ME 345: Modeling and Simulation

Course Syllabus - Spring 2019

Last updated: April 25, 2019

Instructor: Frank Fisher

Office: Carnegie 302 for Spring 2019

Phone: 201-216-8913


Class webpage:


Office hours: Available immediately after class or by appointment. I also check email regularly.


Lecture Times:
ME 345 A:
Friday 12:00-1:50pm in Babbio 104
ME 345 B: Friday 2:00-3:50pm in Babbio 104


Lab times (all in Fielding Lab E304 / E308):
Section A (24): Monday 2:00pm - 3:50pm, Section B (24): Monday 4:00pm - 5:50pm, Section C (15): Monday 6:15pm - 8:05pm
Section D (10): Tuesday 2:30pm - 4:20pm, Section E (25): Wednesday 1:00pm - 2:50pm, Section F(12): Thursday 2:30pm - 4:20


Teaching Assistants (office hours by appointment):

Nan Wu <nwu1>

Yang Xu <yxu55>


Course schedule/syllabus (subject to change)

The course schedule/syllabus is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. Any changes/updates to the syllabus will be announced during class periods and/or via email.


Course Outcomes (distributed the first day of class)

What will you be able to do after taking this class? See the Course Outcomes here.


Important notes and class information

11. Case Study 3 assigned Friday April 26, due Sunday May 12 by 11:59pm (early submission) or Wednesday May 15 by 1:00pm (normal submission) (4/25)

10. Example Final Quizzes are available here (Fall 05) and here (Spring 06). Be sure that you can take the inverse of a 4 x 4 matrix using a calculator, as you will be expected to be able to do this on the final quiz (4/19)

9. Case Study 2 assigned Thursday March 28 and due Tuesday April 23 (CANVAS submission by 11:59pm). (3/28)

8. The deadline for the submission of Case Study 1 has been extended to Tuesday March 26 at 5pm. (3/15)

7. Case Study 1 assigned Friday Feb 15 and due Tuesday March 19 (CANVAS submission by 11:59pm). (2/15)

6. Top in-class notes from the Course Outcome 12-13 Week 1 Reading Assignment (group work in Lecture 3) (2/8)

5. Matlab programming assignment description. Due dates are Fri February 15 (11:59pm) for the Status Report and Friday March 1for the final report. Submissions must be made on CANVAS. (2/1)

4. Course Outcome 12-13 Homework assignment (due Friday February 1 at 11:59pm, submission via CANVAS) (1/4)

3. Group Member Evaluation form for the Case Studies is available here (PDF) - these will be submitted via a GoogleDoc link with the submission of each Case Study (1/4)

2. Notes and suggestions for writing a Technical Report (for the ME345 Case Studies) available here (1/4)

1. Wolfram Alpha - very useful online symbolic mathematics tool (1/4)
0. This is where important class information for ME345 will be provided and stored. You will also be notified via email when/if information is placed here (1/4)

Lab 1 - Reintroduction to SolidWorks
- Solidworks in-program and online tutorials (self-directed)

Introduction to Modeling and Simulation - an EU not-for-profit who promotes effective use of simulation methods such as finite element analysis, multibody system dynamics, and computational fluid dynamics

Example of a NAFEMS professional training workshop for Frature and Fatigue Analysis using FEM.

- Course information
- Course syllabus (i.e. this webpage)
- Petroski - To Engineer is Human
- ASME: The State of Mechanical Engineering
- Driving Better Product Design Through Simulation
- Simulation in Sports and Leisure Industry (ANSYS, PDF) - including Prof. Imas work in Davidson Lab
- Case Studies of use of SolidWorks in CAE
- CADTEK: examples of how CAD software is used in various industries
- How Engineering Software has Changed the Way We Work, by Karl Hanson
- Evolution of Simulation by James R. Scapa in Desktop Enginering, Feb 2011

- ASEE PRISM: Softening the Curriculum? by Henry Petroski
- ASEE PRISM: Over the Hill at 40? by Vivek Wadhwa
- Senior iPhone Display Engineer at Apple ad (note the order of qualifications)

- 2028 Vision for Mechanical Engineering: A report of the Global Summit on the Future of Mechanical Engineering (to pg 12)
- From Engineer to Entrepreneur by Mark Crawford, November 2012
- Educating Engineers for 2020 and Beyond, Charles M. Vest, past president of MIT and NAE member

- A look at Engineering as a Profession (from

- Wall Street Journal: "Employers Find Soft Skills In Short Supply".

- The Top 5 Qualities That Lead to High Job Performance
- Top 5 Must-Have Soft Skills for a Professionalm Engineer (from LinkedIn)

- Be sure that you can take the inverse of a 4 x 4 matrix using a calculator (you will be expected to be able to do this on the final quiz)

- The writeup and Matlab file for the 'Ladder Problem'

Lab 2 - Assembly in SolidWorks

- Toggle press tutorial [1 page description available here; SW files here]
- Assembly example (problem statement); SolidWorks files for Homework; example movie of assembly

- OPTIONAL: Additional SolidWorks tutorials are available here


Matlab programming 1
- *** Mathworks Student Center Tutorials ***
- 'Flow Control' in Matlab (if, for, while, break statements)

- Matlab Primer from Professor Esche (PPT file in PDF format)
- Multimedia demos from Matlab can be found by clicking on the ‘blue question mark’ in the toolbar at the top of the Matlab Command window (highly recommended!)

Matlab Academy from Mathworks: 2-hr "on-camp" course is free for Stevens students (will need to set up a MathWorks user account).

- Cool video on the importance of Computer Programming
- Matlab cheat sheet (Word doc)
- me345 matlab cmds
- Very useful Matlab tutorial (from Professor Griffiths at U. Dundee)

- Matlab Example: Cash Register code

- Online Matlab documentation at Mathworks site

- Useful online Matlab tutorials from TutorialsPoint

- Useful online MATLAB resource:

- CoderByte - #1 website for coding challenges covering a wide range of programming languages. (Matlab is not one of them, but you could also solve any of these challenges using Matlab.)

- Problem 1: Matlab practice problems
- Problem 2: Matlab beam superposition problem [see also: online beam calculator]
- Problem 3a: NJ Pick 6 Lottery simulator / NBA draft simulator
- Problem 3b: NJ Pick 3 and NJ Pick 4 Daily Drawing games

- Problem 4: Additional (cool?) examples of Matlab problems
- Problem 5: New casino game proposal
- Problem 6: New TV game show!
- Problem 7: What are the odds that 4 students out of 100 have last name start with 'Z'?

Lab 3 - SolidWorks Motion (pre-2009 called CosmosMotion)
(CM user interface slides; Joint definition)

- Four Bar mechanism (wiper) in SolidWorks Motion [Updated February 2013]
- Valve Cam exercise: Intro. [Files available on local machine)

- Bevel Gear exercise: Tutorial (PPT file) and Parts file (ZIP file for parts here)

- Piston exercise: PDF and Archive of CM PISTON files here

- OPTIONAL: Additional SolidWorks/CosmosWorks/AutoCAD tutorials can be found here

Matlab programming 2 - Centrifugal Governor (SolidWorks files)
- Matlab governor problem
Lab 4 - SolidWorks Simulation 2 (pre-2009 called CosmosWorks) and SolidWorks SimulationXpress (pre-2009 called CosmosXpress)

- SolidWorks SimulationXpress tutorial 1: Cantilevered I-Beam
- SolidWorks SimulationXpress tutorial 2: Plate with a hole
- SolidWorks Simulation Assignment 1: online SolidWorks Simulation tutorial (intro)
- SolidWorks Simulation Assignment 2: Floor Jack model (PDF draft; note 11 MB file). [PREVIOUS VERSIONS: Folder with SolidWorks parts for initial assembly here. (ARCHIVE FOLDER HERE)

- OPTIONAL: CosmosWorks 2006 Verification problems (worth a look)
- OPTIONAL: ANSYS 2009 Verification problems (worth a look)


Introduction to Finite Element Method

*** Finite Element Learning Modules for Undergraduate Courses *** (tutorials resulting from an NSF funded project)

*** We will only touch upon the tip of the tip of the FEM iceberg in this class. See, for example, some of the Professional Short Courses sponsored by NAFEMS that are available for those working in the FEM area. ***

- PPT slides in PDF
- Intro to FEM chapter
- Intro to FEM notes

- FEA and the Question of Credibility on
- FEA: Only has Good as the Operator on

- Additional FEM example problem: 1D spring system

OPTIONAL: Popular set of online Math notes and tutorials, including for Linear Algebra, can be found here [from Paul Dawkins, Lamar University]


Lab 5 - Ansys structural

Additional optional ANSYS tutorials (DRAFT)
- Spider Rotor (PPT, PDF)
- Lifting Beam (PPT, PDF)

DEMOS available at the ANSYS Resource Library

- truss 1
- truss 2
- Plate with a hole (+ extra help)

Additional ANSYS tutorials from Prof. John Baker at UK are available here


Failure theories, Von Mises stresses, and stress concentration factors
(National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics 1950 report on stress concentrations for hole in infinite plate)



Lab 6 - Thermal and flow analyzes using ANSYS

- (NEW ANSYS): Fluid Network Analysis

- 2D thermal analysis: Temperature distribution in a fin-cooled component
- 3D cell phone tutorial (old version of tutorial, for reference only)

- ANSYS: 3D analysis of a finned pipe (PDF here, IGS file here)

Finite Elements II (Matlab)

- 1D FEM code in Matlab [edited 1D FEM code with exact solution for 'icicle problem']
- two_d_truss_F06.m

- Stepped rod example problem with answers, and a Matlab code to check it (stepped_rod_sol.m)
- 3 member stepped rod example problem with answers, and a Matlab code to check it (stepped_rod_3part.m)

The State of Mechanical Engineering: Today and Beyond (An ASME Research Study) - related to Course Outcome 12 and 13


Lab 7 - Thermal and flow analyzes using SolidWorks Simulation (pre-2009 called Cosmos Flow)

- Tutorial 1: Ball Valve (assignment and ZIP files to download)
- Tutorial 2: Heat Exchanger (assignment and ZIP files to download)
- Tutorial3: Conjugate Heat Transfer (assignment and ZIP files to download)

OPTIONAL: Drag Coefficient (assignment and ZIP files to download)

Finite Elements III

- Analogy between FEM solutions in solid mechaincs, other domains
- Heat transfer example with conduction and convection (FEM by hand)
- Heat transfer problem - another example
- Example of 1D torisional problem (old quiz problem)
- Example of a 2D truss problem using FEM by hand, and the edited Matlab 2D truss code
- two_d_truss_F06.m - based on the Matlab code, what does the truss look like?

- Statics problem with non-zero displacement boundary condition
- Internal Pipe Flow Problem (Fluid Mechanics) using FEM: Problem Statement, Solution by Hand, Matlab Code
- Internal Pipe Flow Problem, Example 2: Problem Statement, Solution by Hand

Lab 8 - ANSYS dynamics
(Cantilever start; Modal analysis of cantilever)

- Harmonic analysis of cantilever

- (NEW ANSYS) Modal analysis of a beam


Mechanical systems 1 - Introduction

Examples of systems that can be modeled via Differential Equations

- Five steps to solve for state equations of a system
- Example 1: Spring-damper system (plus analytical solution, plus Euler Method)
- Euler Method approximation using Excel (Excel file; PDF)

OPTIONAL: Quick cheatsheet on how to solve DEQs using Wolfram Mathematica 8

OPTIONAL: Popular set of online Math notes and tutorials, including DEQ, can be found here [from Paul Dawkins, Lamar University]

OPTIONAL: A number of mathematics videos and tutorials are available at the free online Khan Academy. For example, for materials related to Differential Equations, see here. If you are interested, the Khan Academy was recently profiled in Business Week.





Lab 9 - ANSYS Coupled Analysis and Post-Processing Tutorials

- ANSYS: cantilever beam and cross-sectional analysis
- ANSYS: cantilever beam and post-processing of results
- ANSYS Coupled Analysis Tutorial

Class cancelled

Class cancelled

Lab 10 - CREO Elements/Pro (was called ProEngineer prior to 2011) - CREO / ProE 5 tutorial
- FEM with ProE and ANSYS

Mechanical systems 2 - Analysis

- Examples 2 and 3 (mass-damper and Parachute Problem)
- Example 4 (spring-mass-damper problem with pulley)
- Example 5 (previous Quiz problem)
- Example 6: spring-mass-damper system (crically damped systems)
- solvingODEs in Matlab (from Prof. Esche)

[note: Professional Engineer licensure; note for Mech Eng students who wish to take the FE Exam]

Lab 11 - CREO Elements/Pro Mechanica (was called ProMechanica prior to 2011) - Intro to ProMechanica
- I-beam in ProMechanica

Mechanical systems 3 - Eigenvalue problems
- note: my favorite discussion of Eigenvalue problems, written by Prof. Michael Peshkin at Northwestern, is online here
- see Tacoma Narrows bridge (wikipedia) movie here

- but is the
Tacoma Narrows Bridge really an example of resonance?
- SNAP! (Early 90s music)

- example of Modal Superposition (graphical)
- Example 7: Eigenvalue problem

- system dynamics - eigenvalue solution in Matlab
- more examples of mode shapes

- Example 8: State Equations for an Electrical RLC circuit

Lab 12 - Optimization in ProMechanica / SolidWorks Simulation - ProE/CREO Optimization tutorial (and Plate Part file)
- Optimization bracket example
- Article on use of CAE and optimization



Lab 13 - Simulink I

*** Simulink Student Tutorials from Matlab ***

- Simulink 1 tutorial
- Simulink 2 tutorial
- Simulink 3 tutorial

(Optional Matlab/Simulink Tutorials from the University of Michigan. Most cover Control topics as well which are covered in ME 483.)


Multivariate optimization with EXCEL
[Instructions for adding Solver Add-In if necessary]

- Example 1 - surface area
- Example 2 - cantliever beam deflection
- Example 3 - weldline problem (pdf, excel)
- Example 4 - water tower problem (used to be an old Case Study problem) (excel)

(More detail on the Simplex Method used by the Excel Solver and related tools For Reference Only)


Lab 14 - Simulink 2

*** Simulink Student Tutorials from Matlab ***

- Simulink 4 tutorial
- Simulink 5 tutorial (draft)



- Select past quizzes will be made available at this point in the semester (see Important Notes above)
- Be sure that you can take the inverse of a 4 x 4 matrix using a calculator (you will be expected to be able to do this on the final quiz)



5/8 (Wed w/ Fri schedule)

Lifelong Learning for Engineers: Riding the Whirlwind (from NAE) [PDF here]

- Engineering In Practice: Student presentations

The review and final exam period is from Thursday May 9 to Monday May 20.