Project ideas..

Post here information about your own engineering projects, including but not limited to building your own car or designing a virtual car through CAD.
vinno
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Project ideas..

Post by vinno » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:45 pm

Hello all,

I am currently just starting my final year studying Automotive Technology at Staffordshire uni. So I need to come up with a final year project.

I only found this site today whilst searching for information on my subject of choice (aerodynamics), I'm sure I will become a regular visitor when I actually start my project.

The only problem is that I haven't come up with one yet! Well I have, but only the one and I'd like to have a few ideas to present to my lecturers.

The idea I have is to model a car in a CAD package, probably Wildfire Pro Engineer and then run it through CFD software using different aero profiles (different diffuser designs, splitter/no splitter) and see how this affects the airflow around the car.
I quite like the sound of the idea and I'm certain I'd enjoy it. I just cant think of ANYTHING else aero-based that I could do.

If anyone has any feedback on my idea, and idea of their own or just any little bit of something you'd like to share with me I'd be super greatful!

Thanks! :)

Tim.Wright
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by Tim.Wright » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:00 pm

maybe a study into the aero wake of different f1 concepts for the purposes of allowing better overtaking but still keeping the down force.

You could use a current f1 car (a simplified model of course) as a baseline then try other concepts and see if you can make a design concept that gives the same downforce but without such a disturbed wake.

Some concepts could be
1. No wings, with full ground effects
2. No front wing (most affected by wake) and with some fround effects (flat floor etc)
3. completely faired in body to really clean up the wake
etc etc...


Tim
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wesley123
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by wesley123 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:03 pm

I dont like the idea, it sounds too simple and you dont amuse anyone with it as such things are prety logic.

What you can do, and what comes down to your own idea is to for example show how an different front wing(more high downforce) can increase or decrease downforce at the rear and how other aero tweaks can alter d/f balance.

It is your last year and thus you have to come up with something good.

@Tim; I dontlike that idea, it has been done multiple times already
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender

Tim.Wright
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by Tim.Wright » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:33 pm

Hey? You've got to be kidding. How is it too simple?? Do you have any idea how much work it would take to properly design and carry a set of experiments to investigate this properly? And you're telling me that fiddling with the front wing to change the d/f balance is something that has never been done before??? That sounds like another "here is my f1 front wing" thesis which has been done a million times before.

My idea for the project is not that common because because all of these concepts are banned or not feasible in F1 right now. The study would be to come up with an aerodynamic formula which will give close racing but still give the required level of downforce.

Also, just because something has been done before, doesnt mean there is no academic merit to it. If you take something already investigated and further the research, thats completely valid.

Another plus its relevant and topical to F1 now.

Tim
Not the engineer at Force India

mep
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by mep » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:47 pm

I wonder why you can choose your final project yourself?
Here you either get the project from the university or from some company.
The students from my course all got it from companies.
This means you have to fulfill their demands to succeed what is much more challenging. They want to use your project to improve their products.

Sorry if I say it like this but what you do in England sounds a bit like: I choose a simple Project, do a few things without caring the final result to much and I will get my degree by this.

Tim.Wright
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by Tim.Wright » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:55 pm

I think its like that in England but Im not too sure. It was definately like that in Australia unless you do make a project with a company.

Anyway, I've worked in Germany for the past year and seen the type of work put out by project students and its usually top quality stuff. I often wish I had done my degree over here. There is a massive difference between the quality of a final year project here as opposed to home in Australia.

Tim
Not the engineer at Force India

wesley123
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by wesley123 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:57 pm

Well excuse me that i do not know the precise expectations. What my assumption is is because of your degree such an thing would be described as 'easy'. Sure I know it is not, but it is your last project and so it is something big, such an thing as the Topic Starter came with is imo described as 'easy'. When we came in our last year(and that wasnt even your study) we also had to do an project, that project was an project with an topic which was relevant to your following study. Then you didnt got away either when you came with your regular report you did then, so I doubt similair will happen then.

IMO an final year project has to be something big and something impressive, it has to be something where you can put goals to.

I know making such an model is hard, but with what the Topic Starter proposed you wouldnt get far talking about it. Then you have an car, what do you want to do with it? You do not have any goal you want to achieve, nothing to research.

That is why i came with my FW idea, as for example you could have certain things you want to try;
-What Is the effect of different wing angles to the flow behind it?
-How does an Gurney affect the flow to the rest of the car?
-Does vortex generators have an significant impact on the efficiency of the rest of the car?
-Do multi-element end plates have an better effect on air management around the car?
-How does an FW height change affect airflow behind it?
-What are the effects of flexi-wings?
I think such an idea might even be easier, as the rest of the car has to be less detailed.
With this you have an certain base to try things on, like i said with the original idea you hve an car and then, what do you want to test? What do you want to achieve?

For me an final year project has to meet things;
-It has to be interresting for other people
-It has to be an topic that you like
-It has to be an higher level then you have used to do before
-You can talk alot about it

Those four(and maaybe even more, but its late here so i cant thing that well lol) are the key to an good project.

I aso have no problem with doing something already done, but you have to take it differently, like taking an specific point into that.

Or, what also can be an idea is making car configurations based on the next-gen formula where you test the cars sensitivity, test the effect of skirts to certain things(like ride height changes, loose skirts, crosswinds etc.).

@mep; I just have to agree with you. Thoguh i dont like the idea of an given topic. The teacher can simply give you an topic that has to do with aeroplanes, that isnt actually good to do when you want to go into race car designing for example. Also it is more likely for students to just drop out cause they dont like the project they woking on and lack the enthausiasm to work on it.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender

vinno
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by vinno » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:29 pm

Thanks to everyone for the replies - and so soon too!

I actually really like the ideas you've just put there Wesley. I like them alot.

I emailed my lecturer this weekend basically telling him I havent really got a clue what to do, when he gets back to me I'll put forward those ideas and see what he says.

If any more ideas come to any of you please throw them at me! I really need to try and get it sorted.

And to explain about picking your own project. The projects have to be approved by a group of lecturers and they wont let you do anything too easy, or too hard. I think its a way of letting people do what they will enjoy doing, and thus try harder? I dont know? I am a mere pawn in the system lol.

Thanks again though, I really appreciate any help. Im at my witts end!

mep
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by mep » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:58 pm

For me a final year project has to meet these things (in order):
1. You must be able to finish the project successfully and deliver a result
A negative result also counts but the project in total should be finished successful. I hope you understand the difference if not ask.

2. You must get along very good with your project advisor. It is very important that you can talk with him about everything.

3. It must be possible that you get a very good grade for it.
When you do something that has been done 1000times before best grade you can get is 2, so better do something else because you have to score 1.X.
Don't to something like a bearing layout design.

4. When you apply for a job and talk about the project it should impress the people.

@wesley:
Its not that you get just one single topic and have to do this. Usually you can choose from a number of given topics. For example when you do it for a company you check what kind of topics they offer you and then decide if you want to go to this company or not. A lot of other issues also play a role then. Some students later get a job in the company they did their final project.
The company can also cause a big danger to your project because they pay for it and not less. Very often they change their opinion and don't want it anymore or want something different. Then a lot of company politic is involved in this. Things like the economical crisis will force the company to reduce their expenses drastically. All these things cause a lot of trouble but they also make the work more demanding.

Reason for editing: added point 2
Last edited by mep on Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vinno
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by vinno » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:18 am

I just thought I'd drop these here to give you an idea of the standards which is acceptable for a project.

These are ideas which the lecturers put forward as examples of projects:

LGV CFD analysis

Synopsis
Large Goods Vehicles have special and specific problems related to drag and airflow. This project is all about looking at these problems and carrying out analysis using Phoenics CFD.
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CFD Analysis of a car roof box

Synopsis
Normally to reduce drag, the blunt end of an aerofoil faces forwards, slowly tapering to the rear. However car roof boxes are normally fitted with their pointed end forwards and their blunt end to the rear. The project will involve modelling a car plus a roof box using Phoenix CFD and assessing drag and downforce with the roofbox in various orientations.
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CFD Analysis of aerofoil high lift devices

Synopsis
Investigate aerodynamic theory and the CFD theory of operation and investigate a range of NACA aerofoils
Constrict a model in Phoenix of an aerofoil with variable flaps and slats, and use Phoenix to investigate lift, drag and Cl at various angles of attack with different flap and slat setting, and establish at what angle of attack the aerofoil stalls in various configurations.

Those are the only examples I can find which involve aerodynamics. Hopefully that will help you with any ideas you might have as to how easy/hard they are.

Thanks thanks thanks.

mep
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by mep » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:50 pm

notice I edited my above comment

Well maybe your idea is not so bad and its just the forum that is tired of home made cars/front wings. It seems like every schoolboy can do those now.

A project I would like to see is about overtaking.
You could do some scientifical analysis how cars should look like to make overtaking easier.
-make 2 simple car models and run cfd analysis when one car is following the other one (run analysis with different distances and speeds).
From this you can make statements about the following things:
-Reduction of downforce when a car is in the wake of another one.
-Reduction of drag when you are in the slipstream and gained top speed by this.
-best drag to power ratio
-drag vs downforce regarding overtaking
-what is better for overtaking: Following close or having high slipstream effect?
-how should a general car look like to make overtaking easier?
-how could a formula car look like if a compromise between attractive cars and good racing, overtaking is demanded?

ESPImperium
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by ESPImperium » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:08 pm

If you were to do the above, the conclusion could lead to a design of the "optimal" design for a front wing that can provide consistant downforce level up to a certain distance to the car in front.

Tim.Wright
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by Tim.Wright » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:31 pm

mep wrote:notice I edited my above comment

Well maybe your idea is not so bad and its just the forum that is tired of home made cars/front wings. It seems like every schoolboy can do those now.

A project I would like to see is about overtaking.
You could do some scientifical analysis how cars should look like to make overtaking easier.
-make 2 simple car models and run cfd analysis when one car is following the other one (run analysis with different distances and speeds).
From this you can make statements about the following things:
-Reduction of downforce when a car is in the wake of another one.
-Reduction of drag when you are in the slipstream and gained top speed by this.
-best drag to power ratio
-drag vs downforce regarding overtaking
-what is better for overtaking: Following close or having high slipstream effect?
-how should a general car look like to make overtaking easier?
-how could a formula car look like if a compromise between attractive cars and good racing, overtaking is demanded?
I agree 100%.

This is exactlty what I had in mind when I gave my suggestion. Studying the wake interaction is a lot more unique and has a lot more variables than modelling a front wing in isolation from the rest of the vehicle.

Also, if you find the correct contacts (you are in the right country) you get information from companies who have consulted to the FIA for similar studies to these in the past. If you really play your cards right then you might be able to do this study for the FIA or another governing body where the wake phenomenon is causing problems in the racing.

Tim
Not the engineer at Force India

jon-mullen
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by jon-mullen » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:45 pm

vinno wrote:I just thought I'd drop these here to give you an idea of the standards which is acceptable for a project.

These are ideas which the lecturers put forward as examples of projects:

LGV CFD analysis

....

CFD Analysis of a car roof box

....

CFD Analysis of aerofoil high lift devices

....
I don't mean to be rude, but I don't get how "CFD Analysis" is a graduate-level project, I mean, isn't it basically like solving a math problem? Don't you just set up some variables and walk away?

I guess there's more to these projects than that, but isn't CFD pretty much just a tool, and not an entirely accurate one at that? I don't see how these project descriptions are any different from say making something with your hands with no analysis or theoretical groundwork.

Again, I don't mean to be rude, and please let me know if I'm incorrect, I haven't done a graduate-level project but am very curious as to what makes a good one.
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Re: Project ideas..

Post by hollus » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:51 pm

Does it have to be racing?

What about a study on the possible effects of an "F-duct equivalent" in road cars? It might not be marketable, but it is valuable as a feasibility study and gives you some space to show creativity as well as technical skill. You would have to think of possible practical arrangements for these ducts, intake, outlet and control; as well as then analyze them properly.
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