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MEC8024 : Vehicle Dynamics

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Francis Franklin
  • Lecturer: Dr Barry Gallacher
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop in the students an ability to apply mechanical principles to a range of drive systems, assemblies and components with particular reference to transport applications.

Outline Of Syllabus

Dynamics, control and modelling of vehicle and drive systems:
1. Free and forced vibration of 2DoF systems applied to car suspension and/or engine mounts: matrix methods; modal coupling; introduction to the Newton-Euler method.
2. Limits of Traction: beyond the Dry Point Friction model, contact dynamics; polar moments of inertia, driven wheel configurations, oversteer and understeer; differential drive, torque vectoring and dynamic stability control.
3. Simulation via MATLAB/SIMULINK: response to stochastic forcing, data visualisation and interpretation.
4. Overview of railways and an introduction to traction, curving and steering of railway vehicles.
Assignment on some element of vehicle dynamics.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture401:0040:00Plan A: Delivery as PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Target non-timetable hours to complete coursework assignment submission
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Recommended revision for exams, assuming prior regular independent study throughout teaching
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00End of Semester Examination.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Formative (pass/fail) online computer assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Plan A: Computer cluster PiP sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study170:0070:00Recommended regular personal study throughout teaching period to follow up taught classes
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures convey the underlying engineering science and the approaches required to apply this to the discipline-specific problems identified. Tutorials provide additional support to the students and further consolidate taught knowledge. Private study supports the students’ self-study in reading around the lecture material and learning to solve the practical engineering problems posed by the tutorial questions.

Plan B for present-in-person activities, in case of public health issues:
- The 40 hours lectures will be replaced by 16 hours non-synchronous lecture materials, and 24 hours online synchronous (Q&A / tutorial) sessions. (The lecture content is theory-heavy and students will benefit more from learning at their own pace.)
- The 8 hours cluster sessions will be replaced by 4 hours non-synchronous tutorial materials, and 4 hours online synchronous (Q&A / tutorial) sessions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M40Assignment - Maximum 20 hours.
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
PC ExaminationMOnline computer assessment with Feedback - Semester 2
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination tests the understanding of material presented in lectures and further reading under time constraint as required in industry.
The assignment tests the ability to apply the principles of engineering science and technological data to an open ended engineering problem. If in-person written examination is not possible due to unforeseen universal circumstances (such as a pandemic),A 24 hour take home examination will be carried out instead.

Reading Lists