Engineering Design and Product Reliability
© Robert Liebich
Rotor Dynamics

Learning content and outcomes

Learning content

This course teaches the fundamentals of rotor dynamics. The Laval rotor is used to illustrate the phenomena of rotor dynamics such as bending-critical speeds, unbalanced vibrations, gyroscopy, external and internal damping. Students then learn to model and analyze real rotors with calculation methods suitable for rotor dynamics such as the finite element and transfer matrix methods. In addition, the course covers various bearing arrangements such as rolling, sliding and magnetic bearings and special phenomena including rotor-stator contact, sudden imbalance excitation or shafts with cracks. Students complete calculation exercises on the various topics to further their understanding and apply the material.


Learning outcomes

Students completing the module possess knowledge in the following areas:

- Different types of rotors and their bearings from mechanical engineering and in particular from turbomachinery engineering

- Mechanical fundamentals for the analytical and numerical description of rotor dynamic behavior

Specialist skills:

- Applying engineering methods to rotor dynamic problems

- Implementing knowledge acquired to the dimensioning and design of rotating structures

- Building and simulating models


- Identifying rotor dynamic issues and describing these in mechanical replacement models

- Assessing rotor dynamic issues using their own or other models and simulations

- Analyzing rotor dynamic issues and selecting suitable solution measures

- Applying knowledge and skills to new problems in rotor dynamics

Participation scope and requirements


This is an integrated course (4 course hours per week). It encompasses a lecture (2 course hours per week) and a practical tutorial (2 course hours per week) and is only offered during the winter semester.

If you would like to take this module and complete it with an oral exam, please take note of the following requirements for the module exam registration:

- Successful completion of coursework

Registration for the current semester

Please use ISIS to register for the 2022/23 winter semester.

All further information about the semester will also be posted there.


If you have any questions about the course or scheduling, please contact:

Marian Sarrazin, M.Sc.

Please discuss any technical questions during the practical tutorial or office hours.

Exam dates


The module

Module components

The module consists of a lecture, where students learn theoretical principles, and a numerical and experimental practical tutorial, where they gain the necessary practical skills to analyze, dimension, and simulate rotor systems.

Certificate of performance

How long is my certificate of performance valid for?

The certificate of performance is required to register for the module exam. You must acquire it once. After this, it is valid indefinitely. It does not expire because it is not part of the module exam.

Examination registration

Are there any requirements for the examination registration?


Yes, you must have earned your certificate of performance. This is awarded following successful completion, documentation, and submission of all coursework as a group during the semester. You must earn at least 50% of the total points available to receive the certificate of performance.


When and how often are exams for Rotor Dynamics held?

As for all oral exams at our chair, there is an exam period after both the lecture and non-lecture periods. All oral exam dates will be published in the ISIS course of the current semester.

(You can also take the exam for Balancing Techniques on the exam dates for this module and vice versa.)


How do I register for the module exam?

Please register using the designated course in ISIS. You enroll in the course, complete the registration form, reserve a time, and upload your registration.