Practical Rotor Dynamics & Modeling - CAT IV

This course teaches both practical and theoretical modeling of rotating systems using journal and rolling element bearings.This course is recommended as partial preparation for the ISO 18436-2:2014 Vibration Analyst Category IV Certification Exam.

March 9-13, 2020

Houston, TX

Practical Rotor Dynamics & Modeling


This course teaches both practical and theoretical modeling of rotating systems and rotating machinery using journal and rolling element bearings. The Practical Rotor Dynamics and Modeling course is recommended as partial preparation for the ISO 18436-2:2014 Vibration Analyst Category IV Certification Exam. Workshops and demonstrations are scheduled throughout the training course to exemplify curricular theory and applications. Attendees must bring their own laptop for the best learning experience.


RAY KELM is owner and Chief Engineer of Kelm Engineering located in Friendswood, Texas. The company specializes in numerical modeling and field testing of dynamic systems including rotating and reciprocating machinery as well as piping systems and other equipment. He has 30+ years of experience in the oil & gas, power, manufacturing, and petrochemical industries. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

Course Materials

Course Notes (textbook)
Workshops containing examples, workshop problems, and equations
Course supplies (calculator, pen, notepads, and any other needed supplies)
Rotor Dynamics and Modeling Program (USB Flashdrive)
Training course examination study guide
Certificate of completion (4.0 CEUs)

Course Agenda

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Optional Cat IV exam – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Registration Fee

$2,395 USD Nonmember ($2300 VI Members)
$100 expidited materials fee for registrations received within 1 week of course starting.

Dates & Locations

Houston, TX
April 22-26, 2019


Correspondence Course

For those who are unable to attend a course in person, this program is also available through through self-study for either continuing education or for exam course requirement credit. Read more.

Course Content

Introduction to Rotor Dynamics
Rotor types, natural frequencies, modes, critical speeds, mass unbalance response, whirling, rotor bow, gyroscopic effects, torque, support stiffness asymmetry, rotor stiffness asymmetry, cracked rotor, instabilities, oil whirl/whip, aerodynamic cross coupling.

Transient and Forced Vibrations as Related to Rotor Dynamics

Workshop I: Rotor Dynamics
API RP 684 Review

Workshop II: Journal Bearings
Lubrication basics, bearing dynamics and design

Rotor/Bearing Instabilities
Oil whirl/oil whip, aerodynamic cross-coupling, hysteresis, rubs and parametric instability

Rotor/Bearing Modeling
Modeling techniques, discrete mass/stiffness models, distributed parameter models, rolling element and fluid-film bearing stiffness and damping, mass allocation, computer program interface, and examples.

Workshop III: Modeling Lab

Simple Engineering Calculations
Stiffness, mass, influence coefficients, natural frequency formulas, and examples.

Workshop IV: Natural Frequency and Unbalance Response

Computer Calculation Techniques
Application of models to computer programs, forces, and damping.

Workshop V: Modeling and Computation

Rotor-Dynamic Model Validation
Transient tests, two-channel tests, and applications.

Advanced Vibration Analysis and Advanced Vibration Control Review

Course Review

Training Examination on Course Content (2 hours)

Training Examination Review

Get Certified

Certification Exams are offered:

  1. The day AFTER VI training courses 
  2. Anytime at VI offices
  3. At a USA location near you with a pre-approved VI proctor
  4. Through our International Representatives


  1. Register for a course and exam
  2. Register for just the exam (if you already have the training requirement, or are getting training elsewhere)
  3. Find a USA proctor by contacting us
  4. Contact an International Representative in your country

The cancellation of and transfer to a training course within the same calendar year will be honored, provided that written notification is received by the Institute office via e-mail or mail no later than ten (10) business days before the first day of the scheduled course. If registration for a training course is cancelled without transfer to another course within the same calendar year, a $250 cancellation fee will be assessed. A $500 administrative fee will be charged for cancellations received less than ten (10) days from the start date of the registered training course. Additional cancellation fees will be applied for exam cancellations. Absentees for the course will not receive a refund. Please contact the Vibration Institute staff directly regarding discounts for multiple registrations from the same organization.