In the fall of 2014, I took four courses – Automotive Engineering System, Internal Combustion Engine, followed by Vehicle Traffic Safety and Vehicle Dynamics. Today I would like to share some insights about the first two courses with you, just so you know what happened in class…
Having built Baja SAE off-road buggies and Formula SAE cars during my undergrad, I have gained some “backyard mechanic” knowledge. So there wasn’t too much theoretical knowledge embedded in this course. So, for me it was a bit of a disappointment in that sense…without sounding pretentious here, but most of the knowledge seems to be at a “Wikipedia” level. The course mostly talked about different components on the car and how it worked.
The plus side is that we had three Matlab-based assignments. Those assignments were not as straightforward as the lectures. Having not really used Matlab before, the assignments were great intro. Especially since my lab partner Martin Ljunggren is practically a Matlab-god, I had a pretty steep learning curve.
Martin might be good at Matlab, but I am a saint at MS paint!
This was actually a really good course. Yes, even though I am not an engine guy, and frankly, I don’t like tuning things, making micro-adjustments and (extra emphasis) especially thermodynamics.
First part of the course was very boring. It was basic thermodynamics: exchange of energy and work. I have learned the material almost four times during undergrad. Nonetheless I learned about engine performance curves, Brake Mean Effective Pressure and I thought the engine lab was interesting. During the engine lab, we captured data from a motorcycle engine and did some analysis using Matlab. Some screenshots of the PowerPoint presentation here below…
My lab partner Klara Cermakova was a terrific sidekick. She was an Erasmus student from the Czech Republic. I miss you Klara, come back to visit in the summer 🙂
Throwback Tuesday: Engine Lab
This is a different screenshot from a PowerPoint presentation on Engine downsizing: