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Automotive Product Engineering MSc

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  • Objectives
    The one year MSc in Automotive Product Engineering aims to provide graduates with the technical qualities, transferable skills and independent learning ability to make them effective in organisations that design and develop automotive products.
  • Course description
    Automotive Product Engineering is the application of engineering principles to the design and analysis of the automobile in order to satisfy a performance specification. It covers a wide range of engineering disciplines based on mechanical engineering technology but puts these in the context of modern motor vehicle developments including environmental and safety issues. The MSc in Automotive Product Engineering is a very well-established course that has excellent industrial links and an outstanding record for the employment of its graduates. The automotive industry is global and similarly the reputation of this course is global attracting students from all parts of the world to share in the learning experience.

    Our heritage

    Automotive Engineering has been taught at postgraduate level at Cranfield since 1960, and no other UK University enjoys a track record in automotive postgraduate teaching as long as ours. Many graduates from the course have positions of high responsibility, working in most sectors of the automotive industry, and many of them provide active support to the current teaching team.

    Learn from our experience

    This course is founded upon the knowledge and experience gained by the Automotive Engineering staff through their strong industrial links. Our focus on a multi disciplinary approach, real application and working in groups will equip you with analytical, organisational and interpersonal skills so that you can practically apply the knowledge gained to real engineering problems.

    Focus on your interests

    Students who enrol on this course come from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities. Many already have specific career aspirations in mind and wish to develop their interests more specifically. This is possible by selection from the wide range of individual projects that are offered to students as their thesis topic. Most of these have industrial or research links giving contact with the automotive community as well as the flexibility of choice.

    Meet employer requirements

    The course is directed by an industrial advisory committee comprising senior engineers from the automotive sector. This committee is actively involved in the course and students give presentations on their project work as part of the assessment as well as maintaining close contact. This group ensures that the course content is up to date, balanced and relevant to equip you with the skills and knowledge required by leading employers.

    Excellent career prospects

    You can be sure that your qualification will be valued and respected by employers. Over 95% of Cranfield graduates secure employment in the automotive sector within six months of graduation; most move straight into employment at the end of the course. Valued particularly for their ability to apply their technical knowledge to commercial problems, they have become managers of research establishments, chief engineers and engine and vehicle programme managers. Recent graduates have been employed by companies such as Altran, AVL, Bentley Motors, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, PSA, Renault, Ricardo, Toyota, and TVS.

    The course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

    Intended learning outcomes


    On successful completion of the course a student will be able to:

        * Systematically use a range of calculation methods to formulate an overall concept and detailed design of components, assemblies and systems for road vehicles, to satisfy ergonomic, safety, structural integrity and performance requirements.
        * Critically assess the mechanical design of automotive chassis components using hand calculations, solid body modelling and the finite element method.
        * Use a non-linear structural deformation calculation method to assess the crashworthiness of a vehicle.
        * Undertake a range of thermodynamic and combustion calculations, supported by detailed knowledge of fuel properties and the combustion process in spark ignition and diesel engines.
        * Analyse the vehicle handling behaviour for driver inputs and the ride response due to road surface irregularities.
        * Model the dynamic behaviour of a road vehicle using MATLAB Simulink.
        * Evaluate modern control systems used in engine management, powertrain, brake and suspension systems.
        * Apply knowledge of vehicle refinement.
        * Critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in aspects of automotive engineering as a result of the personal thesis project study.
        * Demonstrate self-direction and originality in planning and implementing tasks at professional or equivalent level.
        * Demonstrate the ability to learn independently.
        * Make clear technical presentations in front of a critical audience.
        * Make sound engineering judgement when limited or conflicting data are available.
        * Demonstrate the ability to work in a team on problem solving, including design.
        * Be prepared to take a role as a team leader and make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.

    Course modules

        * Automotive Control and Simulation
        * Engines, Fuels and Lubrication
        * Vehicle Dynamics
        * Vehicle Design, Powertrain and Performance
        * Vehicle Structures and Crashworthiness
        * Automotive Group Project

    Group project

    Students undertake substantial group work in designing and optimising a particular vehicle system/assembly. Presentations are arranged to the Industrial Advisory Panel members (consisting of practising automotive engineers and managers), academic staff and fellow students, to market the product and demonstrate technical expertise. These presentations give students the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.

    Individual project thesis

    Each student conducts an individual project thesis which may involve research, a design feasibility assessment, systems analysis or facility development.  Most of the projects are initiated by industrial contacts or associated with current research programmes.

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