Advanced Finite Element Simulations Using Abaqus

Physics and Energy

About this course

The course will introduce the use of the commercial finite element code Abaqus in a research-oriented way where a number of nonlinear problems will be addressed. The focus will be on creating, analyzing and evaluating nonlinear material simulations, simulations of fibre reinforced composites and crack growth predictions. The workload in the course will focus on the study of a number of nonlinear problems, which include building up, solving and evaluating the solutions from realistic finite element problems. Throughout the work with the finite element exercises, important points using a commercial finite element code will be addressed. Cases involving isotropic elastic, anisotropic elastic and elastic-plastic material laws will be studied. In addition, user-defined subroutines and Python scripting be will used.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the learner will be able to: • Create advanced finite element models in Abaqus • Apply theoretical concepts to analyze finite element simulations • Apply the effects of nonlinear material models and evaluate the results • Create models consisting of orthotropic materials and analyse its influence • Create models discretizing fiber composite structures and analyse the layups and critical ply stresses and strains based on first and last ply failure criteria • Create and evaluate crack tips models and analyse their prediction accuracy. • Create crack growth using models cohesive material laws in a finite element model and evaluate the impact of different modelling parameters • Create Python scripts and apply these for pre- and post-processing steps • Apply Large-Language Models like ChatGPT/CoPilot to generate scripts and input files in order to interact with Abaqus and to evaluate/post-process results. • Create simple user-defined subroutines in Abaqus • Understand the navigation in Abaqus’ User Manual and apply your knowledge to find relevant information. • Analyse and evaluate critically finite elements simulations (plausible check, physical meaningful, mesh convergence study, comparison with tests/analytical results).

Enrolment details

This course is graded pass/not pass


During the course 5 different cases are studied and collected in individual or group reports with ongoing feedback and final assessment.

Course requirements

Courses covering strength of materials and an introduction to the finite element method or other courses covering composite materials and fracture mechanics


The course is built up as a problem-based or problem-solving learning course. The focus is on understanding and conclusive postprocessing, where analytical solutions and experimental results will often be compared and discussed.

Additional information

  • Credits
    ECTS 5
  • Level
  • Contact hours per week
  • Instructors
    Lars Pilgaard Mikkelsen
  • Mode of instruction
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of DTU (Denmark).
Please note, for TalTech students there is an earlier deadline for applications - 18th June 2024


  • Start date

    6 February 2025

    • Ends
      12 May 2025
    • Term *
    • Location
    • Instruction language
These offerings are valid for students of TalTech (Estonia)