Fundamentals of Structural Dynamics


1-day course

CPD Credit: 6.5 hours, C1

Course Overview

This course will provide an introduction to structural dynamics. The purpose of this course is to introduce the concepts and methods of structural dynamics to practicing engineers. Modern structures are increasingly slender. Their increased flexibility and therefore reduced stiffness mean that these structures are more affected by the dynamic response. This has an impact on structural safety, fatigue damage and ultimately failure.

Structural dynamics is a very large topic. In this introductory course, the focus is on structural behaviour under dynamic loading and vibration control/damping.

Course Objectives

After successful completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Model structures as a single degree of freedom systems (SDOFs).
  • Determine the damped and undamped free vibration response of SDOFs.
  • Determine the response of SDOFs to harmonic, nonperiodic, impulse and general loading.
  • Model structures as multi-degree of freedom systems (MDOFs).
  • Determine natural frequencies and mode shapes for MDOFs.
  • Understand vibration control techniques for civil engineering structures.

Course Programme

Morning session

  • Modelling structures as SDOFs
  • Free vibration response of SDOFs
  • Dynamic loading of SDOFs (harmonic/nonperiodic/impulsive/general)

Afternoon session

  • Modelling structures as MDOFs
  • Natural frequencies and mode shapes of MDOFs
  • Vibration control of civil engineering structures.

Who Should Attend?

Consulting engineers with an interest in the dynamics of structures. Basic knowledge of structural engineering is required.

Trainer’s Profile

Prof. Breiffni Fitzgerald BA BAI PhD CEng MIEI

Asst. Professor, Trinity College Dublin

Breiffni is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) since 2016. During 2015-2016, Breiffni was a Lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). He received his Doctorate in Structural Engineering at TCD in 2013 on the topic of structural dynamics of wind turbines. Breiffni’s research interests lie in the areas of structural dynamics and health/condition monitoring of civil engineering structures in particular wind turbines. Breiffni has published over 20 international peer-reviewed technical articles and he has co-organized several international conferences and scientific workshops. Breiffni has also worked in the industry throughout his career managing a large range of projects, primarily related to wind engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Engineers of Ireland and was nominated for ‘Chartered Engineer of the Year’ in 2017.


  • John McGowan, Tualatin Ltd.: "Enjoyed the day; informative. Interesting update on the state of structural dynamics”
  • Mike Boyce, Mike Boyce Consulting Engineers: “Problems and worked examples well explained”
  • “Very good”
  • “Well presented. Worked examples were useful and were the practical examples of existing structures.”

Please contact the Team for further information on scheduled course dates and In-Company options. You can reach us by phone: 01 665 1305 or email