Engineering System Dynamics

Module summary

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


Pre and co requisites

Mechanics and Dynamics of Engineering Systems MECH1081


To provide students with an opportunity to enhance and extend their understanding of engineering dynamics in terms of advanced analysis and modelling of dynamic systems.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Apply analytical methods to dynamic systems in engineering.
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 case studies and experimental data 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. Structural dynamics, Dunkerley’s method and whirling of shafts and dynamic stresses in systes.

Teaching and learning activity

This module is analytically demanding and hence, the learning and teaching activities have been spread across a standard double term to allow students time to absorb the material.
Lectures: Lectures will provide students with the appropriate knowledge to analyse systems and solve problems. The lecture programme will cover advanced methods of systems analysis. The module notes will be supplemented with case studies to highlight real-world scenarios and additional information will be available via moodle.
Tutorials: To ensure that students understand the methods for tackling problems, tutorial sessions with worked examples will be incorporated into the lecture programme.
Case study and group presentation: The case study will be used to deepen students’ learning and understanding and allow them to investigate and critically appraise techniques used currently in industry and more cutting-edge technology which will be used in the future. The case study will be a group activity and students will have to present their findings. The results from a laboratory exercise will also be incorporated into the case study to support the investigative skills required.


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

Exam - 70%
LO - 1, 2, 4.
Pass mark - 40%
2 hours. Closed book unseen exam.

Report and presentation - 30%
LO - 3, 4.
Pass mark - 40%
1500 words.
Laboratory based case study.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Worked examples in tutorials.