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Unit information: Structural Dynamics in 2020/21

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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, be able to derive and solve the equations of motion for dynamical systems using different methods, and understand the characterisation of seismic loads and resulting structural responses.


1. To introduce the concepts of structural dynamics of single and multi-degree-of-freedom structural systems subject to free vibration and simple excitation.

2. To apply these concepts in the context of the analysis of structures subjected seismic (i.e. earthquake) loading.

Intended learning outcomes

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

ULO 1. derive the equations of motion for dynamical systems using different methods

ULO 2. solve the equations of motion for dynamical systems subject to free vibration and simple excitation

ULO 3. 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 dynamic forcing

ULO 4. apply earthquake response spectra in the framework of seismic analysis of structures

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

Short coursework assignment (1 week) – held during January exam period (100%)

Reading and References

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

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

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

M. WILLIAMS, Structural Dynamics. (2016) CRC Press