Structural Dynamics and Modelling

Subject CVEN90018 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours, comprising of three hours of lectures and one 1-hour workshop per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


Admission to Master of Engineering



Recommended Background Knowledge:

Learning will be assisted by knowledge gained in the following subject:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Nelson Lam


Associate Professor Nelsom Lam

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the fundamental concepts of structural dynamics and finite element modelling and teaches students the basic skills of undertaking structural analysis in a practical engineering context. Topics covered include: introduction to finite element formulations for in-plane (membrane) stress analysis, use of finite element modelling packages; the response analyses of single-degree-of-freedom systems, discrete multi-degree-of-freedom systems and distributed mass (continuous) systems in conditions of natural vibrations and forced excitations; numerical time-step integration techniques; excitation simulation techniques, simultaneous equation solution and reduction techniques; frequency domain analyses and processing of time-series data. Skills acquired from the various topics outlined above will be integrated and applied to a number of case studies


On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Implement the modelling of the response of single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems to pulse and harmonic excitations
  • Describe and apply the concepts of viscous damping, hysteretic damping, coulomb damping (by friction) and equivalent damping
  • Implement time domain simulations of time histories of elastic responses
  • Implement the modelling of the response of discrete lumped mass multi-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems involving the use of the participation factor, effective modal mass and modal coefficients based on the principles of modal superposition
  • Implement the Rayleigh method in the dynamic analysis of structural systems with distributed mass
  • Obtain classical solutions for the dynamic response behaviour of single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems based on harmonic excitations and common idealised forms of transient excitations
  • Implement on spreadsheets time-step integration procedures for analysing the response of SDOF systems to a range of transient excitations including earthquake excitations, and collation of the response output to produce elastic response spectra of different formats
  • Implement the synthesis of excitation time series including artificial accelerograms using existing software and seismological models, taking into account filtering effects of the soil medium and secondary linear systems
  • Implement on spreadsheets the response analyses of simple discrete MDOF systems using principles of modal superposition
  • Use finite element modelling packages to perform static and dynamic response analysis to a variety of dynamic loading options
  • Transform data from time-domain to frequency domain in the form of Fourier Amplitude/Phase spectra and Power spectra, and apply linear transformation
  • One 3 hour examination, end of semester (70%)
  • Two 1000 word assignments, due in week 8 and late semester (30%)
Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

Anil K. Chopra 2007 Dynamic of Structures: Theory and Applications to Earthquake Engineering Pearson/Prentice Hall

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance
  • Proficiency in engineering design
  • Ability to conduct an engineering project
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities, and commitment to them
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development
Related Course(s): Master of Engineering Structures
Master of Engineering Structures
Master of Philosophy - Engineering
Ph.D.- Engineering
Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Master of Engineering (Civil)
Master of Engineering (Structural)

Download PDF version.