Course Description

University of California, Davis
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Introduction to Mechanical Vibrations - ENG 122
Fall 2017, Lecture: MW 4:10-6:00PM
CRN: 41697

Mechanical structures and systems are susceptible to vibrations, i.e. periodic changes in the physical state. Vibrations can both be a hindrance and a benefit to machines. In this course, we will learn how one can predict vibrations and interpret both simulated and measured vibrations using analytical and computational means. We will cover topics ranging from free and forced vibrations in lumped-parameter systems with and without damping, vibrations in coupled systems, electromechanical analogs, and use of energy conservation principles.

Catalog Description

Lecture—4 hours. Prerequisite: C- or better in Engineering 102; C- or better in Engineering 6 or course 5 or Computer Science Engineering 30; ability to program in MATLAB. Free and forced vibrations in lumped-parameter systems with and without damping; vibrations in coupled systems; electromechanical analogs; use of energy conservation principles. GE credit: SciEng | QL, SE.—F. (F.)

Learning Objectives

There are three broad learning objectives that we focus on in the course:

  1. Students will be able to analyze vibrational measurement data to draw conclusions about the measured system's vibrational nature and describe how the system behaves with respect to vibration concepts.
  2. Students will be able to create simple mathematical and computational models of real vibrating systems that can be used to answer specific questions about the system by concisely demonstrating the vibrational phenomena.
  3. Students will be able to design a mechanical system that has desirable vibrational behavior.

Students that master these three core learning objectives will be well prepared to use mechanical vibration concepts, theories, and tools to solve engineering problems.


  • ENG 102
  • EME 5[*], ENG 6 or ECS 30
  • Ability to program in Matlab or similar language.
[*]Note that the course catalog incorrectly lists ENG 5 as an optional prerequisite. It should be EME 5.


Jason K. Moore
2095 Bainer Hall

Kenneth Lyons

Ben Margolis

Time and Location

The lecture/discussion meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:10-6:00 PM in Bainer Hall 1060.

If you have any conflicts with the schedule, especially for the exams, you must tell me in the first week of class (emergencies will be the only exception).

Office Hours

The Wednesday "office hours" will be in the design studio (Bainer 2071). Kenny or Jason will present materials on vibration analysis and Python skills regardless if you have questions or not. This is more like a discussion section, a work session, etc. If you do have questions we will answer them. Regardless, it is an extra 2 hours of instruction. I highly recommend that you come.

Jason's Office Hours
Bainer 2071 (MAE Design Studio)
Wednesday 1:10-2:00pm
Bainer 2095
Thursday 10:00-10:50am

Kenny's Office Hours
Bainer 2071 (MAE Design Studio)
Monday 10:00-10:50am

If it is impossible to make office hours, schedule an appointment with Jason by checking his work calendar and select a free time between 8:00 AM and 6:30 PM Monday-Thursday. Send him an email requesting an appointment at the suggested meeting times at least two days in advance. You can also email Kenny and request a meeting.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Please visit the Academic Integrity web page from UC Davis Office of Student Judicial Affairs to review the campus' policy on academic responsibility and integrity and read the UC Davis code of academic conduct.

Feel free to discuss homework assignments and work on them together, but each student must turn in a unique solution. Keep in mind that actually doing all of the homework yourself is critical for learning and passing the course.


In the past, I have used the following book as the official and required textbook:

Engineering Vibration, Daniel J. Inman, 4th Edition, Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-13-287169-3 [Book Information]

This year, the textbook is optional and will only be a reference. We will not be following it in any particular way. We will provide you with free online resources and other materials for reading. Note that many students have found the above book in paperback for ~$25 via non-standard channels.

Assignments & Grades

Grades will be available in the grade book periodically throughout the course along with class statistics. Check the website on a regular basis to gauge your performance. Keep in mind that 15% is deducted per business day late on all assignments.

Classwork 10%
Homeworks 1-5 12.5%
Homeworks 6-8 17.5%
Midterm 20%
Project Report 30%
Project Presentation 10%
There will be in class quizzes and computational exercises. These will be sometimes be graded for participation and sometimes for correctness. You may have to finish the activities we started in class outside of class and submit with your homework that week.
Weekly homework will be assigned which will be due before class the following week. You will submit these through
You will have to complete a two hour in class exam.
You will be assigned an individual design project that will be due just before the final exam start time. You will submit a report and give a 5 minute lightning talk during the scheduled exam period.


We will make use of Canvas for the course. Log in to with your Kerberos ID and passphrase then select ENG 122 001 FQ 2017.

We will be using several features in canvas:

This will be my primary communication avenue to you. These announcements will be forwarded automatically to your UCD email address. You are expected to read these either through your email program or on the Canvas website.
The electronic assignments will be distributed and collected here.
Your grades and basic stats on your relative performance will be available as the course goes along.
Copyrighted and private files, documents, and other resources will be available here for download. The rest will be available for download on this website.



Personal electronic correspondence from the instructors will be made to your UCD email address. It is your responsibility to check this regularly.

Electronic announcements from the instructors to the whole class will be made through Canvas. By default, Canvas will automatically send the announcement to your UCD email address. You can change your Canvas settings to opt out, send it them to a different email, or as an SMS. You are responsible for reading the announcements made via canvas.

When contacting the instructors via email you should default to submitting it via Piazza (see next section) unless the question is a private matter.


Piazza should be used for all questions about the class, homework, theory, projects, etc that is not of a private nature. Piazza allows both the instructors and students to collectively answer questions for the whole classes benefit. The instructors can also endorse the student answer if it is correct. The top student askers and answerers, to be judged by the instructors, will be rewarded with bonus points to their final grade.

The Piazza forum can be reached here: