AE 6230: Structural Dynamics

School of Aerospace Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology

Prof. Dewey H. Hodges

Office: 200-C Weber

Phone: 4-8201


Time and place: The class hours are 3:05 – 4:25 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays. The place is Skiles, Room 256.

Text: Principles and Techniques of Vibrations by Leonard Meirovitch, Prentice Hall, 1997.

Recommended for additional reading: Fundamentals of Structural Dynamics (2nd edition) by Craig and Kurdila, Wiley, 2006, and Introduction to Structural Dynamics and Aeroelasticity, 2nd Edition (Chapters 2 and 3), by Hodges and Pierce, Cambridge University Press, 2011. I recommend that you become familiar with MatLab™ or Mathematica™ to facilitate solutions of homework problems.

Lectures: In the lectures I will cover the foundations of structural dynamics. I will follow the syllabus as closely as possible. Because of time, some material may only be outlined in class. Although questions may be raised in class for clarification, students are encouraged to seek out answers for their questions in the assigned reading and in other texts on the subject. This is especially true of material that is a review of undergraduate-level courses in mechanical vibration. Lectures will not necessarily parallel reading assignments; they may be complementary in some cases. I urge all to please feel free to ask questions in class. Generally speaking, everyone benefits from this practice. I will attempt to be available for short questions just before and just after class. Please reserve questions that require lengthy answers to class time or office hours (see below).

Reading Assignments: The reading assignments will not necessarily cover the same information as the indicated lecture topic of the day. Some material I will expect you to learn from reading only; and, conversely, some lecture material you will not find in the text. You should view the lectures and reading as complementary sources of information, both of which will be covered on the quizzes and the final exam.

Examinations: There will be two exams during the semester, counting 25% each, and a final examination that counts 35%. Should you miss class on a quiz day, a makeup quiz will only be given if you have a doctor’s note saying that you are too sick to attend class or if you have a death in your immediate family. In the latter case, please notify me before the quiz. You may either send me e-mail or you may phone my office any time of day or night, leaving a message by my voice mail if I’m not in.

Homework: There will be homework problems assigned (averaging about six per week). These will be collected weekly and graded by Mr. Mohit Gupta <>. They will count 15% of the grade. Collaboration in groups of two is permitted on homework, but not on anything else. Should I decide to give a take-home test, understand that this would not be considered as homework! A complete and correct set of homework can be turned in on or before final exam day to boost one’s grade by 3%. (Note that this would only help someone who is on the borderline between two letter grades. On this extra 3%, no partial credit will be given. Don’t ask!)

Office Hours: My office hours are Wednesdays, 2:30-4:00 p.m., and Fridays, 9:15-10:45 a.m. Mr. Gupta’s office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m., in his office (Weber 213). 

Lectures, reading, and problems

Supplemental Notes

Periodically excited motion example from class

Membrane and Plate Problems

Rayleigh-Ritz and Galerkin methods

Ritz method for dynamic response

Paper on generalized proportional damping

Paper on the high-frequency spectrum of Timoshenko beam theory

Paper on improved approximations by Rayleigh quotient

Updated 8/24/2015