A consistent approach to problem solving in mechanical vibrations

Amir Hossein Danesh Yazdi, Yi Wu, Oladipo Onipede, Jr.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


A consistent approach to solving problems in an undergraduate vibrations course in Mechanical Engineering is presented in this paper. The traditional approach of solving vibration problems involves several steps such as classifying the system according to degrees of freedom, free or forced vibrations and with or without damping. Based on the classification, an appropriate solution technique is applied and the results are obtained. Since the mathematical solution technique is strictly tied to the classification, students have to learn and apply a variety of solution methods based on the particular form of the mathematical model. The course was literally more like a math course rather than an engineering course. By introducing students to the state-space solution method early in the course and using it as the main/dominant solution method, students can focus more on learning both the physical modeling and mathematical modeling of the vibration systems as well as interpreting results in the engineering context. Since state-space computational solvers are readily available to students (MATLAB, Mathcad, etc.) and they can be applied to solve most (but not all) vibration problems including free or forced SDOF, 2DOF, MDOF systems with or without damping, it allows for consistency when teaching students how to solve vibration problems. State-space solvers can solve for either the time or the frequency response and provides a graphical solution. The students can go from modeling to visually exploring and interpreting results. The students' response to this approach is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEngineering Education
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791852064
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
EventASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2018 - Pittsburgh, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2018Nov 15 2018

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


OtherASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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