Software Engineering for Finite Element Analysis

by Dennis A. Nagy, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Princeton Univ., Princeton, N.J.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 8, Pg. 1287-1298

Document Type: Journal Paper


Computer software implementation of finite element structural analysis methods is examined from the viewpoint of software quality and design concepts. Concepts of software engineering relevant to finite element software are reviewed, with emphasis upon ideas of modular programming systems. Examples of well-designed software along such lines are surveyed including recent promising work in Europe. The need for more software design considerations in finite element education is examined. Thee future prospects for finite element software development are assessed with regard to both funding and source of development. It is concluded that coordinated development and exchange of software modules in a well-defined modular programming system environment has the potential, in terms of existing design concepts, for reducing the cost and duplication of effort, and increasing the quality, of future finite element structural analysis computer tools.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Computer analysis | Computer software | Structural analysis | Conceptual design | Modular structures | Systems engineering | Geomatic surveys | Europe

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