# How can an engineering student become a computational scinece expert in a short time [closed]

How can a student with zero computing or programming language knowledge, few engineering mathematics knowledge, understand computational science especially Finite Element Modelling (FEM) from engineering analysis point of view. I found out that there are so many branches or approaches to FEM (computational science) such as linear FEM, advanced FEM, Non-linear FEM, codes and algorithm etc. that are brought together under most good books and therefore render such books 'useless' or incomprehensible to a child. Some even approach problems from mathematical perspective. In fact you are happy as you begin reading the beginning chapters of some books but such happiness is often short-lived and begin to wonder when will the circle end in a good understanding and grasp of FEM. My question is who can really 'explain to me like I am five' the step by step action(s) I need to take to master FEM from A to Z (assuming one has a project in mind that is related to the modelling and simulation of thermo-mechanical stresses in an Internal Combustion Engine (I.C.E.) piston using a particulate material).

• It takes time to master FEM. If you really want to understand everything, you need experience. You can't really rush that. What do you want to do within the project? Writing a code for your purpose or using a commercial code? Nov 19, 2016 at 13:27
• Thanks @P.G.; I aim at analyzing the thermo-mechanical stresses in-order to design a lighter, functional and durable I.C.E. piston. Nov 19, 2016 at 14:27
• @P.G. I think it will be useful to know how to write a personal code so that if I want to use a commercial code, it will be like work-over. But as an expert what do you suggest? Nov 19, 2016 at 15:06
• Writing a personal code for your task is very time consuming. And without deep knowledge of the FEM I wouldn't suggest that. But writing your own FE code for some small problems will only enhance the knowledge about FEM. For your task you would need to know at least the basics of FEM (for mechanical and thermal problems) and then the basics of modelling with a commercial software (boundary conditions, loads, materials). Nov 19, 2016 at 15:23
• As Wolfgang said, there's no king's road to understanding (which is implied by "expert") advanced computational science. If you want to put in the effort, you can find some recommendations in the answers to these questions: scicomp.stackexchange.com/questions/1445/…, scicomp.stackexchange.com/questions/13085/…. (In fact, I'd consider (the answerable part of) this question as a duplicate.) Nov 20, 2016 at 10:32