Well for last couple of months, we had done some handful of interviews. And one of the standard question is on Fem.
Tell us what are the steps of FEM? We got many answers. Some answer deep going into equations, some give a satellite view, giving an analyst overview and some go everywhere.
All answers are good in their own way, but I think the following would be a complete answer.
Step 1 – Discretization: The problem domain is discretized into a collection of simple shapes, or elements.
Step 2 – Develop Element Equations: Developed using the physics of the problem, and typically Galerkin’s Method or variational principles.
Step 3 – Assembly: The element equations for each element in the FEM mesh are assembled into a set of global equations that model the properties of the entire system.
Step 4 – Application of Boundary Conditions: Solution cannot be obtained unless boundary conditions are applied. They reflect the known values for certain primary unknowns. Imposing the boundary conditions modifies the global equations.
Step 5 – Solve for Primary Unknowns: The modified global equations are solved for the primary unknowns at the nodes.
Step 6 – Calculate Derived Variables: Calculated using the nodal values of the primary variables.
This is from a NAFEMS lecture I attended a year ago.
And if you are into FEM, you should meet Ajay.