TBA4275 - Dynamic Response to Irregular Loadings


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours C

Course content

The theory of vibrations is one of the most interesting and useful topics in engineering. It allows for understanding the behavior and design of mechanical systems and structures, and has many applications. In this course we focus on engineering systems that behave linearly and are relatively simple (single or only a few degrees of freedom). The loads that will be considered, on the other hand, arise from natural phenomena such as water waves, wind and earthquakes. These loads are irregular and partially random, and are therefore either given as irregular time series, or described by load spectra. For linear systems this leads to a beautiful theory: the input loading is decomposed into a number of frequency components, the system response is characterized by the reaction of the system to each of these single frequencies, and the total response is simply the sum of the responses to each single frequency component. The relationship between load and response with respect to frequency is known as a "transfer function", and this approach is also known as the "frequency domain method". From the response spectrum that one obtains one can calculate probabilities for the size or maximum of the response, the number of cycles, and the size of peaks.

Learning outcome

Knowledge The candidate should have knowledge of: - Dynamic equilibrium for mechanical systems. - The equations of motion for single-degree-of-freedom mechanical systems. - The concept of eigenfrequencies and assumed modes. - Harmonic motion. - Dynamic amplification and phase relationships in forced vibrations. - Transfer functions and impulse-response function for dynamic systems. - The concept of a random variable and its distribution. - Stochastic processes. - Gaussian, Rayleigh and Poisson statistical distributions and their properties. - Definition and interpretation of covariance, autocorrelation, and the spectrum. - Special classes of stochastic processes and their properties: Gaussian, narrow-banded, and white noise processes. - The concept of level crossing rate. - Peak formulas for narrow-banded and Gaussian processes. - Standard functions in MATLAB for mathematics, statistics, integration of differential equations, and plotting. Skills The candidate should be able to: - Establish the dynamic equilibrium equations for systems with a few degrees of freedom. - Use complex numbers in the formulation of the equations of motions. - Calculate the response of a system from a given deterministic load. - Determine the mean and variance as well as the response spectrum of a system subjected to stochastic irregular loads. - Create synthetic time series of environmental loads. - Compute and interpret a spectrum for a given time series. - Conduct statistical analysis of combined stochastic processes. - Calculate up-crossing frequencies for the response process. General competence The candidate has: - Basic understanding of the theory and practice of both deterministic and random vibrations. - The ability to model mechanical or structural systems with differential equations, using the equations of dynamic equilibrium and the principle of virtual work. - Detailed understanding of the dynamics associated with single degree of freedom mechanical systems. - The ability to use MATLAB for analyzing and visualizing the behavior of mechanical systems. - A sound basis for further studies in structural dynamics, stochastic dynamics, and response modelling.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and exercises. The subject is taught in English. Active participation and problem solving is important. Exercises will be given weekly and discussed in class after the deadline. Python will be used for teaching (demonstrations). A tutorial on the use of Python will be given for first time users. Knowledge of Python is not expected in the exam.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

If there is a re-sit examination, the form of the examination may be changed from written to oral.

Course materials

Lecture notes: Dynamic response to irregular loadings (available online). A few additional papers and materials distributed via Blackboard. Recommended additional study materials: S.G. Kelly: Mechanical vibrations - Theory and applications. D.E. Newland: An introduction to random vibrations, spectral & wavelet analysis

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIB7075 7.5
TMR4235 6.7 AUTUMN 2013
More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Marine Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Marine Technology
  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD School exam 100/100 C 2023-12-15 09:00 PAPIR
Room Building Number of candidates
Storhall del 2 Idrettssenteret (Dragvoll) 16
Summer UTS School exam 100/100 C PAPIR
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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