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In this paper we explain how the EXPERT-SYSTEM technique can be used in the finite element method in order to build an adaptable system able to solve a large class of partial differential equations. The equations to be solved can be described conversationally with the help of a generator program which reduces to a few hours the time necessary to build a new finite element package. The knowledge representation used is described in detail and the general solving strategy is analyzed. Such a system has been compared to industrial programs, and its cost is close to that of the classic method. Some examples of equation description in the fields of magnetics, hydraulics and heat-transfer are given. Some examples of the utilization of these programs are presented.