KB6003 - Vehicle Aerodynamics

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What will I learn on this module?

You will build upon your knowledge of fluid mechanics to gain a fundamental and applied understanding of vehicle aerodynamics and of its role in vehicle design and performance. You will develop an appreciation of the specific aerodynamic characteristics of different land-based vehicle types including passenger cars, racing cars and commercial vehicles and also of the different aerodynamic design requirements for each type. In particular you will learn about the flow physics that give rise to the generation of steady and unsteady forces and of the impact of air flow on cooling, soiling, vehicle stability and passenger comfort. You will learn how to use advanced investigative tools including wind tunnels and numerical methods to measure and analyse the aerodynamic performance of road vehicles.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratories, and directed and independent learning. Lectures will be used to deliver the underlying science of aerodynamics, to direct you towards the latest developments in the subject and to provide the opportunity to learn from leading national and international researchers. You will have the opportunity to enhance your understanding of the subject through seminars which promote both independent learning and problem solving within your peer group with the support of academic staff. A laboratory-based, group research project will provide you with the opportunity to develop your experience and understanding of vehicle aerodynamics, experimental methods, the acquisition and analysis of high quality experimental data, the validation of numerical modelling and the critical assessment of literature. The rigour and critical thinking associated with this module will develop your ability to tackle engineering problems and to communicate the results in the form of a technical report thus further developing your transferable skills and enhancing their employability.

Assessment will consist of coursework and an examination. The coursework will assessed through an individual written laboratory-based project report for which individual written feedback will be provided. Examination feedback will provided individually and also generically to indicate where the cohort has a strong or a weaker answer to examination questions. Formative feedback will be provided in the lectures on problem solving tasks and throughout the seminars and laboratories.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will have direct contact with the module team during lectures, seminars and during the laboratory programme. You are encouraged to develop your curiosity by making direct contact with the module team through the open door policy that will be operated throughout the programme.
You will also be supported with the use of the eLearning Portal (online platform) where the module content is provided along with links to the reading list support, seminar questions, case studies, software downloads and appropriate web sites to demonstrate the industrial context of the module. You will also have the opportunity to join with your peers in the creation and maintenance of an electronic database of relevant research papers which will support you with the latest academic knowledge and understanding in the field of vehicle aerodynamics.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Identify, apply and critically discuss relevant theory, concepts and literature in the context of road vehicle aerodynamics.

2. Identify the fundamentally different flow structures associated with streamlined and bluff bodies and to relate those structures to different vehicle types.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Critically apply advanced experimental and numerical methods for the investigation of previously unseen problems in fluids dynamics.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Increase awareness and proficiency in the acquisition and critical assessment of published literature.

How will I be assessed?

1. Examination (50%, 2 hr) MLO-1 & MLO-2

2. Coursework (50% 3000 words or equivalent) MLO-3 & MLO-4

Individual written feedback will be provided within 20 working days on all summative assessment.

3. Seminars (problem solving) MLO-1, MLO-2
Formative (non-assessed) feedback will be provided on seminar work which will include problems designed to aid student understanding.





Module abstract

This module develops your knowledge and understanding of fundamental engineering principles and theory to the science of vehicle aerodynamics. You will learn about advanced methods for the experimental and computational modelling of the air flow over vehicles and then apply those methods to evaluate the aerodynamic performance of a representative passenger car. You will observe the use of the Northumbria University Automotive Wind Tunnel and use industry-standard Computational Fluid Dynamics software (CFD) as appropriate. You will also be introduced to the key tools required for experimental testing including the instrumentation and techniques that are required to measure the aerodynamic loads and pressures acting on a vehicle. The module will introduce the aerodynamic concepts of streamlined and bluff bodies, the primary sources of drag and the relationship between flow structure, wind noise and dirt accumulation.

Course info

UCAS Code H3P4

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020 or September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

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