About the Program

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).

The certificate can be completed entirely on campus, entirely online, or through a combination of on-campus and online courses.   

Course Descriptions

Please choose four courses to complete the required 12 credit hours.

AENG 545: Vehicle Ergonomics I

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. (3 credits)

AENG 550: Design of Automotive Chassis

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 crashworthiness, durability and assembly are covered. Applications of advanced materials and joining techniques are discussed. Analytical tools used in automotive structural design are also discussed. (3 credits)

AENG 551: FEM in Auto Structure Design

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. (3 credits)

AENG 555: Vehicle Stability and Control

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). (3 credits)

AENG 586: Design and Manufacturing with Lightweight Automotive Materials

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 structures are discussed. Design for manufacturing, assembly, disassembly and recycling are emphasized. (3 credits)

IMSE 593: Vehicle Package Engineering

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. (3 credits)

ME 543: Vehicle Dynamics

A treatment of the response, ride, and maneuvering of motor vehicles. Road loads, suspension systems, mechanics of pneumatic tires. (3 credits)

ME 545: Acoustics and Noise Control

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. (3 credits)

ME 584: Mechanical Behavior of Polymer

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. (3 credits)

ME 587: Automotive Composites

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. (3 credits)

Learning Goals and Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to describe the integration of design, manufacturing and new technology applications in the automotive industry.
  2. Students will be able to evaluate automotive manufacturing techniques and designs.
  3. Students will be prepared to apply knowledge of automotive materials and structural design in the field.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.


Tentative Course Schedule

AENG 545 Fall

AENG 550 Fall

AENG 551 Winter

AENG 555 Winter

AENG 586 Fall

IMSE 593 Various semesters

ME 543 Fall

ME 545 Winter

ME 584 Winter

ME 587 Various semesters


CECS Graduate Education Office

Professional Education Center [PEC]
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