Professor David Kittelson

CSENG Mechanical Engineering
College of Science & Engineering
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Utilizing Computer Modeling and Simulation Software for the Design of a Next Generation Vehicle

The primary research of this group focuses on the improvement of computer-aided engineering (CAE) practices to evaluate the performance and reliability of a next-generation performance vehicle. Simulations of the vehicle’s structure, aerodynamics, and engine are conducted to evaluate the performance of their designs and their relationship to the vehicle dynamics of the entire car. The primary software packages to develop the models are Ricardo WAVE and ANSYS.

  • Ricardo WAVE is used to simulate the performance of the intake and exhaust geometries and evaluate these geometries for the torque, horsepower, and fuel efficiency achieved. To validate the simulation, the team uses a dynamometer. The software is used to iterate designs of the muffler, camshaft, and cooling system. With a large redesign of the car, this tool can be used to ensure changes to the location and angle of the cooling system and intake, respectively, will function at an optimal performance.

  • In order to redesign the frame, aerodynamics package, and structures of many mounts on the car, the team uses ANSYS. This software is used in generating multi-element front, rear, and side wings for low Reynolds numbers. Each iteration of the simulation has a goal of increasing ground effect, while reducing drag, as well as getting high velocity air to the rear of the car to improve cooling for the new placement of the heat exchangers. ANSYS was also used to develop a new frame that maintains the weight of the frame while increasing the stiffness by 300 Newtons per degree. Finally, ANSYS is being used for thermal simulations on the brake rotors as well as being used for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for the wheel well components and other mounting structures.

The accelerated design cycle imposed on the group necessitates the leverage of continuously improved simulation practices to iterate the design of components for the group's next generation vehicle, which every year becomes more efficient, more reliable, and safer.

Project Investigators

Indy Andra
Aoran Chen
Joseph Gallagher
Cody Geiser
Tyler Glick
Abby Hempy
Brandon Henry
Donald Horkheimer
Professor David Kittelson
Alex Melin
Nick Morse
Ryan Peterson
Kristen Spurlock
Jacob Storrs
John Thome
George Thome
Kyle Thompson
Mikhail Thomson
Lucas Vanyo
Riandro Vogt
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