Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MECH3470 Vehicle Design and Analysis

20 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr P.C.Brooks

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23


MECH2610Engineering Mechanics
MECH2620Vibration and Control

Module replaces

MECH 3165

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- explain the principles that underpin the process of vehicle modelling
- demonstrate an understanding of tyre behaviour and the generation of tyre-ground forces
- critically assess the acceleration behaviour of a road vehicle through consideration of its powertrain characteristics
- critically assess the deceleration behaviour of a road vehicle through consideration of its braking system characteristics
- understand the fundamentals of vehicle handling behaviour and relate these to the process of vehicle design.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding the essential elements of engineering science required to permit the modelling of the performance of a road vehicle including tyre-ground interaction.
Describe the main powertrain elements and their characteristics.
Undertake an analytical assessment of traction and power limited performance including an evaluation of fuel economy.
Describe the main brake system elements and their characteristics.
Undertake an analytical assessment of brake system performance that employs the concepts of brake proportioning and adhesion utilisation along current legislative guidelines for passenger vehicles.
Construct a simple handling model from first principles and use this to explore the steady state cornering behaviour, straight line stability and transient response of a 2 axle road vehicle.
Describe some of the main design influences on handling.
Upon successful completion of this module the following UK-SPEC learning outcome descriptors are satisfied:
A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the scientific principles and methodology necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline, and an understanding and know-how of the scientific principles of related disciplines, to enable appreciation of the scientific and engineering context, and to support their understanding of relevant historical, current and future developments and technologies (SM1m)
Knowledge and understanding of mathematical and statistical methods necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them to apply a range of mathematical and statistical methods, tools and notations proficiently and critically in the analysis and solution of engineering problems (SM2m)
Ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of study of medical engineering and the ability to evaluate them critically and to apply them effectively (SM3m)
A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of mathematical and computational models relevant to the engineering discipline, and an appreciation of their limitations (SM5m)
Understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to undertake critical analysis of key engineering processes (EA1m)
Ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques (EA2)
Ability to apply quantitative and computational methods, using alternative approaches and understanding their limitations, in order to solve engineering problems and implement appropriate action (EA3m)
Understanding of, and the ability to apply, an integrated or systems approach to solving complex medical engineering problems (EA4m)

Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design and, where appropriate, use theory or experimental research to mitigate deficiencies (D3m)

Demonstrate wide knowledge and comprehensive understanding of design processes and methodologies and the ability to apply and adapt them in unfamiliar situations (D7m)

Apply their skills in problem solving, communication, information retrieval, working with others, and the effective use of general IT facilities (G1)

Skills outcomes
- Specific skills in automotive engineering regarding vehicle mechanics, acceleration and deceleration behaviour and handling.
- Some of these skills are generic to other areas of mechanical engineering.


1 Vehicle mechanics:
- Modelling philosophy and coordinate systems
- Road surfaces and tyre-ground interaction
- Axle loads.

2 Acceleration behaviour:
- Powertrain elements and their characteristics
- Traction and power limited performance
- Fuel economy.

3 Deceleration behaviour:
- Brake system components and their characteristics
- Brake proportioning, efficiency and adhesion utilisation
- Governing standards and legislation.

4 Handling behaviour:
- Handling performance criteria
- The mathematical modelling of vehicle handling, straight line stability and cornering behaviour
- Practical suspension system design for handling and the trade-off with ride.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Example Class182.0036.00
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Class tests, exams and assessment21.002.00
Private study hours118.00
Total Contact hours82.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Students are expected to read/revise material before and following lectures along with example sheets that are linked to each element of the module.
- In addition, they are expected to complete the example MCQ tests that are issued 2 weeks in advance of the in-class tests. Worked solutions for the example MCQ tests are made available one week in advance of the in-class test.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students receive feedback half way through and at the end of semester 1 from the results of the two in-class MCQ tests.
- They can also obtain feedback on their understanding of key material through the example sheets, class based tutorials and assignment.
An online discussion board will be monitored during specified times each week.
Minerva/TopHat tests.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQDeceleration10.00
In-course MCQAcceleration10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

1) Coursework marks carried forward and 60% resit exam OR 2) 100% resit exam

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/02/2023


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019