Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Automotive Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Venhovens, Paul

Committee Member

Law, Harry

Committee Member

Rhyne, Timothy

Committee Member

Haque, Imtiaz


The primary objective of this research is to develop an integrated system engineering methodology for the conceptual design of vehicle handling dynamics early on in the product development process. A systems engineering-based simulation framework is developed that connects subjective, customer-relevant handling expectations and manufacturers' brand attributes to higher-level objective vehicle engineering targets and consequently breaks these targets down into subsystem-level requirements and component-level design specifications. Such an integrated systems engineering approach will guide the engineering development process and provide insight into the compromises involved in the vehicle-handling layout, ultimately saving product development time and costs and helping to achieve a higher level of product maturity early on in the design phase. The proposed simulation-based design methodology for the conceptual design of vehicle handling characteristics is implemented using decomposition-based Analytical Target Cascading (ATC) techniques and evolutionary, multi-objective optimization algorithms coupled within the systems engineering framework. The framework is utilized in a two-layer optimization schedule. The first layer is used to derive subsystem-level requirements from overall vehicle-level targets. These subsystem-level requirements are passed on as targets to the second layer of optimization, and the second layer derives component-level specifications from the subsystem-level requirements obtained from the first step. The second layer optimization utilizes component-level design variables and analysis models to minimize the difference between the targets transferred from the vehicle level and responses generated from the component-level analysis. An iterative loop is set up with an objective to minimize the target/response consistency constraints (i.e., the targets at the vehicle level are constantly rebalanced to achieve a consistent and feasible solution). Genetic Algorithms (GAs) are used at each layer of the framework. This work has contributed towards development of a unique approach to integrate market research into the vehicle handling design process. The framework developed for this dissertation uses Original Equipment Manufacturer's (OEM's) brand essence information derived from market research for the derivation and balancing of vehicle-level targets, and guides the chassis design direction using relative brand attribute weights. Other contributions from this research include development of empirical relationships between key customer-relevant vehicle handling attributes selected from market survey and the various scenarios and objective metrics of vehicle handling, development of a goal programming based approach for the selection of the best solution from a set of Pareto-optimal solutions obtained from genetic algorithms and development of Vehicle Handling Bandwidth Diagrams.

Included in

Engineering Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.