Finite Element Methods in Structural Dynamics

Course #ME4522

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


This course provides an introduction to the principles and methods of computational structural dynamics and vibration analysis. Modern computational methods make use of the matrix structural models provided by finite element analysis. Therefore, this course provides an introduction to dynamic analysis using the finite element method, and introduces concepts and methods in the calculation of modal parameters, dynamic response via mode superposition, frequency response, model reduction, and structural synthesis techniques. Experimental modal identification techniques will be introduced.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 571


  • ME3521

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Model multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) linear structural dynamic systems: Understand the concept of degrees-of-freedom and determine the number of degrees-of-freedom required to model MDOF systems. Develop differential equation models of MDOF systems using Lagrange’s equations. Understand and apply proportional damping in MDOF models.
  • Analyze structural matrices of mass, stiffness, and damping for correctness. Apply tests of symmetry, rank, and definiteness to discern properties and correctness of matrices.
  • Understand the major steps in a structural dynamic finite element analysis and write a simple dynamic finite element analysis computer program.
  • Understand and solve the eigenvalue problem. Apply modal superposition to calculate free and forced time domain response of multi-degree-of-freedom linear structural dynamic systems, including the use of mode displacement and mode acceleration formulations.
  • Assess numerically the convergence achieved in a truncated modal superposition calculation for transient and steady-state response.
  • Calculate simple reduced-order models of linear structural dynamic models.
  • Understand and explain the basic theory of experimental modal analysis.
  • Understand and explain the role of computational structural dynamics in the dynamic design of Naval ship structures, as well as ground and air vehicles.


Offerings database access
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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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