Computational Mechanics

Term: 1st Semester – Academic Year 2020-2021

Instructor: Prof. Alessandro Reali ( and Dr. G. Scalet

Institution: DICAr, University of Pavia

CFU: 6


Duration: Tentatively from 11.01.2021 to 05.02.2021

Schedule: Computational Mechanics

Office hours: by appointment


The objective of the course is to introduce students to classical Computational Mechanics tools, and, in particular, to the most widely used one, namely, the finite element method. The main aim is building a deep knowledge of the basic ideas, the potential, and the limitations of the finite element method, both from the theoretical and the practical point of view, also through the development of simple codes for the simulation of frames and solid mechanics problems.


Theoretical lectures will be complemented by tutorials (aiming at the practical implementation in Matlab of the methods considered during the lectures) and the topics that will be covered during the course are reported in the following.

Course contents: Review of beam theory and of standard displacement-based methods for planar frames. Basic concepts of the finite element method and development of a finite element scheme for Bernoulli- Euler beams, starting from the elastica differential equation. Development of a finite element scheme for (shear-deformable) Timoshenko beams starting from the total potential energy. Shear locking issues and possible solution techniques. Review of linear elasticity. Finite elements for linear elasticity in 1D and 2D. Development of triangular and isoparametric quadrilateral finite elements. Numerical integration. Volumetric locking issues and possible solution techniques. Review of advanced Computational Mechanics methods.