Turbo Lab professor releases textbook on vibration theory

A ppalazzolo-headshotrofessor of mechanical engineering in the Turbomachinery Laboratory at Texas A&M University recently unveiled a new textbook which serves as a useful guide for students and practicing engineers.

Dr. Alan Palazzolo has released “Vibration Theory and Applications with Finite Elements and Active Vibration Control,” a textbook that has evolved out of his 31-year teaching career at Texas A&M and more than five years of industry experience at Bently Nevada Corp., Allis Chalmers, Southwest Research Institute and NASA Glenn and Marshall Spaceflight Centers.

The best aspect of the book, Palazzolo said, is the format in which the material is presented.

“It’s been successfully used in my graduate courses for 20 years,” he said. “It is written clearly and has practical applications which students can easily understand. It is both exciting and relieving to have compiled this book—more than 30 years of research—into one digestible package for both students and practicing engineers.”

The book features a companion website with updatable exercises with both MATLAB and MAPLE files for all examples and symbolic math code-based derivations in the text.  The first chapter provides background on the ubiquity and importance of vibrations, and the remainder of the book takes on a building block presentation approach with progression through motivation, mathematics, computer programming in MATLAB (numeric and symbolic) and MAPLE (symbolic), kinematics and constraints, equations of motion with Newton and Lagrange equations, free, transient and steady state harmonic vibration, approximate methods for computational time reduction, finite elements and active vibration control.

Palazzolo has performed more than $10 million in funded research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Naval Research (ONR), the government of Qatar and private companies. He is an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) fellow, author of 80 archival journal publications, holder of three U.S. patents and recipient of the R&D 100 award and the best paper award of the ASME Journal of Tribology 2014 and 2016. His research specialties include rotordynamics, drill string vibration, magnetic bearings, energy storage flywheels, desalination centrifuges, heart pumps, CFD for turbomachinery, fluid film bearings and seals, gears and couplings.

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The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Turbomachinery Laboratory conducts basic and applied research into important problems of reliability and performance of turbomachinery—rotating machinery that extracts or adds energy to fluids, including everything from classic Dutch windmills to the space shuttle’s main engine turbopumps and compressors. The Turbo Lab offers engineering education through Texas A&M University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and provides continuing education opportunities to industry professionals with symposia and short courses, advancing Texas A&M’s land-grant charter tradition of education, research and service.

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