Portale di Ateneo - En.Unibs.it

Group of Automotive Engineering and Design

Description of the Research Group

With specific regard to the automotive industry, Brescia is the second district in Italy -after Turin- contributing to the supply chain with Tier1, Tier2, and Tier3 companies at international level. Products range from primary engine components to the complete chassis, from suspension assemblies to anti-vibration mountings, from complex mechatronic systems like the EPS (Electric Power Steering) to light-alloy wheels, from engine ancillaries to brake system components, from electrics and electronics to original equipment accessories for motorcycles etc.

The AED group tailored the MSc course in Automotive Engineering of the University of Brescia on this scenario: students gain a broad view on the automotive product in terms of design and manufacturing, with focus on mobility requirements, active safety, traditional and innovative powertrains, electronics and controls, suspension and chassis, and human-vehicle interaction. Students have also access to professional software tools like VI-CarRealTime® to simulate the dynamic behaviour of passenger cars, racing cars, motorbikes and heavy vehicles.

Besides conventional teaching, the AED group fosters innovative education through involvement in international design competitions like the Formula Student and MotoStudent contests. Students can gain first-hand experience on design, manufacturing, testing, and racing of a complete high-performance vehicle, starting from scratch. They also deal with side aspects like project management, team work, collaborative design, image and communication, building on the so-called soft skills, and connecting with the automotive network.

Automotive Engineering students are typically recruited immediately after graduation or even before, quite often through a company stage. Vehicle, system and component manufacturers, design, research and development institutes, racing car factories are usually the typical recipient in the local area as well as in northern Italy.

Research activities

The AED currently works on vehicle- and mobility-related topics like the beneficial impact of mass reduction on emissions and the environment, human factors in driving, design and testing of vehicles and subsystems, vehicle dynamics, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), the identification of tyre functional characteristics, and innovative education for automotive engineering.

Among the facilities, a Simulink® application called PRoPS (Powertrain Road Performance Simulator) has been developed in-house to design and simulate the powertrain of traditional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full-electric vehicles with focus on performance, energy usage ed emissions. Together with state-of-the-art instrumentation, the Vehicle Vibration Lab (VVL) features a four-poster rig for full-vehicle NVH/durability testing, and passive/active suspension tuning.

It is well known that the local automotive industry stands out for the research efforts on sustainable mobility, especially on vehicle mass reduction with intensive use of aluminium alloys, innovative manufacturing processes, and alternative fuels. AED partnerships with vehicle and component manufacturers as well as with fellow research groups and foreign institutions has given birth to various scientific publications indexed at international level and to a patent pending concept in the field of HMI (Human-Machine Interface).

Keywords

Vehicle dynamics; Chassis; Suspension; Powertrain; Human-machine interface

Group members