MECHENG 513  Fundamentals of Auto Body Structures

MECHENG 513 Fundamentals of Auto Body Structures

Course Description

This course is designed to help students gain insight into auto body structural behavior and the relationship to the vehicle. It emphasizes the body concept for design using first order modeling of thin walled structural elements. It also considers the practical application of solid/structural mechanics to design automotive bodies for global bending, torsion, vibration, crashworthiness, topology, material selection, packaging, and manufacturing constraints.

Students will be assigned six quantitative problem assignments as homework in order to apply their new knowledge to real auto design situations. There will also be one mini design group project where students create a body structure concept that meets a given vehicle package and customer segment.


System Requirements

Undergraduate course in Strength of Materials or the equivalent or permission from the instructor.

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Course Instructors

Donald Malen, Ph.D.

Donald Malen, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Donald Malen has been involved with automotive body engineering, advanced product design and system innovation for over 35 years with General Motors Corporation. After retiring from GM, he has continued research and education in these areas. His background is in automotive body structure design and analysis, systems engineering, structured innovation, statistical decision making, and project management. His education includes a Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, an MS in Engineering Mechanics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BSME from Kettering University.