Computational Mechanics

10 Units

This course provides an introduction to advanced computational methods for modelling the deformation and flow of structures and geomaterials. It aims to equip graduates with working knowledge of the software routinely used in structural and geotechnical analysis, as well as provide a foundation for postgraduate study.

Faculty Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
School School of Engineering
Availability Semester 2 - 2018 (Callaghan)
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between various types of material behaviour and select the most suitable model for the problem at hand.
  2. Calculate limit loads for stability problems in geotechnical and structural engineering.
  3. Formulate the basic elements of a solution algorithm for non-linear material models using the finite element method.
  4. Specify well-posed boundary value problems involving failure and collapse, and solve them using commercially available software.
  5. Critically interpret output from numerical simulations, especially with respect to verifying the solution.
  6. Distinguish between continuous and discontinuous modes of deformation, understand phenomenological differences, and select the most appropriate analysis technique.

The course covers the following material:

1.       A review of the theory of elasticity, its applications, and its analytical and numerical implementation.

2.       An introduction to inelastic constitutive laws, theory of plasticity and commonly used plasticity models.

3.       Limit analysis and calculation of collapse loads for stability problems.

4.       Numerical implementation of non-linear material models: implicit versus explicit methods; convergence; sensitivity.

5.       An introduction to the analysis of discontinuous media, including basic fracture mechanics and discrete element modelling.

Analysis of selected problems in structural and geotechnical engineering using commercial software.

  • This course has similarities to CIVL4220. If you have successfully completed CIVL4220, you cannot enrol in this course.
Assumed Knowledge The course requires a firm understanding of the basic principles of mechanics (stress, strain, equilibrium, etc.) and familiarity with numerical methods including the finite element method.
Assessment Items
  • Written Assignment: Homework 1
  • Written Assignment: Homework 2
  • Written Assignment: Homework 3
  • Written Assignment: Homework 4
  • Written Assignment: Homework 5
  • Written Assignment: Homework 6
  • Report: Project Report
  • Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting week 1


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting week 2

Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for CIVL6220
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