This straightforward text, primer and reference introduces the theoretical, testing and control aspects of structural dynamics and vibration, as practised in industry today. Written by an expert engineer of over 40 years experience, the book comprehensively opens up the dynamic behavior of structures and provides engineers and students with a comprehensive practice based understanding of the key aspects of this key engineering topic. Key features Worked example based makes it a thoroughly practical resource Aimed at those studying to enter, and already working in industry; Presents an applied practice and testing based approach while remaining grounded in the theory of the topic Makes the topic as easy to read as possible, omitting no steps in the development of the subject; Includes the use of computer based modelling techniques and finite elements Covers theory, modelling testing and control in practice Written with the needs of engineers of a wide range of backgrounds in mind, this book will be a key resource for those studying structural dynamics and vibration at undergraduate level for the first time in aeronautical, mechanical, civil and automotive engineering. It will be ideal for laboratory classes and as a primer for readers returning to the subject, or coming to it fresh at graduate level. It is a guide for students to keep and for practicing engineers to refer to: its worked example approach ensures that engineers will turn to Thorby for advice in many engineering situations.

Key Features

1. Presents students and practitioners in all branches of engineering with a unique structural dynamics resource and primer, covering practical approaches to vibration engineering while remaining grounded in the theory of the topic 2. Written by a leading industry expert, with a worked example lead approach for clarity and ease of understanding 3. Makes the topic as easy to read as possible, omitting no steps in the development of the subject; covers computer based techniques and finite elements


Reference text/supplementary text for senior undergraduate and graduate students of aeronautical engineering plus mechanical, civil and related engineering disciplines; Graduates starting structural dynamics work

Table of Contents




Chapter 1: Basic Concepts

1.1 Statics, dynamics and structural dynamics

1.2 Coordinates, displacement, velocity and acceleration

1.3 Simple harmonic motion

1.4 Mass, stiffness and damping

1.5 Energy methods in structural dynamics

1.6 Linear and non-linear systems

1.7 Systems of units

Chapter 2: The Linear Single Degree of Freedom System: Classical Methods

2.1 Setting up the differential equation of motion

2.2 Free response of single-DOF systems by direct solution of the equation of motion

2.3 Forced response of the system by direct solution of the equation of motion

Chapter 3: The Linear Single Degree of Freedom System: Response in the Time Domain

3.1 Exact analytical methods

3.2 ‘Semi-analytical’ methods

3.3 Step-by-step numerical methods using approximate derivatives

3.4 Dynamic factors

3.5 Response spectra

Chapter 4: The Linear Single Degree of Freedom System: Response in the Frequency Domain

4.1 Response of a single degree of freedom system with applied force

4.2 Single-DOF system excited by base motion

4.3 Force transmissibility

4.4 Excitation by a rotating unbalance

Chapter 5: Damping

5.1 Viscous and hysteretic damping models

5.2 Damping as an energy loss

5.3 Tests on damping materials

5.4 Quantifying linear damping

5.5 Heat dissipated by damping

5.6 Non-linear damping

5.7 Equivalent linear dampers

5.8 Variation of damping and natural frequency in structures with amplitude and time

Chapter 6: Introduction to Multi-degree-of-freedom Systems

6.1 Setting up the equations of motion for simple, undamped, multi-DOF systems

6.2 Matrix methods for multi-DOF systems

6.3 Undamped normal modes

6.4 Damping in mu


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© 2007
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About the author

Douglas Thorby

Retired Aeronautical engineer, ex-senior dynamics engineer at British Aerospace. The author has 40 years of experience of structural dynamics and vibration in the British and American aerospace industries (structural dynamicist for the US Harrier; T45 US Navy Hawk trainer; Lockheed-Martin JSF). This included five years as the UK representative on the Structures and Materials Panel of NATO’s Advisory Group for Aerospace Research & Development (AGARD).