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FEA Day-to-Day

FEA Day-to-Day

An opportunity to ensure that your organisation gets 
maximum benefit from using Finite Element Analysis

2-Day All-Inclusive Training Course on 4th & 5th December: A Practical Introduction to Finite Element Analysis

FEA has become widely used and universally accepted in many industry sectors. FEA is a powerful technique, able to produce solutions to challenging structural analysis problems. The technology and computational efficiency of the method, together with the rapid increases in computer processing power means that today the scope and size of simulations far exceeds the capabilities of even a few years ago.

However, for those engineers embarking on FEA, or companies adopting the technique to improve designs or achieve certification of new products, there is a steep learning curve to overcome. Ease of use is generally assured by the software used but there are still many pitfalls and decisions that need to be made in order to obtain a good and accurate answer.

There are a bewildering array of element types, solution types, meshing methods and pre-post processing options that have to be faced. This is before engineers get down to the engineering physics behind the problem, with the associated classic traps and errors. What is needed is guidance via a thorough but practical assessment of the method and how to use it in the real world. 

NAFEMS, the only vendor neutral, not-for-profit organization with the aim of promoting the effective and reliable use of FEA, addresses this requirement by providing this two-day example-driven, practical course.

Attendees are shown the background to the FEA methodology, via simple real examples with a minimum of theory. The strength and weaknesses of various FEA techniques are shown and discussed and practical considerations of loadings, boundary conditions and structural details are shown via examples.

The assessment, validation and interpretation of FEA results are vital for delivering safe, effective products are discussed to provide confidence in the results obtained aiming to provide conservative, reliable and qualified results. The attendees join in the activity of building this process themselves and come away with an embryo Procedural Check List. Report writing is also addressed as a class workshop.

The course offers excellent guidance on how to assess and plan the task of carrying out a Finite Element Analysis. A clear understanding of the objectives of each analysis is vital and a road map for achieving this is presented. A review of the trade-off between available resource and analysis methodology is given.

This public in-person course offers important advantages:

  • Concentration since attendees are not following a course while at their desk, being distracted by other requests on their time, emails, telephones, etc.
  • Class interaction and discussions are positively encouraged throughout the course. Real world examples are given at every stage, drawn from the Tutor's wide practical experience and those suggested by the attendees.
  • Questions and class participation are encouraged, as this is one of the key aspects of making this a unique experience for each attendee gleaming information and analysis approaches from other engineers in other sectors. Attendee project examples can often be incorporated into the class if time permits, to benefit all.

The course is completely software independent and focuses on Best Practice for carrying out analyses rather than finding the menus. Attendees are welcome to bring laptops to take notes, but they are not required.

Who Should Attend?

This course is aimed at: 

  • Practicing engineers who wish to learn more about how to apply finite element techniques to their particular problems in the most effective manner. 
  • Engineers who have started using FEA but have discovered problems and issues (cannot be used as a 'black box'.
  • Managers (in many cases needing to refresh their knowledge) who review internal or external FEA reports and contract suppliers. 

The material that is presented is independent of any particular software package, making it ideally suited to current and potential users of all commercial finite element software systems. This course is a must for all engineers aiming to use FEA as a reliable predictive tool for thermal, stiffness and stress analysis.

Companies moving into FEA technology to improve product designs or assess prototype failures or speed the design process will benefit from sending key engineers to this course. If you have sufficient engineers then a tailor made course maybe more suitable and NAFEMS can then work closely with you to cater for your specific industry sector or analysis type.

The course is open to both members and non-members of NAFEMS.

What's Included?

  • 2 full day intensive course with an expert tutor
  • Lunch & refreshments on both days
  • Two course dinner on Tuesday evening, at the venue hotel
  • Overnight accommodation on a single room, bed & breakfast basis, at the venue hotel on Tuesday evening
  • A full set of printed and bound notes will be issued to every attendee.

Please note that it is intended that this concentrated course will continue through dinner in the evening, and therefore attendance is recommended. 

Any alcoholic drinks purchased and extras charged to bedrooms are payable by delegates, upon departure from the hotel.

Remarks by Previous Attendees

“Exceeded my initial expectations. 
I learnt a lot more than I thought I would and it was genuinely interesting.”

“The practical advice given by the lecturer about FEA was very useful”

"Confident to return to work and actually know what I’m talking about!"

Course Program

Registration will be held on Tuesday morning between 9:30am and 10:00am, with the course starting immediately afterwards. The course will continue through dinner (some presentations and class exercises but mainly discussions) at the the hotel, ending at approximately 9:30pm. The next morning, Wednesday, the course will start at 9:00am, finishing by 5:00pm 

This course program contains 5 parts that combine lectures, discussions, workshops and exercises. These will not be provided in the order presented.

Part 1- Basics 

  • History and Background to FEA
  • The Origins of FEA
  • The FEA Process
  • Workshop – Your Process?
  • Element Stiffness Matrices
  • Avoiding ‘Free Motion’
  • Degrees of Freedom (DOF)
  • Displacement Shape Functions
  • Element Types
  • Workshop –Which Elements?
  • A Sanity Check on FEA
  • A Simple Case Study
  • A Beam Structure Example
  • Class Exercise

Part 2 - Specifics

  • Controlling Degrees of Freedom (DOF)
  • Special Elements
  • A Check on FEA
  • Convergence Checking
  • Local Stress Raisers
  • Real World Boundary Conditions and Loading
  • Workshop – What are the Boundary Conditions?
  • Unit Load Cases

Part 3 - Reality

  • Making Life Simpler
  • FE Model Checks
  • Workshop - Meshes
  • Understanding the Objective of the Analysis
  • Looking Critically at the CAD Model
  • Why Not 20 Million Elements?
  • Class Exercise

Part 4 - Understanding

  • Classification of Structures
  • Types of Loading
  • Assessing Stresses
  • Understanding the Results
  • Checking the Results

Part 5 - Closing (detail depends on timing)

  • Workshop – Housing Failure
  • Workshop – Reporting
  • Class Exercise
  • Conclusions
  • Introduction to Non-linear Analysis
  • Introduction to Verification & Validation


The Arden Hotel 
Stratford Upon Avon
CV37 6BA
t: 01789 298682

Located in the heart of historic Stratford-upon-Avon, directly opposite the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company Theatres, The Arden Hotel is the perfect destination for the training course. Free private car parking is available and directions are here

Birmingham airport is 26 miles and Coventry airport is only 1.6 miles, the nearest train station is Stratford-upon-Avon at just 0.7 miles. 

Purchasing Details

Members Price
£815 | $1012 | €931

Non-Members Price
£1275 | $1583 | €1457
Order Ref: uk_fea_dec18
Event Type: Course
Location: Stratford upon Avon UK
Date: December 4, 2018

Discounts available for multiple registrations!

Enquire: or phone +44 (0)1355 225688

Course Tutor:
Gino Duffett

Read Gino Duffett's bio on the NAFEMS Tutors page

Cancellation Policy

Please note NAFEMS cancellation policy for all UK public training courses is as follows:-

  • Suitably qualified delegates may be substituted at any time prior to the start of the course

  • Bookings are accepted upon condition that either full payment is received before the course commences, or that a valid purchase order is received from a company that has a credit agreement with us

  • In the event of a delegate being unable to attend a course that they have booked upon then, NAFEMS will discuss the possibility of transferring to an alternative course. However, a suitable administration charge will be levied.

  • A refund of 50% of the course fees will be paid to delegates who cancel their booking and do not re-schedule to an alternative course, provided that the cancellation is received by NAFEMS at least four weeks in advance of the course. No refunds can be given for cancellations made after this time.

  • NAFEMS reserves the right to cancel the course, without liability, in which case all training fees will be refunded in full. However, NAFEMS cannot be held liable for any other expenses incurred by participants or their companies due to the cancellation.

NAFEMS will discuss the possibility of transferring to an alternative event/course, however an administration charge will be applicable.

For full terms and conditions, click here. This policy is subject to change.