Vehicle durability analysis and driving cars into lecture theatres…just a normal day for an Engineering student at Harper Adams.
Fourth Year students from across all Engineering programmes have been getting hands-on with the Harper Adams University TomCar to test vehicle component durability.
Senior Lecturer Tom Underhill explains:
The session was designed to obtain real world data for an assignment as part of the students’ Advanced Stress Analysis module.
Every engineering undergraduate will learn about stress and strain. It’s a heavily theory-based subject and is essentially very complex applied mathematics.
Our module, however, provides simulated professional practice instead of theoretical maths, which is more applicable to real-world industry practice.
Real-world engineers use a combination of computer CAD modelling (Finite Element Analysis) and testing rather than pure mathematical theory.
This lecture was an example of what James Croxford did after he graduated from our degree course and is called ‘Road Load Data Acquisition’ (RLDA).
Students have been encouraged to use their own models to predict what will happen when we start testing.
We also plan to execute a number of ‘driving tests’ outside to get the unpredictable loads when actually driving.