• Header of Functional Morphology at Transmitting Science

Course – 6th Edition

Finite Element Analysis Applied to Life Sciences

June 9th-21st, 2021


Please, SUBSCRIBE to our Newsletter if you want to receive information on new editions.

This course will be delivered live online

This course will be taught using a combination of live (synchronous) sessions on Zoom and tasks to be completed in between live sessions on the Slack platform.

Finite Element Analysis Applied to Life SciencesCourse Overview

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a great tool for biologists, palaeontologists, doctors, veterinarians, and other life sciences specialities in which researchers face questions about biomechanics of living and extinct organisms. Elements like bone, arthropod exoskeleton, mollusc shells, or the stems and leaves of plants can be analysed using this technique.

FEA is a non-invasive modelling technique, based on the principle of dividing a system into a finite number of discrete elements where the equations are applied. Although static and dynamic analysis can be solved using FEA, in this course only static analysis will be covered.

In this course, there will be an introduction to the Finite Element to model biological structures and understand how they work. We will cover all the steps involved in FEA (for static analysis) except the creation or reconstruction of the model, which will be covered in the course entitled : Introduction to 3D Imaging Technologies: Photogrammetry, Laser, CT-scan and (µ)CT-scan for Life Sciences.

After the theoretical introduction, we will build and analyse plane 2D and 3D finite element models and deepen on the methods and software’s required to perform FEA. Key questions as mesh size, boundary conditions, applied forces, material properties and numerical singularities will be thoroughly addressed. The last day of the course will be dedicated discussing future models of the attendants in their research.

See the full program here


Graduate or postgraduate degree in any Life Sciences discipline. Familiarity with 3D virtual model generation, as the starting point of the course will be with the model already built.

All participants must have a personal computer (Windows) with the following minimum requirements: Windows, 4 GB RAM, 1 GB memory dedicated to the graphic card, 20 GB of hard disk space available. Webcam and headphones are needed to the correct development of the class, as well as a good internet connection.




June 9th-21st, 2021

Schedule and Course length

Online live sessions on Wednesday 9th, Friday 11th, Monday 14th, Wednesday 16th, Friday 18th and Monday 21st of June, 14:00 to 16:00 and 16:30 to 18:30 (Madrid time zone).

The rest of the time will be taught with recorded lessons and assignments, to be done between the live sessions the weeks of the course.

48 hours

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.




Places are limited to 14 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.

Jordi Marce-Nogue instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Jordi Marcé-Nogué
Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Josep Fortuny instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Josep Fortuny

Institut Català de Paleontologia M. C.

Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis
Transmitting Science

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno Transmitting Science coordinator

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno
Transmitting Science


First day (Jordi Marcé-Nogué).

1.     An introduction to the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA):

1.1.  Mathematical model, features, and practical procedure.

2.     Basic continuum mechanics:

2.1.  Stress, displacements, strain, constitutive equations.

2.2.  Failure criteria on elastic materials.

Second day (Jordi Marcé-Nogué).

3.     Theoretical approach to Meshing:

3.1.  Types of mesh.

3.2.  Mesh generation.

3.3.  How to evaluate a mesh (quality and reliability).

3.4.  Recommendations for a good practice.

4.     Material Properties:

4.1.  Biomechanical properties of the bones to be used in FEA.

4.2.  Considerations for non-lineal materials to understand the modelling of soft tissues.

Third day (Jordi Marcé-Nogué).

5.     2D Plane models reconstruction:

5.1.  Theoretical tools for the creation of 2D plane FEA biomechanical models of biological structures.

5.2.  A practical guided example

Fourth day (Josep Fortuny and Jordi Marcé-Nogué).

6.     3D FEA models

6.1.  Introduction to 3d Digitalization of biological models

6.2.  Theoretical tools for the creation of 3D FEA models of biological structures.

6.3.  A practical guided example: Biological Implications. Interpretation of the results.

Fifth day (Josep Fortuny and Jordi Marcé-Nogué).

7.     Analysis of the FEA results

7.1.  Interpretation of the results

7.2.  Comparative methods

7.3.  Validation of the models

Sixth day (Josep Fortuny and Jordi Marcé-Nogué).

8.     Presentation and discussion of future models


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until April 30th, 2021):
  • 586 €

    (468.8 € for Ambassador Institutions)

  • Regular (after April 30th, 2021):
  • 695 €

    (556 € for Ambassador Institutions)

  • The price is VAT included.
    After registration you will receive confirmation of your acceptance in the course. Payment is not required during registration.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.

Related Courses