This course is discontinued

MEK9550 – 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.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Recommended previous knowledge

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

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with MEK4550 – The Finite Element Method in Solid Mechanics I (discontinued)

9 credits with ME355.

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


Teaching begins about one month after the term starts, and lasts until the end of the term, with 3 hours of lectures and 2 hours of exercises per week. The total amount of teaching corresponds to 4 hours per week over an entire semester.


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.

Doctoral candidates must deliver one extra obligatory exercise, which must be at an advanced level within the curriculum of the course, or be a theoretical extension of the curriculum of the course, and should preferrably relate the contents of the course to newer research literature. It may be required to give an oral presentation and/or deliver a written report. The exercise must be passed to be allowed to take the final exam.

Examination support material

Permitted aids at the exam if written: Rottmann's formula list + approved calculator.

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 pass/fail scale. 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.