D engineers and managers, project engineers, and product engineers can benefit from FEA concepts.

Select the Purchase Options tab for details on buying this introductory module only, the core modules that build on the introduction, or the complete, full course package.

0.1 CEUs


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

  • Identify the purpose of using FEA in the design process
  • Explain the differences between using different element orders
  • Explain the differences in the number of degrees of freedom between different element types
  • Recite commonly made assumptions in FEA projects and summarize effects of each assumption
  • Define convergence process and explain why it is used in the FEA process
  • Define discretization error and summarize its impact in the FEA process


  • FEA Definition and Process
  • Discretizing and Characteristics of Finite Elements
  • Degrees of Freedom
  • Common FEA Assumptions
  • Mesh Concerns
  • Discretization Error and the Convergence Process

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of online single-user access (from date of purchase) to the 50 minute presentation
  • A printable summary of the key takeaways from each lesson
  • Integrated knowledge checks to reinforce key concepts
  • Follow-up to your content questions
  • .1 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 10-11, 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.

Intro Module
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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