Did you know that the Finite Element method has roots in A&A?
A&A Professor Harold Clifford Martin was part of the research team that pioneered the Finite Element Method (FEM), a 1956 engineering breakthrough still in practice today.
FEM produces models of structural behavior with software, which was a big step in leap-frogging the inefficiencies in manufacturing and testing a working model.
What is the Finite Element Method?
FEM breaks complex geometries into a large number of “finite elements,” which are much simpler and easily solvable for loads and stresses than the geometry as a whole. Each element is summed up to compile a high accuracy approximation of material behavior.
The mathematical equations behind FEM are applied to create a simulation, or what's known as a Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
An engineering breakthrough
FEM allows engineers to solve structural behavior without having to manufacture and test a working model, cutting costs and time allowing for fast interaction.
FEM has a wide range of applications in structural and fluid behavior, thermal transport, wave propagation, and the growth of biological cells. This powerful tool revolutionized engineering design and manufacturing.