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ES3A9-15 Design for Vehicle Safety

School of Engineering
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Matthew Pitts
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
50% coursework, 50% exam
Study locations
  • University of Warwick main campus, Coventry Primary
  • Distance or Online Delivery
Introductory description

ES3A9-15 Design for Vehicle Safety

Module web page

Module aims

This key automotive-specific module will introduce the concept of design for vehicle safety. The module aims to promote an understanding and an interest in the issues of design for safety for the vehicle structure as well as considering some of the automotive systems which contribute to safety aspects. This module will draw upon the close links that WMG has with the automotive industry to deliver industry-relevant theory and applied engineering.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

What is automotive safety; history, why and how
The role of material science in design for vehicle safety
Material selection for design for safety
Automotive structure and safety
Safety aspects of design for BIW
Crashworthiness legislation
Crash analysis; front/rear impact and side crash
The role of Human-Machine Interface in vehicle safety
CAE/FEA in analysis of vehicle structures
Fatigue failure analysis for vehicle structures
The role of different vehicle sub-systems in safety aspects
Passive and Acitve safety systems

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Communicate core scientific and engineering principles that underpin design for vehicle safety
  • Explain developing trends in vehicle safety
  • Model key physical prinicples relating to vehicle safety including kinetics and fatigue
  • Create an analytical model of a simple structure and understand how these principles apply to mathematical modelling and CAE for vehicle safety structures
Indicative reading list

Radhakanta Rana, Shiv Brat Singh, Automotive steels : design, processing and applications, 2017
Mehrdad Ehsani, Fei-Yue Wang and Gary L. Brosch, Transportation technologies for sustainability, 2013
Bhise, Vivek D., Ergonomics in the automotive design process, 2012
Davies, G, Materials for Automobile Bodies. Butterworth Heinemann. 2003
Dearborn, M. H. Vehicle Crash Dynamics. CRC Press 2002
Dixon, J.C. Tyres, Suspension and Handling, Cambridge University Press, 1991
Bastow, D; Howard, G; Whitehead, J. P; Car Suspension & Handling 4th Edition. Wiley 2004
Matthew Huang “vehicle crash mechanics”, 2002
Jason C. Brown, “Motor vehicle structure”, 2002
M.J. Fagan, “Finite element analysis : theory and practice”, 1992
Close, C, M; Frederick, D. K; Newell, J. C. Modelling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems 3rd Edition, Wiley 2002

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Ability to conceive, make and realise a component, product, system or process
Ability to be pragmatic, taking a systematic approach and the logical and practical steps necessary for, often complex, concepts to become reality
Ability to be risk, cost and value-conscious, and aware of their ethical, social, cultural, environmental, health and safety, and wider professional engineering responsibilities

Transferable skills

Numeracy: apply mathematical and computational methods to communicate parameters, model and optimize solutions
Apply problem solving skills, information retrieval, and the effective use of general IT facilities
Communicate (written and oral; to technical and non-technical audiences) and work with others
Plan self-learning and improve performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD
Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including time management, which may be as a team member or leader
Awareness of the nature of business and enterprise in the creation of economic and social value
Overcome difficulties by employing skills, knowledge and understanding in a flexible manner
Appreciation of the global dimensions of engineering, commerce and communication
Be professional in their outlook, be capable of team working, be effective communicators, and be able to exercise responsibility and sound management approaches.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 8 sessions of 1 hour (5%)
Seminars 8 sessions of 1 hour (5%)
Practical classes 1 session of 3 hours (2%)
Online learning (scheduled sessions) 16 sessions of 1 hour (11%)
Other activity 2 hours (1%)
Private study 113 hours (75%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Guided independent learning

Other activity description

2 x 1 hour examples classes


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group C2
Weighting Study time
Written Assignment 50%

2000 words

Online Examination 50%


~Platforms - QMP

  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
  • Students may use a calculator
  • Engineering Data Book 8th Edition
  • Graph paper
Feedback on assessment

Written comments and electronically marked-up assignment
Cohort level feedback on examination

Past exam papers for ES3A9


This module is Core for:

  • Year 3 of UESA-H335 BEng Automotive Engineering
  • Year 4 of UESA-H334 BEng Automotive Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • Year 3 of UESA-H336 MEng Automotive Engineering

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 4 of UESA-H334 BEng Automotive Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • Year 4 of UESA-H337 MEng Automotive Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • Year 3 of UESA-H115 MEng Engineering with Intercalated Year

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 3 of UESA-H113 BEng Engineering
  • Year 3 of UESA-H114 MEng Engineering
  • Year 4 of UESA-H115 MEng Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • UESA-H11L Undergradaute Engineering (with Intercalated Year)
    • Year 3 of H11L Engineering (with Intercalated Year)
    • Year 4 of H11L Engineering (with Intercalated Year)

This module is Option list A for:

  • Year 4 of UESA-H111 BEng Engineering with Intercalated Year
  • UESA-H112 BSc Engineering
    • Year 3 of H112 Engineering
    • Year 3 of H112 Engineering

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 3 of UESA-HN12 BEng Engineering Business Management
  • Year 3 of UESA-HN15 BEng Engineering Business Management
  • Year 4 of UESA-HN13 BEng Engineering Business Management with Intercalated Year