Module code: ENG2095

Module Overview

This module provides an introduction to the mechanics of vehicles and machines with special emphasis on automotive components. The module begins by exploring the fundamental theories of kinematics and kinetics, laying the groundwork for investigating vehicle motion and understanding desired and undesired vehicle behavior. Building upon this understanding of vehicle dynamics, the module delves into an exploration of the primary components and systems found in vehicles, allowing students to gain insight into their functionalities and limitations.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

GRUBER Patrick (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 62

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 33

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Kinematics of machines

  • Kinematic analysis techniques of planar linkages and mechanisms

  • Slider-crank mechanism

  • Four-bar linkage mechanism

Kinetics of machines

  • Force and acceleration of linkages and mechanisms

  • Method of work and energy

Vehicle Dynamics

  • Tyre characteristics

  • Development of bicycle model for evaluation of dynamic vehicle response

  • Concepts of vehicle understeer and oversteer

  • Concept of weight transfer with focus on vehicle dynamics performance


  • Chassis design principles

  • Configuration of suspension, steering and damping systems

  • Brake system design and modern chassis control systems such as ABS, Electronic stability control.


  • Internal combustion engines and their performance and efficiency characteristics.

  • Design of transmissions, differentials and drive train joints

  • Powertrain configurations including FWD, RWD and AWD

Balancing of machines

  • Balancing of rotating masses

  • Static and dynamic balance


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Written assignment 15
Examination Examination (2 hrs duration) 85

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their 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 allows students to demonstrate that they can solve kinematics problems, and independently research and comment critically on design solutions found in industry.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Written assignment [Learning outcomes 1, 2, 5]

  • Examination      [Learning outcomes 1 - 6]

Formative assessment and feedback:

Formative verbal feedback is given via weekly supported tutorial work. Written feedback is given on the coursework submission.

Module aims

  • To equip students with a comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of the significance of individual components and systems in modern road vehicles.
  • To provide students with the essential theories and knowledge necessary for designing modern chassis, suspension, and powertrain components.
  • To foster an understanding of the energy efficiency characteristics and limitations of contemporary powertrain solutions, as well as their impact on sustainability.
  • To introduce students to the fundamental principles and methodologies for analysing the motion of vehicles and machines.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify the fundamental components of current automobile design and explain their functions/engineering principles. KT
002 Describe performance and energy efficiency characteristics of modern powertrain solutions. KT
003 Apply fundamental dynamic principles to evaluate the level of oversteer/understeer of a vehicle. KC
004 Assess the influence of vehicle, tyre and suspension parameters on the overall vehicle performance. C
005 Analyse the kinematics and kinetics of linkages and mechanisms. K
006 Calculate and analyse the forces and moments in machine elements. K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to familiarise students with the principles of designing and analysing mechanisms and vehicles. This is achieved through a combination of theoretical instruction and practical application using worked examples. The primary delivery methods for this strategy include lectures and tutorial classes. Additionally, students will engage in an independent assignment that involves solving fundamental kinematics problems and conducting a review of recent advancements in vehicle technologies.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures to introduce, develop and facilitate discussion on fundamental topics and theories

  • Tutorials to offer an opportunity for students to revisit and reinforce the essential learning points covered in lectures. Through collaborative work in groups, students can actively engage in discussions, ask questions, and deepen their understanding of the material.

  • Coursework component to encourage active application of key learning concepts. It allows students to delve deeper into the subject matter, applying their knowledge to practical scenarios or problem-solving activities.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG2095

Other information

The School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module
is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: The module provides students with fundamental knowledge and concepts on motion of objects that are relevant across engineering fields.The assessment methodology is designed to support lifelong learning, research skills, and the ability to construct compelling narrative arguments. These skills are crucial for success in professional engineering careers.

Sustainability: The module raises awareness about sustainability topics by examining the efficiency characteristics of vehicles and engaging in discussions centered around published life cycle analysis reports.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: During the module, students will cultivate resourcefulness in addressing problem-based questions while expanding their knowledge through references and external sources. Engaging in tutorials, they will actively share ideas and problem-solving techniques, fostering both confidence and collaborative skills in pursuit of successful outcomes.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Automotive Engineering (Dual degree with HIT) BEng (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering MEng 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Automotive Engineering MEng 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Automotive Engineering BEng (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2024/5 academic year.