Module code: ENGM267

Module Overview

Fourth year module for Automotive Engineering Master students

Vehicle structures

Starting from the space required for the major vehicle components different vehicle packaging concepts are introduced. Lightweight chassis structures are described and demonstrated with several examples of current vehicles, including aluminium space frame structures and composite monocoque chassis. The influence of the choice of material in terms of chassis stiffness and the design and manufacturing process is discussed.

Vehicle structure analysis

The simplified structural surface method is described and applied to basic vehicle bodies to analyse structural load paths. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) requirements of lightweight hybrid and electric vehicles are introduced together with relevant analysis methods. Passive safety aspects in terms of crashworthiness and impact resistance are described. Sustainability considerations are explained with life-cycle assessment methodologies.


Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

GRUBER P Dr (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: H230

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

ENG2119 Powertrain Design and Chassis Engineering 

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Vehicle structures

Vehicle packaging requirements, constraints and concepts
Lightweight vehicle structures: space frame and monocoque structures
Influence of materials (steel, aluminium and composite) on design and manufacturing process
Stiffness of structures

Vehicle structure analysis

Simple structural surface method
NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) aspects with particular focus on hybrid and electric vehicles
Crashworthiness, impact resistance and safety implications
Life cycle sustainability assessment

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 30
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HOURS) 70

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of scientific principles, methodologies and mathematics methods as well as the ability to describe particular systems and processes in the final examination. The coursework element allows students to demonstrate that they can interpret a problem and present a solution clearly and accurately.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Coursework   [ Learning outcomes 1, 2, 5 ]              (18 hours)                    {30%}
Examination   [ Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4 ]              (2 hours)                     {70%}

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative verbal feedback is given in tutorials
Written feedback is given on the coursework assessments.

Module aims

  • an introduction to chassis design requirements and constraints in terms of packaging and  structural behaviour, including crashworthiness and NVH aspects
  • an understanding of the basic techniques used for the design of lightweight vehicle structures

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the requirements and constraints related to lightweight vehicle structures (SM1m, EL2) KT
2 Apply mathematical and scientific approaches to analyse simple vehicle structures and appreciate the assumptions and limitations inherent in their application (EA1m, EA3m,G1) C
3 Describe the performance and characteristics of chassis materials and their influence on the design and manufacturing processes (EA1m, EA3m, P1, P2m, P9m) KCP
4 Demonstrate understanding of sustainability principles in the design and manufacture of vehicles (EL2, EL4) KCT
5 Undertake a brief research topic on a lightweight chassis structure and evaluate its influence on the vehicle's energy efficiency (EA1m, EA3m, P1, P2m, EL2, EL4) KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 11

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

introduce vehicle structures and analysis approached through theory with worked examples. This is delivered principally through lectures and tutorial classes and a coursework element involving analysis of a lightweight chassis.

The learning and teaching methods include:

3 hours lecture per week x 11 weeks
1 hour tutorial (in groups) x 11 weeks
Coursework (18 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Automotive Engineering MEng 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.