MEK4550 - The Finite Element Method in Solid Mechanics I

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Practical and theoretical basis for the finite method. Derivation of general stiffness and load terms for trusses, beams, membranes, plates, shells, axisymmetric and solid structures. System relations, boundary conditions and linear constraints. Calculations of derived quantities such as strains, stresses and reaction forces. Superelement and subdomain techniques. Applications.

Learning outcome

A thorough introduction to the finite element method through both an engineering and mathematical description of the method. Necessary background in linear elasticity to study the problems at hand. Finite elements as the basis to relevant problems and to enable evaluation of the quality of results obtained from analysis.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

MEK3500 - Structural Mechanics/MEK4500 - Structural Mechanics or equivalent background in structural mechanics including matrix statistics, and MEK3220 - Continuum Mechanics (discontinued)/MEK4220 - Continuum Mechanics (discontinued).

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with MEK9550 - The Finite Element Method in Solid Mechanics I

9 credits with ME355.

*The information about overlaps is not complete. Contact the department for more information if necessary.


3 hours of lectures/exercises per week.


Depeding on the number of students, the exam will be either oral or written.
What form the exam will take will be announced by the teaching staff within October 15th for the autumn semester and March 15th for the spring semester.

Five mandatory assignments have to be handed in and approved within given deadlines in order to be allowed to take the course’s final exam.

Examination support material

Permitted aids at the exam if written: Rottmann's formula list + approved calculator.
Information about approved calculators (Norwegian only)

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn. Taught according to demand and resources.


According to demand and resources.

Teaching language


The course is given in English. If no students have asked for the course in English within the first lecture, it may be given in Norwegian.