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RWTH Aachen University

Machine Dynamics with MATLAB

RWTH Aachen University via edX


This course will introduce you to a broad range of methodologies used in the field of machine dynamics. You will learn how to model a vehicle using the fundamentals of mechanics. You will get a deep understanding of the equations of motion and how to solve them using powerful MathWorks tools. Eventually, you will gain the ability to analyze and interpret the computational results in order to optimize your design.

To get the most out of your time the course is subdivided into five weeks, each consists of lectures, tutorials and exercises. During lectures, you will get all the theoretical background of machine dynamics. Tutorials will teach you the basics of MathWorks products and exercises will merge your theoretical knowledge with the practical use of the software into an exciting application.

You will learn how to model a vehicle by a one and a two degree of freedom system. These systems could be base excited, force excited or not excited, they could be damped or undamped and their mathematical representation could be solved analytically, by state space representation or by solving the differential equation itself.

Therefore, if you ever wondered how to design a vehicle suspension using MathWorks tools, we highly recommend you attend to this course.


Week1: Basics of oscillation
Definition of important parameters of an oscillation. Introduction to the methods of
modelling and discussion about modelling depth. Derivation of an equation of motion of a
translational one degree of freedom system.

Week2: Discrete systems with one degree of freedom and its eigen behavior
Analytical solution of an equation of motion and animation of the results. Analysis of
three typical cases of eigen behavior. Introduction to state space representation and
numerical solution of an equation of motion. Getting started with Simulink.

Week3: Discrete systems with one degree of freedom with forced excitation
Description of different types of excitation. Derivation and solution of an equation of
motion with frequency dependent force excitation and frequency independent force
excitation, respectively. Extension of the model to base excitation and explanation and
development of effective vibration insulation.

Week4: Discrete systems with multiple degrees of freedom and its eigen behavior
Derivation of a system of equations of motion which describes vertical dynamics and
pitch motion. Analytical solution of this system and discussion of the homogeneous
solution. Analyzes of three typical cases of motion.

Week5: Discrete systems with multiple degrees of freedom and its eigen behavior
and with forced excitation
Transfer of equations into state space representation and into a Simulink model.
Application of frequency independent and frequency dependent force excitation to the
system of equations of motion. Adaption of the model to base excitation. Development of
a vibration absorber.

Week6: Discrete systems with multiple degrees of freedom with forced excitation
Adaption of the model to base

Taught by

Burkhard Corves and Martin Lankers


4.7 rating, based on 6 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Machine Dynamics with MATLAB

  • Very interesting as it provides two learning paths: one for the design of automobile suspension systems and the other path to powerful MATLAB computing and programming language.
    I recommend to everyone seeking to enhance their skills in model based system design using MATLAB.
  • Profile image for Abhishek Sharma
    Abhishek Sharma
    A well organized and a beautifully taught course.
    Links provided to learn MATLAB was also very helpful with the tutorial within the course.
  • Profile image for Abdelrahman Tarek Darwish
    Abdelrahman Tarek Darwish
    Great course, really takes you from A to Z when it comes to modeling and programming with Matlab. But it's not recommended for those without zero experience in mechanics and programming.

    I would also like to note that the course content is big, it would consume a lot of time and energy, not suitable for those with an already too busy schedule.

    The MATLAB programming tutorials are more than enough, but I found the tutorials concerning animation to be too difficult and containing a lot of information to digest at once. I would recommend the course staff to try to break this part down to make it easier or to find another way to simplify it.
  • Bearzeze
    One of the best course on the internet for the ones who are seeking interweaving between Mechanics, Computer Science and real world problems.
  • Anonymous
    This is amazing course. I love it, actually I found a lot of useful information how to design dynamic machine by using math analysis.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course for people who want to learn MATLAB. Course is very well structured and it can be done with a moderate pace.

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