Short Courses

Structural Vibration Analysis: Design and Troubleshooting

Learn global best practice methods for reducing excessive vibrations and understand the limitations on these techniques and when to use each method.

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Learn global best practice methods for reducing excessive vibrations and understand the limitations on these techniques and when to use each method.

When wind, water, vehicles or earthquakes affect a structure such as a building or tower, the vibrations have the potential to make that structure unsafe. Excessive vibrations can lead to metal fatigue, poor operation of equipment within or on the structure, and even failure of the structure entirely.

This three-day course demonstrates a variety of methods for reducing excessive vibrations and places an emphasis on rotating equipment and foundations, earthquake analysis, blast loads, vibration isolation, structure-fluid systems and flow-induced vibrations.

After completing the course you’ll have a better understanding of assumptions and limitations of various analysis techniques and guidelines on when to use which method; natural frequencies of simple and complex structures; structural response to dynamic loads and base excitations.

You’ll also be able to design vibration absorbers, vibration isolators and foundations for rotating equipment, as well as troubleshoot and modify existing structures to reduce unacceptable levels of vibration.

You’ll receive a comprehensive set of notes and a textbook as reference materials.

This course is run exclusively by The American Society of Civil Engineers with Engineering Education Australia.

EA members

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21 Hours

We can customise this course for groups of six or more.

You choose the time, place, duration and format.

Find out how we can help you and your team by clicking on the button below to request a quote or calling us directly on +61 3 9321 1700.

Face to Face
Online - Live
Online - On Demand
Is this course for you?

Is this course for you?

You'll benefit from this course if you’re an engineer or an engineering supervisor responsible for designing or qualifying structures and structural components subjected to dynamic forces.

It will also be highly useful if you’re involved in auditing, reviewing or approving vibration analysis tasks, no matter your level of experience.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Topics we'll cover

Topics we'll cover

Day one

Structural vibration fundamentals

  • Free vibration and forced vibration
  • Analysis models for structural dynamic systems
  • Types of damping
  • Types of dynamic forces
  • Representation of dynamic forces in the time and frequency domains

Analysis techniques

  • One degree of freedom systems, natural frequency and critical damping, harmonic forces and the concept of resonance, transient forces, dynamic amplification factor, forces transmitted to foundations, base excitation, response spectra.
  • Multiple degrees of freedom systems, natural frequencies and mode shapes, direct time history analysis, modal time, history analysis, response spectrum analysis.

Day two

Practical aspects of finite element modeling and analysis of vibration problems

This is not a course on finite element analysis, instead this course concentrates on the special aspects of modeling and analysing complex structures for vibration analysis. Advantages and disadvantages of different methods of analysis such as coupled and decoupled analysis, and time domain analysis and frequency domain analysis are discussed with guidelines on which methods are best suited for what types of problems. Guidelines for mesh size, cut-off frequency and time-steps are also presented.

Modal testing

  • Test procedure
  • Interpretation of test data
  • Determination of natural frequencies
  • Mode shapes and damping

Synthesis of analysis and test results

  • Test-analysis correlation
  • Fine-tuning finite element models using test data

Structural response to earthquakes

Representation of base excitation

  • Time-history analysis
  • Response spectrum analysis

Structural response to blast loads

  • Blast load computation
  • Dynamic response analysis

Floor vibration due to machinery and human activities

Rotating machinery vibrations

Soil stiffness

  • Soil damping and foundation design for rotating machines

Day three

Vibration absorbers

  • Basic concepts, types of absorbers and design procedure

Vibration isolators

  • Basic concepts, types of isolators and design procedure

Designing for dynamic forces

  • Design aspects are discussed throughout the course. The different strategies of reducing vibration are summarised and relative merits discussed with practical examples.

Special topics

  • Basic concepts and overview of the following special topics are presented:
    fluid-structure systems, flow induced vibrations.

Numerical examples

  • Twenty detailed, step-by-step worked out examples of analysis and design are presented at appropriate places throughout the course.

Case studies

  • Five case histories are presented to demonstrate how the various concepts and methods presented in the course are applied in complex vibration projects. These projects are solved as group exercise to get participants working on complex projects with guidance from instructor.
C. Raj Sundararajan
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