Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Machine Dynamics and Vibrations B

Module aims

This module aims to enable students to evaluate the dynamic response requirements of a proposed machine design and to produce workable proposals for its safe and effective operation. It will build on the second year Mechatronics and Solid Mechanics modules, introducing a greater range of examples where the dynamic response of a machine must be controlled and making the link between vibration and fatigue failure. This will involve some new subject matter in the vibration of continuous systems, rotor dynamics, signal processing and control analysis. A key aspect of the module is to demonstrate practical vibration measurements and to compare them to solutions of an idealised system in MATLAB. They will also deal with realistic problems involving the assessment of the fatigue life of structures subject to vibration and static loading. This is an enhanced level 7 version of the level 6 MDV module and students cannot take both for credit towards their final degree.

ECTS = 5

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to: 

1. Describe simple mechanical systems as lumped parameter models and derive their equations of motion (EOM);

2. Predict the natural frequencies and mode shapes of multi-degree of freedom (MDOF) vibration systems and of bending, torsion and axial vibration of simple continuous systems such as beams; 

3. Explain the importance of avoiding shaft whirl and be able to calculate critical speeds;

4. Explain the significance of vibration loading in generating high cycle fatigue;

5. Predict fatigue life of components by linking their vibration response to alternating stress and using this as input to fatigue calculations;

6. Use MATLAB to obtain solutions to MDOF vibration problems;

7. Use Fourier analysis to convert both single and dual channel time domain measurements into the frequency domain; 

8. Use systematic knowledge and understanding of dynamic systems to apply appropriate approximations that enable the derivation of equations of motions (EOM) for an arbitrary vibrations problem; apply numerical techniques to compile a MATLAB code that solves the problem and critically assess the limitations of the compiled code.  


Module syllabus

Multi degree of freedom systems (MDOF):
Vibrations in the frequency domain:
Rotor dynamics
Vibration induced fatigue
Vibration measurements


Pre-requisites: ME2-hDYN; ME2-hSAN; ME2-hMTX; ME1-hCPT; ME2-hCPT or equivalent.

Teaching methods

Students will be introduced to the main topics through lectures, supported by technology (PowerPoint, Panapto and Blackboard). Short activities (using interactive pedagogies) will occasionally be introduced in the classroom setting to reinforce learning, for example through pentameter and the like. You will be provided with problem solving sheets and should complete these as part of your independent study. Tutorials sessions will provide an opportunity for interaction with teaching staff where you can discuss specific problems. 


Assessment details        
      Pass mark   
Grading method Numeric   50%
Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Pass mark Must pass?
Examination 3 Hour exam 75% 50% N
Coursework MATLAB exercise 15% 50% N
Coursework Creation of MATLAB code to solve a set vibration problem 10% 50% N

Module leaders

Dr Frederic Cegla