Automotive engineering course at NIT Nagpur

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Automotive engineering course at NIT Nagpur

In this video, Dr. Ashwinkumar Dhoble, Associate Professor, NIT Nagpur, provides an overview of VNIT’s automotive engineering course.
last updated
September 25, 2023

In this video, Dr. Ashwinkumar Dhoble, Associate Professor, NIT Nagpur, provides an overview of VNIT’s automotive engineering course. 

Partial Transcript: Hello friends, I am Dr. Ashwin Dhoble. I am working as an Associate Professor in VNIT Nagpur, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Actually, I teach automobile engineering to undergraduate students, and this course is basically designed for the mechanical engineering undergraduate students. 

So I am going to give you the overview of this course, what we are going to cover during the semester in this particular course. So you may be from mechanical engineering, may be from civil, electrical or any branch. But my job is to make you well acquainted with the automobile, basically the systems which are there in the vehicle, and the basic knowledge about that system. 

Bridge course for non-Automotive engineers

So I start my presentation with the contents - basically what is the need of this course. See, mechanical engineering program includes this automobile engineering course as an elective. Some of the students those who are willing to join the automobile industry, they opt for this kind of course, whereas the students from electrical, electronics, computer science, civil, chemical - in their curriculum they do not get the chance to enroll for this course. And for this EV MTech program, the minimum eligibility is you should be an engineer in any branch. So that is why this course will act as a bridge course. 

So it becomes our responsibility to give you the basic idea about automobiles. Then and then only you will be in a position to understand what is the electric vehicle, what are the factors which have to be considered while designing the vehicle, or just to understand the performance or some of the parameters of the vehicle. 

So the presentation contains the need of the course, which I have this. Even Vora Sir has given you the idea regarding why you need to upgrade yourself in this particular area. Because there is a big opportunity as far as the jobs are concerned. So that is the first thing. 

Vehicle design and development

Second is vehicle design and development. So in vehicle design and development, we will be discussing how the vehicle design is done. What are the different processes, how it is carried out in the industry, what is the background and other things we are going to discuss in the vehicle design and development process. See, designing is one part, one is conceptual design and then from the conceptual design you start developing and try to make the vehicle which can be used by the customer. So this is basically the process. 

So I have just included these slides, but there is a lot of background and a lot of theory behind the designing of the vehicle and the development process so that you should be able to reach to the prototype vehicle. The prototype vehicle is the one which is going to be tested for its performance and it should be able to satisfy the legislative requirement as required by the government. 

So that is another aspect. So from design basically from idea to actual prototype what are the different steps involved in that, we are going to discuss during this particular course not in this particular seminar. Then the anatomy of an automobile.

Anatomy of an Automobile

So if you see the various sub-systems of the vehicle, so what is there? If you start from the trunk, tail and then the major components are basically the engine, then the transmission system, gearboxes, interior. 

So we are going to discuss these things in detail, but one by one. We will start with the engine and then we are going to discuss all these things in greater detail during the course. During our presentation or classes, we will be solving some of the basic numericals on these particular systems so that you need not have to worry that you have to solve big equations and all those things. 

There will be some simple calculations and we need to check those calculations against those that are currently running on the road. That will give you the idea what theory gives us, and what is there in reality, and why that difference is there. So that way we are going to learn this particular subject. 

Now the next is if you see the automobile from below, what are the different systems you see? What is the meaning of each and every system, the radiator, power steering, then the transmission shaft, fuel tank, then axle, tire. 

So every system of the vehicle we need to discuss. Once you understand these systems, see basically the difference between the electric vehicle and the vehicle which are fitted with the internal combustion engine is that you are replacing the power source. 

So if you replace the power source, then the controllers will change. Here we have got clutch, gearboxes, then differential. There you will have the motor controller, speed controller, then torque controller. So these kinds of things will be achieved electrically whereas in ICE engine vehicle it is achieved by mechanical means. Now slowly it is changing from mechanical means to electrical means or electronic means for controlling the vehicle. 

So if you see the anatomy of vehicle, the block diagram, it shows that it consists of the engine. Engine is basically the power source. Everyone knows that. The engine is connected, the clutch is connected to engine, then the power goes to gearbox, then gearbox to transfer case, in case if it is a four wheel drive vehicle. 

Four wheel drive vehicle means the engine power is transmitted to the front wheels as well as rear wheel. Here we are discussing only the four wheeler passenger cars. We are not discussing some special cars, for example the racing cars and other class of the vehicle. It is basically the simple car which we see on the road. 

So in case it is with the four wheel drive, nowadays you have got most of the vehicle as the two wheel drive vehicle. So if it is four wheel drive vehicle then you need to have the transfer case which is distributing the engine power to front as well as rear wheels. So then from transfer case to propeller shaft, then to differential, then to axle and to the wheels. So this is basically the flow of the power from engine to vehicle wheels. 

If you replace this with the motor, then what is going to happen we will see in the subsequent slides. So this is basically the brief idea about the vehicle design. 

What are the forces acting on the vehicle?

Then we will discuss about the forces which are acting on the vehicle, because if you want to find out the capacity of the engine or capacity of the motor, then you need to estimate the forces which are acting on the vehicle. 

So broadly there are three types of forces which act on the vehicle. 

  1. The first one is road resistance.
  2. Then aerodynamic resistance, then most of the time you might have heard that this vehicle is having the aerodynamic body, the other vehicle is not that much, you can say the drag is more on that particular vehicle. Because it is related to your fuel economy. 
  3. And the third one is the gradient resistance, that means how much gradient the vehicle can climb. 

So estimation of these forces that we can do with some of the mathematical equations and we need those things to find out how much is the capacity of the engine is required for a particular kind of the vehicle. So all these parameters are taken into consideration. So we'll learn about these forces acting on the vehicle during our course. 

Then of course, this is the this shows that how the fluid flows around the body of the vehicle how much lift is created, how much drag is created, what are the other factors which govern how the fluid is traveling from the front end of the vehicle to rear end of the vehicle, and the effects of that. 

So there are different zones. You can find out the drag on the vehicle, then lift on the vehicle, then you can have the compromise between drag and lift so that you can have the proper design of the vehicle. So such kind of aspects, not in greater detail, please don't worry about the rigorous mathematical part. Usually for undergraduate program, we do not take much of the mathematical part in the course. 

So even if you are from electrical, electronics or computer science, you will be taught the basics of the basic formula by which you can understand exactly what is happening when the vehicle is moving on the road. So please do not have that fear. Why I am saying so because there were a lot many queries by the students from electrical engineering, then electronics and computer and civil - Sir how we will be able to understand the total automobile engineering?

So here the major emphasis will be on the simple calculations and understanding the working of the system. So that is basically emphasis, so that when you design the electric vehicle you should know that what are the main important calculations and what are the main factors on which the design of the vehicle is concerned. So that your transition from ICE engine vehicle to electric vehicle should become easy. That is why we call this as a bridge course. So please do not worry about the complicated mathematical calculations. 

Vehicle Engine and Motor

The next part is the vehicle engine, how it works or you can say, this I am talking about the ICE engine vehicle. When you discuss the electric vehicle then the motor will be the power source - everyone knows that. Then we will just give you the idea regarding the spark ignition engine - how it operates, what is the thermodynamic cycle on which it operates, and how to find out the efficiency of the engine, and what are the critical parameters. 

The understanding of an engine is important because the vehicle, you can say, characteristics - they are all dependent on the power produced, and you know, the basic physics behind the propulsion of the vehicle so which kind of engine is good, how it behaves. So those things we are going to cover in detail. Not the complete engine design, because engine design itself is a very vast subject.

No book with a formula for vehicle design

And one more thing I just wanted to make you aware of - in automobile engineering you will not find any particular book that they give you the formula for designing of the car. So please do not keep that thing in your mind. Basically it is an iterative process, so you need to start from the thumb rule and some basic physics, and then keep on improving your own design. 

So we are going to give you the idea regarding the spark ignition engine, the general idea that what are the parameters which we should look. Similarly for the compression ignition engine - on which cycle it operates, then what do you mean by a constant pressure cycle and the processes - adiabatic compression means what. These are the basic things we are going to discuss during this course. Then after that the electric motors - you people are more educated in this particular area compared to me if you are from electrical or you are from electronics engineering. So we are going to cover just basic things about the electric motor so that is also included in this particular course. 

Types of Electric Drivetrains

Now coming to next, if you are discussing the electric vehicle, then what are the different types of the electric drivetrain which are available, the hybrid electrical vehicle means what? See, ICE engine and electric motor - if you see this particular slide you will see that the hundred percent electric motor is available here in the third picture, but the first two types of vehicle hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Please do not forget that  - ICE engine is a part of it. Okay?

So it's not that you are always going to deal with hundred percent electric vehicles. Sometimes you may have to deal with hybrid electric vehicles. So in that case the knowledge of engine is necessary, and knowledge of basics. Because you have the internal combustion engines as well as electric motor, battery pack, so the weight of the vehicle will increase and that will change the design philosophy of this vehicle. So please keep this thing in mind. So that is why we have taken the little bit of the background of the engine. 

Car body terminology

Then coming to the next - the terminology - car body terminology. These are the general things. Then the complete - what is what do you mean by Body in White, what are the different types of bodies which are used for the vehicle construction. So those things will be discussing in detail. 

So this is as far as the overview of the automobile engineering, basic automobile engineering course is concerned. Let me tell you that or assure you that once you do this basic automobile engineering course, then it will be easy for you to at least understand the vehicle, and you know the design philosophy - that why these systems are…what is the basis for designing of this system.

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