Finite Element Analysis for Design Engineers - Hands-on FEA Workshop     


I.D.# 93006Printable Description
Duration: 2 Days

The Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been widely implemented by automotive companies and is now used by design engineers as a design 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. When used properly, the FEA becomes a tremendous productivity tool helping design engineers reduce product development time and cost. On the contrary, misapplication of FEA may lead to erroneous design decisions, which are very expensive to correct later in the design process.

This seminar provides design engineers with 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.

The seminar offers hands-on exercises focusing on the analysis of FEA errors and proper modeling techniques. Attendees study different types of analyses typically performed by design engineers, discuss common misconceptions and traps in the FEA and review Implementation of Management of FEA in the design environment. The seminar provides opportunities to discuss and exchange FEA experiences. The seminar layout allows for some customization so problems of particular interest to students can be discussed in class.

All topics are illustrated by hands-on examples using FEA software SolidWorks Simulation. However, acquired skills are not software specific and no prior exposure to any FEA software is required.

The SAE book, "Finite Element Analysis for Design Engineers," by Paul Kurowski is included in the course materials.

Note: A similar course is available live online.

Learning Objectives
By attending the 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 project and use FEA results
  • Provide effective FEA project management
  • Ensure quality and cost-effectiveness of FEA projects

Who Should Attend
Mechanical engineers in research and development, designing or project management that wish to upgrade their skills in FEA will benefit by attending this seminar. The seminar also addresses the needs of managers in charge of FEA projects performed by design engineers.

Attendees should have background in mechanical or industrial engineering. No previous exposure to FEA is required.

Topical Outline

  • Basic concepts in the FEA and their influence on FEA accuracy
  • Origins and types of FEA errors
  • Influence of mesh on quality of results
  • Types of finite elements
  • Types of boundary conditions
  • Useful modeling techniques
  • Linear static analysis
  • Modal analysis


  • Thermal analysis
  • Buckling analysis
  • Nonlinear analysis
    • nonlinear geometry
    • nonlinear material
    • contact stresses
  • Interfacing between CAD and FEA
  • FEA implementation
  • FEA project management
  • FEA traps and misconceptions
  • FEA assessments

Instructor(s): Paul Kurowski
Dr. 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, 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 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.

Fees: $1425.00 ; SAE Members: $1145.00 - $1285.00

1.3 CEUs
You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.


"I would recommend this course to everybody involved with FEA as it really imparts some vital practical aspects along with commonly associated errors and misconceptions. It definitely honed my understanding of FEA and its application skills."
Ashraf K. Pindari
Analysis Engineer
Wescast Industries Inc.

"A must have for a thorough understanding of FEA skills and techniques."
Shoukath Ali
Product Development Engineer
Gates Rubber Company - London

"If you have minimal exposure to FEA or have only been trained to use an FEA software package, you're probably doing something wrong. This course will help you figure out what."
Jesse Boyarski
Design Engineer
Seats, Inc.

"Anyone using FEA software should take this course, that is if they want to use it correctly."
Timothy Gonzales
Design Engineer
Betts Spring Company

"This is a good hands-on experience for engineers."
Mahmood Ronaghi
Research Safety Engineer

"Very informative and directly applied to my job."
Winda Ruiz
R&D Engineer
NHK International

For additional information, contact SAE Customer Service at 1-877-606-7323 (724/776-4970 outside the U.S. and Canada) or at

For a quote on bringing this course to your company site, fill out a Corporate Learning Solutions Request Form