Mechanical vibration is an important consideration for the performance, functionality and integrity of many structures and machines. This unit of study critically reviews theoretical concepts related to mechanical vibrations. It is designed to promote the requisite knowledge, skills and competencies to analyse and resolve vibration issues across a broad range of applications. Students' learning is consolidated through real world projects specifically designed to enhance their classroom and laboratory based learning. Student progress is monitored and evaluated through reports, weekly quizzes and a final examination.

The unit incorporates the following topics: Fundamental vibration theory; various types of damping; response due to initial conditions (free vibrations); harmonic and complex forcing functions; Fourier analysis and the Fourier spectrum; Shock Response Spectrum; single, two and multi degree-of-freedom systems; mode shapes; vibration measurement and instrumentation; random vibration analysis; and vibration absorbers and vibration control.

Unit details

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NEM3101 - Engineering Analysis and Modelling

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Map and articulate the fundamental concepts of mechanical vibrations and justify their application in a variety of engineering design contexts;  
  2. Measure and analyse the salient vibration characteristics of vibratory systems such as structures, machines and vehicles;  
  3. Develop numerical models of vibratory systems such that they can be used to predict and enhance performance;  
  4. Use vibration theory to calculate and predict the vibration behaviour of complex systems (including two and multi degree-of-freedom);  
  5. Analyse the vibration behaviour of structures and machines taking into account economic, industrial, human and environmental considerations; and  
  6. Produce accurate, clear and coherent technical reports on the vibratory behaviour of structures and mechanical systems for a variety of audiences.  


Formative assessment in the form of group reports (four reports) are hurdle assessment tasks and will be assessed as 0 (unsatisfactory) or 1 (satisfactory) and every team member receives the same mark. As these are designed to assist the learning process, unsatisfactory reports may be re-submitted repeatedly after feedback has been obtained from the facilitator. The mid-semester and final examinations are largely based on the work undertaken for the reports.
Assessment type Description Grade
Test Weekly Quiz. The quizzes, to be undertaken individually, will be based on the lecture material and specific reading material. 10%
Examination Mid-semester examination (open book) 40%
Examination Final examination (open book) 50%
Report Project-based reports. Formative assessment undertaken in groups (hurdle assessment) 0%
The formative assessment components of the unit will be used to give students structured feedback about their capability development of GC1 as applied to real-life vibration problems and challenges. Lectures and workshops will develop GC2 and GC3 by studying real-life systems, structures, machines and installations.

Required reading

Mechanical Vibrations Third Ed.
Rao S.S. (1995)
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company

Engineering Vibration Second Ed.
Inman D.J. (2001)
Prentice Hall

Class Notes

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