Self-deployed Wheel Shutter System

Self-deployed Wheel Shutter System

General Motors Company is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts.

Aerodynamic drag is the second largest energy loss factor for trucks and the third largest energy loss factor for cars. One way to reduce aerodynamic drag is to minimize opening area of wheels. A car with closed wheels could achieve Cd reduction of ~0.010, which corresponds to ~1.5 g CO2/km or ~0.3 MPG in combined fuel economy. Smaller opening of a wheel, however, has adverse impact on brake cooling. Poor brake cooling causes premature wear of brake pads and reduces usable service life of brake pads. In the event of aggressive brake applications, such as during the mountain descend, temperature of brake fluid could reach its boiling point and vehicle’s braking capability could be greatly comprised. When a vehicle is traveling at a higher speed, the benefit in energy saving due to aerodynamic drag reduction is more apparent. On the other hand, brake cooling is usually critical in city driving, which tends to have more braking events and to travel at lower speeds.

The student team will design and deliver an automatic shutter style system which reduces the impact of aerodynamic drag reduction at higher speeds, while maintaining brake cooling at lower speeds.    This system should be embedded in the wheel and self-deployed / self-retracted depending on the rotating speed of the wheel.

Note: there are no Summer 2017 internships available for students who join this project team. Students who are interested in continuing work on this project team over the summer may apply for MDP Summer Funding. The funding application will open in February 2017.

More Information: 2017-GM3

Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign the following  document in January 2017:

Student Combined IP and Non-Disclosure Agreement for this Project Team

How to Apply

Project Features

  • Skill level All levels
  • Students 5-7
  • Course Substitutions ME 490, AUTO 503, GAME 503, EE MDE, Honors, ME 590, CE MDE, ECE Cognate
  • IP & NDA Required? Yes
  • Summer Opportunity Summer Funding Application
  • Mechanical Design (2 Students)

    Design, development of user requirements, analytical modeling and simulation, fabrication, validation, Prerequisite: ME 350 completed before WN17

    • Likely Majors: ME, ISD-AUTO, ISD-GAME
  • Electromechanical Controls (2 Students)

    • Likely Majors: ME, EE, CE, ECE
  • Heat Transfer and Fluids Modeling (2 Students)

    • Likely Majors: ME, AERO, ChE, PHYS

Faculty Mentor: Dan Kline2017 Stryker projects
Dan is a seasoned MDP mentor, and has mentored 8 successful student project teams over the past 4 years. He is a graduate of GMI (now Kettering University) and the University of Michigan with over 40 years experience in product design and development with General Motors. During the GM career, a management lead for product design teams as well as test and development activities across all GM vehicle platforms. The last 5 years of the long career were spent as the executive in charge of the global test lab operations with key responsibilities for test technology strategies and investments in road and lab based tools and methods as well as the IT applications for data and project management that linked the GM global product development operations. Recent industry contributions have been as a consultant for emerging technology applications and business strategies to major suppliers of product development tools and methods such as the MTS Corporation, Moog Corporation, Defiance Testing and Engineering, and the US Army-TARDEC. Industry experience is now leveraged to provide mentor guidance to future engineers in the U of M – MDP Program.
Sponsor Mentor: Erik Yenerik
Staff Researcher
Erik Yen, Ph.D. is currently Staff Researcher at General Motors Global R&D Center at Warren, Michigan. He received his B.S. degree from Tamkang University, Taiwan and his M.S./Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University . His current research interests are on ground vehicle aerodynamics, vehicle health management, autonomous vehicle diagnosis and prognosis, and battery thermal management.
For More Information About This Sponsor, Visit Their Website (General Motors).