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Dr Neil Ferguson BSc PhD MIOA FHEA CEng

Senior Lecturer in Structural Dynamics

Dr Neil Ferguson's photo

Dr Neil Ferguson is Senior Lecturer in Structural Dynamics within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Neil considers the noise and vibration (vibroacoustics) of practical engineering structures in widely diverse areas such as transport (trains, cars, ships, satellite structures), buildings and even domestic appliances! The analysis and approaches tend to be analytical and mathematical, typically considering a wave propagation approach in order to gain insight and understanding of the underlying physics.

Previous studies

These have included work on railway noise and vibration, considering the wheel-rail interaction, which was followed by a period working on the dynamic response of satellites to the launch noise and vibration environment using a method for high frequencies (Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA)).  Subsequently, as part of the early years as a sponsored BAe lecturer in ISVR, the research considered the topic of acoustic fatigue which is particularly relevant to aircraft structures close to high levels of acoustic excitation, numerical predictions for the behaviour of carbon fibre reinforced composites and nonlinear structural dynamics.

Current activities

Present research includes considering variability and uncertainty in structural dynamics, vibration control for shock, nonlinear dynamics and applications of wave motion for structural control and response predictions. 

In the faculty Neil has responsibility for the taught programmes in Acoustical Engineering as well as being the Academic Integrity Coordinator.  External to the university he is a member of the ESDU (Engineering Sciences Data Unit) committee for fatigue, has taught in universities in Egypt, Sweden and France as well as having been a member of the  EPSRC Peer Review College and a Panel member. 


Research interests

Analytical and numerical modelling applied to structural dynamics. Fatigue modelling and prediction, with applications to acoustic and mechanical fatigue. Structural response variability investigations. Analytical modelling for noise and vibration transmission and prediction using alternative techniques e.g. Dynamic Stiffness Modelling, Component Mode Synthesis (CMS) and wave propagation techniques and estimation. Passive vibration control, including synchronous source control, and the impact vibration damper.

Research group

Dynamics Group

Research project(s)

Acoustic fatigue

Mid-to-High Frequency Modelling of Vehicle Noise and Vibration

Funded by the European Commission under the Marie Curie Action: Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways, this project aims for the creation of a software that can model the vibration of a "Body-in-Blue" car in the mid- and high-frequency ranges.

Novel experimental characterisation of elastic & acoustic metamaterial as produced using additive manufacturing technology

This research started in April 2019 and is intended to last for three years. The aim of this work is to use experimental means to characterise the dynamics of existing mechanical structures with periodic features, improve their design from a dynamic viewpoint and explore the benefits of additive manufacturing technology for that purpose. As this project is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and is performed in collaboration with Vestas Aircoil, the application in focus will be heat exchangers.

Passive vibration isolation using nonlinear characteristics

Pipe Wave Modelling for Acoustic Leak Detection

Study of the dynamics of the suspension-seat-occupant system exposed to tri-axis translational vibration

Robust active vibration control by the receptance method

This research started in February 2020 and is intended to last for three years. The aim of this work is to extend the well-known pole (damped natural frequencies) placement by the receptance method into robust pole placement, thus improving the closed-loop performance of an active-controlled system when it is subjected to uncertainties in model parameters.

Variability and uncertainty in vibroacoustics

Vibration Analysis of Connected Local Uncertain Geometries via Wave Finite Element (WFE) method and Polynomial Chaos Expansion (PCE)

Realistic and effective engineering methods should predict the response of connected local uncertain geometries (acronym "BLokBelGe" in Turkish) with low computational time and memory requirements. This project aims to develop an efficient methodology that is able to perform the vibration analysis of BLokBelGe.

Wave and Finite Element Modelling

Vibrations can be described in terms of waves propagating through a structure. This interpretation is particularly appealing at higher frequencies, when the size of the structure, or a component substructure, is large compared to the wavelength.

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Book Chapters




Working Papers

Title Module Code Programme Role
Fundamentals of Vibration ISVR6141 MSc Acoustical Engineering Programme Lecturer
Professional Aspects of Engineering ISVR6147 MSc Acoustical Engineering Programme Lecturer
Mechanics, Structures and Materials FEEG1002 MEng Acoustical Engineering, MEng Ship Science, MEng Aerospace, MEng Mechanical Engineering, MEng Civil Engineering, BEng Mechanical Engineering, BEng Ship Science, BEng Aeronautics and Astronautics, BEng Mechanical Engineering, BEng Civil Engineering Lecturer
Mechanical Systems Analysis SESM1016 MEng Mechanical Engineering Tutor
Mechanics, Machines & Vibration FEEG2002 MEng Mechanical Engineering, MEng Acoustical Engineering Lecturer
Vibration Engineering Practice ISVR6146 MSc Acoustical Engineering Programme, , MEng Acoustical Engineering Lecturer
Dr Neil Ferguson
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 13/3003

Facsimile: (023) 8059 3190

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