Engineering System Dynamics

Module summary

Module code: MECH1059
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering
Module Coordinator(s): Kaushika Hettiaratchi



To provide the student with an opportunity to enhance and extend their understanding of applied mechanics and dynamics in terms of advanced analysis and modelling of dynamic systems.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Apply numerical analyses in applied mechanics examples.
2 Analyse systems (that have several degrees of freedom) in two and three dimensions using classical and Lagrangian mechanics.
3 Reflect on the outcome of experimental work and formulate appropriate conclusions.
4 Evaluate and critically appraise the design of systems and the response of systems with reference to initial conditions and synthesis of elements within any given design.

Indicative content

Kinematics and kinetics of systems with respect to fixed and moving reference frames. Applications to translating and rotating systems using vector and matrix notation for mechanisms, Energy concepts, kinetic and potential energy. Lagrange's equations of motion with applications to vibrating systems having two and three degrees of freedom. Effect of damping. Vibration absorbers and vibration isolators and instruments. Characteristic equations and mode shapes for coupled system and lumped parameter models. Matrix representation. Orthogonality of modes. Introduction to the matrix displacement method. Stiffness and flexibility matrices, modes shapes, global and local co-ordinates. Rotation matrix. Applications to two and three dimensional trusses and stiff-jointed frames.

Teaching and learning activity

Formal lectures with problem solving tutorials and associated laboratory based case study exercise.


Students are required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.

In order to meet professional body requirements, students are expected to pass this course at 40% overall and with a minimum of 30% for each component.

Continuous Assessment - 30% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcome 3 – 4.
Outline Details - Laboratory work, case studies and tutorial assessment.

Examination - 70% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes 1 – 4.
Outline Details - Three hour written examination.

Formative Assessment - Mock Exam.