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Unit information: Nonlinear Structural Dynamics in 2015/16

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Unit name Nonlinear Structural Dynamics
Unit code MENGM0017
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Di Maio
Open unit status Not open

MENG31301 Vibrations 3 or equivalent



School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

Modern engineering relies on advance modelling such as Finite Element, for designing structural components. These designs are then validated for low levels of response vibrations, which can be considered linear. However, this assumption is far too restrictive and not always applicable. In fact, vibration responses of real components in service operation can show severe distortions. These can be caused by several factors and which make the response no longer linear.

In this unit, we will analyse the dynamic behaviour of structural components, such as beams and plates, exhibiting both linear and nonlinear vibration responses. The course will combine theoretical and experimental modelling. It will explain how to detect, identify, characterize, quantify and control nonlinear vibrations. An experimental demonstrator will be available in the class for practical test and analysis.


The aim of this course is to examine and explain the nonlinear vibrations and how to integrate these in the component design.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will know how to do the following:

  1. Be able to describe modal testing theory and practice
  2. Be able to identify non-linear terms in the equations of motion, through mathematical and experimental analysis of the vibration response
  3. Be able to solve and validate complex dynamic problems.

Teaching Information

Students receive a 2-hour lecture each week during Teaching Block 2. Examples of similar standard to examination questions are provided. Students are expected to work through these examples and previous years' examination papers in their own time.

Assessment Information

There is a 2-hour written paper in the summer which counts for 100% and covers all three intended learning outcomes.

Reading and References

Nonlinear vibration with control, Wagg, D. J. and Neild S. A., (Springer), ISBN 9789048128365, October 2009.

MODAL TESTING theory, practice and applications, Ewins D. J., Second edition, (RSP), 2000.

Theoretical and Experimental Modal Analysis, Maia N. and Silva J., (RSP), 1998.