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Unit information: Structural Dynamics in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Structural Dynamics
Unit code CENGM0050
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Alexander
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


By the end of this unit, successful students will have a deeper understanding of dynamic and seismic analysis of single and multi degree of freedom systems; derive the stiffness, load and mass matrices for simple structural finite elements; understand the operation of the important components of a finite element program; understand the characterisation of seismic loads; carry out a static and seismic analysis of a structure using a commercial computer programme.


To apply the concepts of single degree of freedom and multi-degree of freedom structural dynamics in the context of the analysis of structures subjected to seismic (i.e. earthquake) loading.

To extend the students knowledge of the Finite Element method by developing a general expression for the stiffness matrix and applying it to in-plane static and dynamic problems.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, the students will be able to:

ULO 1. understand and apply advanced dynamic analysis techniques for single degree of freedom (SDOF) systems;

ULO 2. be able to calculate the response of SDOF systems to periodic and non-periodic forcing

ULO 3. understand the concept of generalized coordinates

ULO 4. be able to calculate frequencies of vibration and mode shapes for simple multi-degree of freedom systems and understand how to obtain the response of such systems to seismic and other types of forcing;

ULO 5. apply the concept of earthquake response spectra in the framework of advanced seismic analysis

ULO 6. be able to derive stiffness and mass matrices and load vectors for simple elastic truss and beam elements and to apply the finite element method to simple static and dynamic problems

ULO 7. be able to conduct a seismic response spectrum analysis of a multi degree of freedom system.

Teaching details

20 hrs of lectures (10 x 2hr)

80 hrs private study

Assessment Details

Examination (January) 100% (UL0 1-7)

Please note that regular formative feedback will be provided through teaching activity such as simple exercises and optional activities.

Reading and References

A.K.CHOPRA, Dynamics of Structures. (1995) Prentice-Hall Inc.

R. CLOUGH & J. PENZIEN, Dynamics of Structures. (1993) Mcgrawhill Inc

D. BECKET & A.A. ALEXANDROU, An Introduction To EC2 Design Of Concrete Structures Including Seismic Action. (1998) SPON.

D. KEY, Earthquake Design And Practice For Buildings. (1988) Thomas Telford, London.

S.L. KRAMER, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, (1996) Prentice-Hall Inc.

C. CHATFIELD, The Analysis of Time series, an introduction (1996) Chapman & Hall.

B.A. BOLT, Earthquakes, (fourth Ed) (1999) W.H.Freeman & Co.

J.R. MAGUIRE & T.A. WYATT, Dynamics, an introduction for civil and structural engineers. ICE Design and practice Guide. (1999) Thomas Telford Ltd.

B.O. SKIPP, (ed) Ground dynamics and man made processes. (1998) Thomas Telford Ltd.

Y.K Cheung, and M.F. Yeo, A practical introduction to finite element analysis.