72801 - Structural Dynamics M

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Alessandro Marzani (Modulo 1) Antonio Palermo (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Civil Engineering (cod. 0930)

Learning outcomes

The course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental laws of dynamics and to the use of tools for the analysis of the dynamic behavior of structures.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior knowledge and understanding of the staitc behaviour of structures is required to attend with profit this course. Students should master the concepts of force and stiffnes and how they correlate in the static response of loaded structures.

All lectures and tutorials are in Italian. Office hours can be offered in Italian or English based on the student's request.

Course Contents

  • Discrete single-degree of freedom systems: free oscillations, harmonic excitation, periodic excitation (Fourier series), arbitrary loading (Duhamel's integral, Fourier transform, and response spectrum analysis).
  • Direct time integration schemes.
  • Discrete multi-degree of freedom systems: free vibration, harmonic analysis, modal analysis, response spectrum analysis and direct integration.
  • Non-linear dynamics: elasto-plastic single degree of freedom, direct integration and response spectrum analysis.
  • Reduction/isolation from vibrations.
  • Continuous systems: axial and flexural vibrations of beams.
  • Experimental dynamics.
  • Propagation of mechanical waves in continuous and discrete systems.


  • Class notes (available on the web site https://iol.unibo.it/ ).
  • Viola E., Fondamenti di dinamica e vibrazione delle strutture, Pitagora Editrice, Bologna, 2001, Voll.1-2.
  • Viola E., Analisi matriciale delle strutture, Pitagora Editrice, Bologna, 1996.
  • Chopra A.K., Dynamics of structures, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2001.

Teaching methods

The course content will be entirely covered by the lectures. The course includes some laboratory sessions, which will cover the practical aspects of the lectures. The instructors will supervise students during the laboratory activities.

Assessment methods

Achievements will be assessed by the means of a final written and oral exam, aimed at assessing the "expected learning outcomes" described above.

The written exam consists of 4 exercises to be solved in 3 hours.

The oral exam consists in 3 questions, often to be answered in written form, plus a discussion.

The written and oral tests are closed book exams.

During the oral exam the written output will be discussed. In particular, the instructor informs the student on the grading criteria, receives any student comments, supported by appropriate explanations, and eventually upgrade the score of the written test.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the subject, some ability for critical application, and a comprehensible use of technical language. Higher grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of the contents.

In case of failure students can take the next final exam.

Teaching tools

The teaching tools are overhead projector, projector and PC. The course includes some laboratory sessions in which structural analysis software is used.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Marzani

See the website of Antonio Palermo


Sustainable cities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.