Credits: 3


Restriction: Must be in Engineering: Mechanical program; and senior standing. Or permission of ENGR-Mechanical Engineering department. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs.

Creativity and innovation in design. Generalized performance analysis, reliability and optimization as applied to the design of components and engineering systems. Use of computers in design of multivariable systems.

Semesters Offered

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2024

Learning Objectives

This is a team focused project class with various individual and group assignments oriented toward designing, building and testing a small open-wheeled racecar (Formula SAE vehicle). In this course the students will develop and/or refine the following areas of knowledge:

  • Employ modern techniques such as computer-aided design and analysis software required for engineering design.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of project management.
  • Identify and formulate engineering problems which involve the applications of mechanical systems, thermal fluid systems and materials selection for such systems.
  • Work in and lead teams in the solution of engineering problems.
  • Communicate effectively through written and oral reports.


Topics Covered

  • Automotive design practices and principles
  • Tire performance
  • Vehicle dynamics and suspension design
  • Chassis design and finite element analysis
  • Powertrain fundamentals
  • Aerodynamic effects
  • Stress and dynamic analysis
  • Electronics and Control systems analysis
  • Composite material processing
  • Basic machining and welding practices
  • Testing
  • Project management
  • Systems engineering


Additional Course Information


Learn and Compete, Michael and Suzanne Royce et al., 2014
Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, William Milliken & Douglas Milliken, 1995
Chassis Design, William Milliken & Douglas Milliken, 2002
Tune to Win, Carroll Smith, 1978
Prepare to Win, Carroll Smith, 2012
Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing Handbook, Carroll Smith, 1990
Engineer to Win, Carroll Smith, 1985
Race Car Engineering & Mechanics, Paul Van Valkenburgh, 1993

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • Two 75 minute lectures each week.
Last Updated By 
Dr. Leonard Hamilton, June 2017