Finite Element Methods
Finite element methods are standard tools for the solution of partial differential equations, for instance Maxwell’s equations. They enable a deep insight into a physical problem and therefore support knowledge gain similar to analytical methods or experiments.
Here, the fundamentals of two established finite element methods are discussed, namely the finite element method (FEM) and the boundary element method (BEM). This includes basic numerical approaches for numerical integration or the solution of linear systems of equations.
Lecture with exercise
The lecture with exercise is given by Dr. Buchau, who has more than 20 years of scientific experience in finite element methods. The format of this lecture with exercise is flipped classroom. Lectures and tutorials are recorded in advance and uploaded in ILIAS for self-study. In the lecture part, the theoretical background of numerical methods is presented and discussed. Of course, the focus is on the application of numerical methods to the solution of field problems as they are relevant in everyday engineering. Therefore, a lot of examples using the commercial software COMSOL Multiphysics are studied along with the fundamentals of underlying numerical methods and numerical formulations. At the listed times in C@mpus, the online materials are discussed in WebEx meetings. During each meeting, it will be announced, which material the students are supposed to work through until the next meeting. During the meetings, students are offered the opportunity to ask questions concerning the covered materials to deepen their understanding of the topic.
The exercise part is at the computer using COMSOL Multiphysics and MATLAB. Individual accounts to our servers are created to enable access to these simulation tools. Hence, students learn to apply numerical field computations as an important engineering tool and see immediately the properties of numerical methods. During the WebEx meeting, students can discuss their models and solutions of the exercises.
Finally, the discussion of real problems with other students or the lecturer helps to understand the theoretical background and prepares for future work at an institute or in industry.