Course Description

Course Objectives

Modern Simulation or Computer Aided Design tools are fast becoming an essential component of engineering practice today. this course aims at providing the student with an in-depth exposure to one area of mechanical engineering, namely, the design of dynamical systems, where simulation is very actively used in the industry and for which we have acquired some state-of-the-art CAD tools in the college. the primary emphasis is two-fold:

  • to formulate the equations governing the kinematics and dynamics of multibody systems and to solve and visualize them using Mathematica for relatively simple machines such as, for example, a camera-film advance mechanism and some hand held tools, and

  • use the software tool Working Model to model and desin much more complex systems such as landing gear assembly and an automobile suspension. It is also possible that the course will include coverage of other related CAD tools that we may acquire shortly.


This will be a lab and project oriented course where the students will complete a series of computational labs and then use these skills in a significant design project towards the end of the semester.

The topics to be presented relate to multibody kinematics and dynamics, and design optimization and are as follows:

  • Review of kinematics and dynamics of a rigid body.

  • Various formulations for multibody kinematics and dynamics.

  • Solution and visualization of equations of motion using Mathematica including systems such as gears and cams.

  • Introduction to design sensitivity analysis.

  • Case studies in using sensitivity analysis with an optimization solver.

  • Projects with Working Model software.

For those students who are not familiar with Mathematica, we will provide some additional review material and tutorial lectures.



all MATH and all MECE 3xxx courses & Design II, III.



(1) " Computer - Aided Analysis of Mechanical Systems " by Parviz E. Nikravesh

This is a course pack, available at the University Copy Center.

(2) "Design of Machinery" by Robert L. Norton

McGraw Hill 1999 ISBN 0-07-048395-7



Homeworks and assignments only. Some will involve computer work.