Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 390: Introduction to Dynamic Systems

Quarter Offered

Fall : MTWF 10:00-10:50am ; E. Colgate


GEN ENG 205-4


picModeling the dynamic behavior of physical systems. Concepts of causality, dependent and independent storages, and state. Introduction to bond graphs. Generation of state equations; analytical and computer simulation of system behavior. Application to problems of engineering interest.

Who Takes It

Juniors and seniors in mechanical engineering take this course. Many first year graduate students in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering also take it. Many students take ME 390 to become familiar with dynamic analysis.

What It's About

Many engineering components can be described in terms of energy. Resistors and dashpots dissipate energy. Springs, masses, capacitors, and inductors store energy but do not generate it or dissipate it. Still other components such as gears, levers and motors convert energy from one form to another. In this course you will learn how complex engineering systems can be described in terms of small number of basic energetic components. ME 390 considers especially the dynamic behavior of engineering systems, including descriptors such as time constants, natural frequency and damping ratio, and frequency response.


  • pic2Models, dynamics, simulation
  • Bond graphing
  • Energy storages, energy sources
  • Laplace transforms
  • First and second order response
  • Bode plots


System Dynamics, 3rd edition, Karnopp, Margolis, Rosenberg (Wiley, 2000)