This Unit of Study addresses a range of modern and sophisticated techniques for analysing random processes that often occur in nature and engineering. With increasing reliance on the monitoring of systems and machines as well as intensive measurement of environmental process related to engineering systems, a thorough appreciation of the various techniques available to analyse the data is essential for Mechanical Engineers.  Application examples include: Atmospheric processes (temperature humidity and wind), ocean waves, seismic motion, road surfaces and structures, vehicle vibrations, acoustics, rotating and reciprocating machines, acoustics and many more. Students will be introduced to various techniques for dealing with dynamic processes focussing on random / non-deterministic processes.   These include, statistical distributions, moving statistics, Frequency analysis (including Fourier Analysis and the Fourier Transform, Convolution, the Hilbert transform, frequency filters (including octave analysis), Frequency Response Functions, Cepstrum Analysis), synchronous averaging, random decrement and the Laplace Transform.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:


NEM2104 - Numerical Modelling of Mechanical Systems

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Identify various signal/ process types and recommend the most appropriate methods for analysis;  
  2. Carry-out appropriate Fourier and Octave band analysis in various signal types and properly interpret the results;  
  3. Use correct parameters for recording a variety of signal types;  
  4. Perform Cepstrum analysis and explain the significance of the results;  
  5. Perform a variety of time domain analysis involving the Hilbert transform, random decrement, and synchronous averaging and elucidate the results; and  
  6. Generate computer code to perform the above analyses and Produce written technical reports individually and as part of a team.  


Students will work in groups of two but prepare individual portfolios.
Assessment type Description Grade
Test Week 5 test - open book (1.5 Hour) 20%
Portfolio Weekly entry on class material that will be evaluated regularly and feedback provided. (hurdle) 30%
Examination Final Exam - open book (3 hours) 50%
The portfolio needs to be a hurdle assessment as it is the only task that assesses LO 3 and 6.

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