Goal:  This is an introductory course to the advanced study of mechanical systems.

Text: List primary texts or reading materials.

Applied Mechanics Dynamics, Housner & Hudson 1950.

List of secondary or supporting references and reading material (if applicable)

Prerequisites: Prerequisites will be strictly enforced

  • Advanced Math II (10.004)
  • Physics I (10.002)
  • Systems and Control (30.101)

Course Description:  This course, particularly relevant for Mechanical, Aerospace and Robotics engineers, focuses on the dynamics of mechanical systems. The topics studied include: kinematics, force-momentum formulation for systems of particles and rigid bodies, work-energy concepts, virtual displacements and virtual work, Lagrange’s equations for systems of particles and rigid bodies, linearization of equations of motion, linear stability analysis, free and forced vibration of linear multi-degree of freedom models of mechanical systems, and the dynamics of artificial and natural celestial bodies. Emphasis is dedicated to the connection of these topics to realistic engineering problems thanks to “hands-on” and numerical design projects.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Using Newton’s law and Lagrange equations, describe and predict the motion experienced by particles, and systems of particles, for a given set of forces and torques in moving reference frames.
  2. Describe and predict the motion of two-dimensional and three-dimensional rigid bodies.
  3. Use linear theory to describe the behavior of harmonic oscillators.
  4. Describe the motion of objects of natural and artificial celestial bodies.
  5. Model, simulate and probe dynamical systems.

Measurable Outcomes: 

  1. Select and use an appropriate coordinate system to describe particle, and system of particles, motion, including intermediate reference frames, which can be in relative motion (including rotation) with respect to each other.
  2. Describe the kinematics and dynamics of two- and three-dimensional rigid bodies in translation and rotational motion.
  3. Identify and exploit situations in which integrated forms of the equations of motion, yielding conservation of momentum and/or energy, can be used.
  4. Model and analyze simple problems involving vibration with and without damping, including calculation of stability and of the response to forcing.
  5. Develop governing equations of dynamic systems using Lagrange’s equations.
  6. Model, simulate, probe, analyze and re-design composite mechanical systems.

Pedagogy: Lessons will be conducted in an open environment in which lectures, practicals, labs, demonstrations and problem solving will be naturally blend together. Students will learn by doing and by discussing with each other and with the instructors.

Attendance:  Attendance is compulsory. Missing classes will affect the final grade.

Grading:  Provide clear breakdown of grading categories and percentages for the course.  Consider SUTD’s and EPD’s pedagogical philosophies and approaches, such as 4D Design, active learning, and minimizing straight, passive lectures, as well as SUTD’s mission, vision, and core values.

  • max( .2 * Midterm Exam Points(in %) + .3 * (Oral+Final Exam Points(in%) ,  .5 * (Oral+Final Exam Points(in%) ) → This means that the total mark from the exams covers 50% of the final grade. This is derived solely from the oral and final exams or from a weighted average of the midterm plus oral and final exams.
  • xD project 30%
  • Attendance and Participation 8%
  • Homework 12%

Projects: If projects and project-based learning are part of the course, include a description of how the projects will be managed and the grading approach.

All assignments must be turned in on time. Assignments will not be accepted/graded after the due date/time. Do not attempt to hand-in late assignments, unless you have prior approval of the faculty.

Exam(s): Mid-term test on week 8 (2 hours long), an oral examination will be done on week 13 (at most 30 mins long) and Final exam on week 14 (2.5 hours long).

Final Exam: A final exam will be done (see above).

Learning Catalytics: Learning Catalytics and other methods will be used to interact with the students during the class.

SUTD Assistance: SUTD provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. Please contact the Office of Student Life and the faculty to discuss and plan for the term.



This course will endow the students with strong and useful basis for Introduction to Robotics, Andvanced Feedback and Control, Design and Fabrication of Microelectromechanical systems and more.


This course contributes to the following Program Outcomes and SLOs for EPD


  1. Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering fundamentals and an engineering specialisation to the solution of complex engineering problems.

    1.1 Demonstrate knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering fundamentals, and engineering specialisation subjects included in the core curriculum

    1.2 Identify complex engineering problems and the requirements for their solution.

    1.3 Able to employ general principles, theories, concepts, and/or formulas from mathematics, science, and engineering in solving complex engineering problems

  2. Identify, formulate, research literature and analyse complex engineering problems reaching substantiated conclusions using first principles of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering sciences.

    2.1 Able to examine approaches to solving a complex engineering problem in order to choose the more effective approach

    2.2 Able to recognise and define complex engineering problems

    2.4 Able to draw substantiated conclusions from analysing complex engineering problems

    2.5 Able to apply first principles of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering sciences in analysing complex engineering problems.

  3. Design solutions for complex engineering problems and design systems, components or processes that meet specified needs with appropriate consideration for public health and safety, cultural, societal, and environmental considerations.

    3.3 Design solutions for complex engineering problems and design systems, components or processes

  4.  Conduct investigations of complex problems using research-based knowledge and research methods including design of experiments, analysis and interpretation of data, and synthesis of information to provide valid conclusions.

    4.1 Use appropriate tools to analyze data and verify and validate experimental results including the use of statistics to account for possible experimental error

    4.2 Adhere to good laboratory practices and operate instrumentation properly and safely

    4.3 Capable of conducting investigation using research-based knowledge and research methods

    4.4 Able to synthesise information from conducting complex problem investigation

  5.  Create, select and apply appropriate techniques, resources, and modern engineering and IT tools, including prediction and modelling, to complex engineering activities, with an understanding of the limitations.

    5.1 Demonstrate ability to use modern engineering and IT tools to solve complex engineering problems.

    5.2 Ability to solve complex engineering problems with consideration on constraints and limitations of techniques, resources, and tools employed.

    5.3 Able to carry out prediction and modelling using appropriate tools in solving complex engineering problems

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