This Unit of Study addresses a range of modern and sophisticated techniques for analysing random data and processes that are pertinent to 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, biomedical applications 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,  Frequency Response Functions), digital sampling and filters and the Laplace Transform.

Unit details

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Unit code:


NEM2104 - Numerical Modelling of Mechanical Systems

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Employ appropriate Frequency domain analysis techniques on various signal types and properly interpret the results;  
  2. Evaluate the frequency response functions of mechanical systems using Fourier analysis;  
  3. Formulate the correct strategies for sampling a variety of signal types and applying the appropriate digital filter;  
  4. Employ appropriate statistical analyses on a range of data sets;  
  5. Apply Laplace transform techniques to solve differential equations related to mechanical systems; and  
  6. Create and validate 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
Portfolio Written reports based on class work and labs 30%
Test Test 1 (1.5hr) 35%
Test Test 2 (1.5hr) 35%
The portfolio needs to be a hurdle assessment as it is the only task that assesses LO 6.

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