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A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations


  • High school physics including Newton’s second law
  • Differential and integral calculus
  • Basic matrix algebra

Content Availability

All the content in this course will be available from the start. You can go through it at your own pace as your schedule permits. Modules 1-3 cover finite-element analysis (FEA), modules 4-5 cover computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and module 6 covers how to couple these two methodologies for fluid-structure interaction analysis.  If you are interested only in CFD, you can go through the introduction section in module 1 and then skip to module 4. Modules 5-6 are optional and do NOT count towards your final score and the verified certificate. 

The instructor and teaching assistants will be answering questions on the discussion boards. You will see their posts tagged with a blue "staff" label. However, they cannot respond individually in a course of this size. Please help your fellow students if you know the answer to their questions by posting in the discussion boards. 

What you'll learn

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the "big ideas" in finite-element analysis and computational fluid dynamics
  • Develop structural mechanics simulations using ANSYS Mechanical ™
  • Develop fluid dynamics simulations using ANSYS Fluent ™
  • Describe the mathematical models underlying simulations
  • Build simulations of real-world applications using ANSYS® software
  • Verify and validate simulations including checking against hand calculations
  • Approach engineering analysis and simulations like an expert

Assessment (What will I be graded on? What counts towards certification completion?)

There are 12 subsections in the course (Bike Crank, Bike Crank HW, Bolted Nozzle Flange, Bolted Nozzle Flange HW, etc.)  The grade breakdown of the four graded modules is listed below (by percentage of total grade):

Module 1: 37%

Module 2: 22%

Module 3: 7%

Module 4: 34%

A cumulative score of 60% or more is considered successful completion. There are a total of 125 points available throughout modules 1 to 4. Note that "Homework" questions are worth 2 points each, while "Check your Understanding" questions are worth 1 point each. Modules 5, 6, and additional Further Learning Modules are optional and do NOT count towards your final grade or Verified Certificate.

Upon successful completion, a certificate is is offered only to students enrolled in the Verified Certificate track. This course does not offer an Honor code certificate for students that audit the course. See this page for details about how to get the verified certificate on demand upon successful completion. 

Academic Integrity Assessment

All work must be your own. You can help and ask for help on the discussion boards, and discuss topics freely--this is encouraged! But don't submit somebody else's work as your own. Additionally, all students are expected to follow the edX Honor Code.

Discussion Board Etiquette

The discussion forum can be a great tool for learning, a place to share ideas, ask questions, and support other learners. If you are not familiar with edX course discussions, please review the discussion guide for students.  To help improve the quality of discussion, please keep the following in mind:

  • Please be respectful and refrain from inappropriate language and personal attacks. Disagree politely. Try writing, "Have you thought about it from this aspect ?" rather than "You're wrong; this is the right way to do it."
  • Please post in the correct discussion board. Each topic has a board for discussing the content material and concepts, and when ANSYS software is used, a board for discussing the technical issues of the software.
  • Before posting please be sure to search to see if someone else has already asked your question.  This will keep all discussion related to that topic in a single thread.
  • Please be sure NOT to give away the answers when posting your question or when responding to the question of another student.
  • Remember English is not the primary language of many learners in this class. Please try not to use slang or abbreviations.
  • No marketing.

Downloading and Installing ANSYS Student 

ANSYS Student is available free from ANSYS, Inc. See Module 1 >  Introduction >ANSYS  Software Download and Installation within the course for detailsIn downloading this software, you are agreeing to ANSYS' Terms of Use. You can also use a commercial or academic version of ANSYS that you may already have access to.

You need a computer running Microsoft Windows (64-bit) to install ANSYS Student. If you do not have access to a Windows computer, you have the option of taking advantage of FRAME Cloud Personal pricing that allows users the option of running ANSYS in a web browser on any device without the need to install it locally. 

ANSYS®, ANSYS® Workbench TM, ANSYS® DesignModelerTM, ANSYS®MechanicalTM, ANSYS® AIMTM and ANSYS®FluentTM are registered trademarks of ANSYS Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States or other countries.