Transmission Friction Loss and Fuel Economy

Transmission Friction Loss and Fuel Economy

General Motors Company, commonly known as GM, is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts, and sells financial services.

The design of transmissions can have a critical impact on the overall fuel economy of large vehicles, a characteristic that impacts not only their overall performance but also the operating costs for consumers. In order to reduce the time and resources consumed during the design process, complex vehicle systems such as transmissions can now be exhaustively simulated in software first in order to find optimal potential solutions before any hardware is created. Factors such as friction loss, input torque required to rotate a transmission unloaded in a given gear, input speed, line pressure, cooler restriction, and temperature are all critical to understand fuel economy modeling analysis of transmissions. Transmission friction loss generally improves as temperature increases, hence, warm-up rate is also critical for fuel economy benefits. Data and insights on these parameters and more must be gathered from real-world experiments in order to construct accurate software models and improve the accuracy and utility of simulation.

The student team for this project will design an experiment, executing testing on 9 and 10 speed transmissions to gather real-world data, analyze the results, and work with the General Motors analysis community to improve the company’s MATLAB-based Unified Vehicle Model for predicting fuel economy.


More Information

Check back in September for Student NDA/IP agreement forms

How to Apply

Project Features

  • Skill level All levels
  • Students 4-6 Students
  • Course Substitutions Honors, ME 490, ME 590, ISD-MFG, ISD-AUTO, ISD-GAME, Data Science, MIDAS, MICDE
  • IP & NDA Required? Yes
  • Summer Opportunity See Complete Description for Details
  • Mechanical Modeling, Simulation & Testing (2 Students)

    Combustion engine knowledge, advanced simulation skills

    • Likely Majors: ISD-Auto, ISD-Game, ISD-MFG, ME, MICDE
  • Data Analysis and Predictive Analytics (1-2 Students)

    Data analysis techniques, experience modeling experimental data

    • Likely Majors: DS, MIDAS, STATS
  • Heat Transfer Simulation, Modeling and Optimization (1-2 Students)

    Heat Transfer modeling, simulation techniques, experience with heat transfer modeling tools

    • Likely Majors: ChE, ME, PHYS

Sponsor Mentor: Heather Wyciechowski
Test Technical Specialist
Sponsor Mentor: Alfonso Hysko
Test Technical Specialist
Sponsor Mentor: Thomas Harding
Engineering Group Manager for Test Technical Specialist and Transmission
Faculty Mentor: Greg Hulbert
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Gregory Hulbert is a Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering. His research involves computational mechanics, structural dynamics, flexible multibody dynamics, dynamic response of composites and vehicle dynamics using finite element methods. He is also involved in the engineering education of mechanics.