The course provides an overview of some aspects of computational mechanics, able to improve basic knowledge and skill of structural mechanics that architecture students acquired and developed during undergraduate training.
It will give the key items of implementation for a structural analysis, through both theoretical presentations and practices making use of very common commercial software.
Course topics cover a wide variety of applications and mechanical problems, to which in particular the Finite Element Method (FEM) is applicable, according to the following outlines:
1) linear algebra and analysis (just enough);
2) linear elastic analysis of both 1D and 2D structures;
3) modal analysis;
4) theoretical formulation for general problems.
teacher profile | teaching materials

Mutuazione: 21010196 CAD/CAE FONDAMENTI DI MECCANICA COMPUTAZIONALE DELLE STRUTTURE in Architettura - Progettazione architettonica LM-4 FORMICA GIOVANNI


The course topics cover several mechanical problems approached by the Finite Element Method (FEM), and specifically addressed to both 2D and 3D beam frame systems.
Since its first applications (late 1940s) FEM naturally plays an inter/multi-disciplinary role, where physical models can be implemented by simple modular schemes and iterative algorithms.

Through both theoretical presentations and practices, lectures will focus on the key-items of the numerical implementation for structural analysis (linear and modal analysis for elastic and dynamic structural characterization, respectively); connections between such aspects and those related to tools for parametric modeling of solid geometries will be regarded as crucial.
The equilibrium field equations will be also formulated in a general mathematical format, so as to have an overview of their use in general-purpose softwares, able to simulate generic physical problems.

The course program addresses the following issues:
1. Introduction to linear algebra and analysis;
2. Linear-elastic analysis of beam frame systems;
3. Modal (vibrational) analysis of beam frame systems;
4. Generalized FEM formulation for PDEs (Partial Differential Equations).

Core Documentation

T.J.R. Hughes. The Finite Element Method. Dover Publications, 2000.
Nam-Ho Kim, Bhavani V. Sankar, Ashok V. Kumar. Introduction to Finite Element Analysis and Design (2nd ed.). Wiley.

Type of delivery of the course

The course is taught by lectures and practical exercises. Guided practice on desktop workstations consists of the use of both general-purpose softwares (eg., Comsol Multiphysics, Wolfram Mathematica, MATLAB) and more specific softwares for structural analysis, such as SAP2000. As concerns geometric modeling, CAD softwares for 3D computer graphics applications will be also employed, AutoDesk Maya and Blender among others.


Students are strongly encouraged to attend to their class for both theory and practice. According to the Degree programme teaching regulation, at least 75% of attendance needs to take the final examination during the current academic year.

Type of evaluation

The final assessment will be a presentation and discussion of an in-depth investigation on one specific topic, chosen among those presented during the course. Both self and group works are admitted. If the University will extend measures adopted for COVID-19 health emergency, guidance for remote studies and assessment will be implemented. In particular, final examinations will be held online through MicroSoft TEAMS, according to details that will be given during the semester.