Introduction to Finite Element, Boundary Element, and Meshless Methods

Introduction to Finite Element, Boundary Element, and Meshless Methods

An Introductory 3-Day Course with Applications including Hands-on Exercises

March 2 - 4, 2018
Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

This course stems from our experiences in teaching numerical methods to both engineering students and experienced, practicing engineers in industry. The emphasis in this course deals with finite element, boundary element, and meshless methods. Much of the material stems from courses we have conducted over many years at our institutions, as well as from AIAA home study and ASME short courses presented over several decades, including suggestions and recommendations of our colleagues and students. There are numerous books on applied numerical methods, many of them being finite element and boundary element textbooks available in the literature today. However, there are very few books dealing with meshless methods, especially those showing how nearly all of these numerical schemes originate from the fundamental principles of the method of weighted residuals. We find that when students once master the concepts of the finite element method (and meshing), it’s not long before they begin to look at more advanced numerical techniques and applications, especially the boundary element and meshless methods (since a mesh is not required). Our intent in this course is to provide a simple explanation of these three powerful numerical schemes, and to show how they all fall under the umbrella of the more universal method of the weighted residuals approach.


  • Introduce the basic concepts of the finite element method, the boundary element method, and the meshless method utilizing the Method of Weighted Residuals
  • Discuss the advantages and limitations of each method
  • Demonstrate the capabilities of each method on a variety of problems
  • Provide “hands-on” access to simple computer codes that run on PCs
  • Emphasize fundamentals through algebraic examples


Who Should Attend

This course is intended for those who wish to understand the basic concepts of the finite element method, the boundary element method, and meshless methods, and how they become implemented in computer programs. The course is suitable for both postgraduate students and graduate engineers and scientists in industry and government. Those with a basic understanding of calculus and a familiarity with PCs (Windows or Mac) will have sufficient background necessary for this course. Students with an engineering or mathematical background should have no difficulty in grasping the underlying principles of the methods and their applications to various fields.


Course Outline

Day 1: The Finite Element Method
Day 2: The Boundary Element Method
Day 3: The Meshless Method More details


The Fee for the course covers instructional material costs, a copy of the book "Introduction to Finite Element, Boundary Element, and Meshless Methods", by D. W. Pepper, A. Kassab, and E. Divo, ASME Press, 2014, a complete set of computer codes, break refreshments, and lunch each day. Each participant will receive a certificate of the course completion. All fees must be paid in advance at least two weeks before the start of the course.