Automotive Materials and Design

The automotive system of the twenty-first century is poised to advance at a rapid pace with greater emphasis on lightweight structures, high efficiency powertrains, intelligent control systems, lower emissions, robust design and manufacturing, as well as improved comfort and safety. This certificate program gives an opportunity for automotive engineers to learn to about lightweight materials, advancements in ergonomic and structural design, vehicle dynamics and control, and advanced manufacturing techniques (12 credit hours).

Certificate offered on Campus and via Distance Learning.


Please choose four courses to complete the required 12 credit hours.
AENG 545Vehicle Ergonomics I3
AENG 550Design of Automotive Chassis3
AENG 551FEM in Auto Structure Design3
AENG 555Vehicle Stability & Control3
AENG 586Design & Mfg: Ltwt Auto Mat3
IMSE 593Vehicle Package Engineering3
ME 543Vehicle Dynamics3
ME 545Acoustics and Noise Control3
ME 584Mechanical Behavior of Polymer3
ME 587Automotive Composites3

AENG 545     Vehicle Ergonomics I     3 Credit Hours

Overview of drive characteristics, capabilities, and limitations. Human variability and driver demographics, driver performance measurements. Driver information processing models, driver errors and response time. Driver sensory capabilities: vision, audition, and other inputs. Vehicle controls and displays. Driver anthropometry, biomechanical considerations.

Prerequisite(s): IMSE 442

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate
Can enroll if College is Engineering and Computer Science

AENG 550     Design of Automotive Chassis     3 Credit Hours

This course provides a systems approach to the design of automotive chassis and body components and examines the influence of their design on the overall structural performance of the automobile. Design issues related to structural rigidity, ride comfort, safety and crash-worthiness, durability and assembly are covered. Applications of advanced materials and joining techniques are discussed. Analytical tools used in automotive structural design are also discussed.

Can enroll if Class is Graduate

AENG 551     FEM in Auto Structure Design     3 Credit Hours

This course is designed to introduce the applications of finite element method in automotive structure design. It includes specific design examples of vehicle NVH and durability with commercial pre-processor and FEA solver. The course also provides theoretical knowledge of FEA and vehicle design.

Prerequisite(s): ME 345 and ME 3601

Can enroll if Class is Graduate
Can enroll if College is Engineering and Computer Science

AENG 555     Vehicle Stability & Control     3 Credit Hours

Introduction to static and dynamic stability characteristics of vehicles. Study on directional vehicle responses and stability in small disturbance maneuver. Design, numerical simulation, and analysis of vehicle control systems (ABS, active suspension, and yaw stability). Prerequisite: Dynamics (ME 345), Control Systems Design and Analysis (ME 442) or equivalent.

Prerequisite(s): ME 345 and ME 442

Can enroll if Class is Graduate
Can enroll if Level is Rackham
Can enroll if College is Engineering and Computer Science
Can enroll if Major is Automotive Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering

AENG 586     Design & Mfg: Ltwt Auto Mat     3 Credit Hours

This course will address the design issues and manufacturing considerations for various lightweight automotive structural materials. Design issues will include stiffness, fatigue, vibrations, dent resistance, crush resistance, etc. Methods of producing lightweight automotive stuctures are discussed. Design for manufacturing, assembly, disassembly and recycling are emphasized. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): AENG 581 and AENG 587

IMSE 593     Vehicle Package Engineering     3 Credit Hours

Vehicle package specifications related to exterior and interior design reference points, dimensions and curb loadings. Benchmarking package studies, ergonomic tools and design practices used in the automobile industry. Driver positioning considerations; seat height, heel points, hip points, steering wheel location, seat pan, and back angles. Pedal design issues, gear shift positioning. Visibility of instrument panel space. Armrest and console design considerations. Principles and considerations in selecting and location types and characteristics of controls and displays on instrument panels, doors, consoles, and headers. Engine compartment packaging issues. Perception of interior spaciousness and visibility of the road over cowl and hood.

Can enroll if Class is Graduate

ME 543     Vehicle Dynamics     3 Credit Hours

A treatment of the response, ride, and maneuvering of motor vehicles. Road loads, suspension systems, mechanics of pneumatic tires.

Can enroll if Level is Graduate or Doctorate or Rackham

ME 545     Acoustics and Noise Control     3 Credit Hours

Fundamentals of acoustical waves, sound propagation and intensity, instruments for vibration and noise, HVAC system noise, automobile and aircraft noise, noise control techniques. Graduate standing or special permission. (YR).

Can enroll if Level is Graduate or Rackham

ME 584     Mechanical Behavior of Polymer     3 Credit Hours

Mechanical behavior of polymers and ceramics are considered in relation to their structures, processing and applications. Emphasis is given on their deformation, fatigue and fracture characteristics. Strengthening mechanisms for both materials are discussed. Graduate standing or special permission. (YR).

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

ME 587     Automotive Composites     3 Credit Hours

The emphasis in this course is on automotive composites, such as SMC, SRIM and RTM. In addition to properties and applications of these materials, this course covers manufacturing processes, design considerations, test methods and quality control techniques used for automotive composites. The use of continuous fiber composites in automotive applications, such as leaf springs, drive shafts and energy absorbing structures, are also discussed. (YR).


An asterisk denotes that a course may be taken concurrently.

Frequency of Offering

The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally