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ZUG3038 – Machine Dynamics for Engineering Systems

Undergraduate – Module

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this module is offered.


Business, Engineering and Technology


South Africa
On-campus block of classes

  • Semester 2, 2020 (Mainstream Programme)
  • Semester 2, 2021 (Extended Programme)

12 credits, NQF Level 7


The module provides an explanation to the dynamic behaviour of standard mechanical engineering systems and components. It covers diverse systems such as engine balancing, kinematic analysis of gear trains and energy storage in flywheels. It also provides an understanding of computational analysis and synthesis in systems of kinematic motion. It introduces Matlab as a computational program that is suitable for solving kinematic problems.


On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

1Understand the kinematics and efficiency of gear trains
2Determine requirements for balancing of rotating and reciprocating machinery
3Comprehend the working of various moving parts of an engine
4Perform calculations of energy and speed fluctuations in flywheels
5Understand the Matlab programming language
6Apply computational techniques in dynamic analysis of mechanical systems
7Determine the precession of gyroscopic motion


Coursework assessment: 35%
Examination: 65%

Workload requirements

The analysis of the underlying factors in the motion of commonly available and standard mechanical systems and components assists in the understanding of their dynamic behaviour when operating as part of integrated complex systems that can also be solved by means of computational methods.There will be a combination of lectures, that will include interactive elements. Assignment will require programming in Matlab. All outcomes will be assessed by means assignments, class tests and a final examination.

Chief examiner(s)





Basic Concepts in Structural and Machine Design, Differential and Integral Calculus


Advanced Design Concepts of Machine Systems