The finite element method is a numerical method that can be used for the accurate solution of complex engineering
problems. Although the origins of the method can be traced to several centuries ago, the method as currently used was
originally presented by Turner, Clough, Martin, and Topp in 1956 in the context of the analysis of aircraft structures.
Thereafter, within a decade, the potential of the method to solve different types of applied science and engineering
problems was recognized.
Over the years, the finite element technique has been so well established that today, it is
considered one of the best methods to solve a wide variety of practical problems efficiently. In addition, the method has
become an active research area not only for engineers but also for applied mathematicians. In fact, the finite element
method appears to be the only technique developed by engineers and pursued by applied mathematicians. A main reason
for the popularity of the method in different fields of engineering is that once a general computer program is written, it can
be used to solve a variety of problems simply by changing the input data.
APPROACH OF THE BOOK
The objective of this book is to introduce the various aspects of the finite element method as applied to the solution of
engineering problems in a systematic and simple manner. It develops each technique and idea from basic principles. New
concepts are illustrated with simple examples whenever possible. An introduction to commercial software systems,
ABAQUS and ANSYS, including some sample applications with images and output, is also presented in two separate
chapters. In addition, several MATLAB programs are given along with examples to illustrate the use of the programs in a
separate chapter. After studying the material presented in the book, the reader will not only be able to understand the
current literature on the finite element method but will also be in a position to solve finite element problems using
commercial software such as ABAQUS and ANSYS, use the MATLAB programs given in the book to solve a variety of
finite element problems from different areas, and, if needed, be able to develop short programs to solve engineering