College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2021-09-14 18:33:29


Mechanical Engineering

Honors Course

4600 497

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


Reducing the weight of a vehicle in racing can substantially improve the vehicle dynamics and general performance capabilities. More specifically, the reduction of the unsprung corner weight can provide noticeable performance gains in handling and responsiveness, leading to a quicker, more agile car due to a lower yawing moment of inertia. Unsprung weight reduction also improves the car’s ability to maintain contact between the tires and the road surface for a more consistent grip. In this project we identified the loads that act on the wheel rims according to the data collected from the sensors in the car’s suspension, and we used that data to design a lighter and stronger carbon fiber wheel to handle those extreme load conditions.

Decreasing the weight of the wheel itself (changing materials from aluminum to carbon fiber) will reduce the unsprung corner weight as well as the rotating mass.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Daniel Deckler

First Reader

Dr. Scott Sawyer

Second Reader

Dr. Ajay Mahajan

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Scott Sawyer



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