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master degree course in AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING

Course year 2
Teaching units Unit Automotive thermal control
Mechanical Engineering (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: ING-IND/10 CFU: 6
Teachers: Alberto MUSCIO
Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
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Alberto MUSCIO


To know and understand the fundamentals of heat transfer in vehicles, thermal control of current and forthcoming powertrains, thermo-hygrometric comfort in confined environments, air conditioning by both optimizing the envelope of the vehicle cabin and using devices for heating, cooling, dehumidification and ventilation.
To elaborate and apply the gained knowledge to the choice and use of strategies and devices for thermal control of combustion and electric powertrains and electronic components, as well as to heating and air conditioning of the vehicle cabin, pursuing technical-economic efficiency and minimization of the energy needs.

Admission requirements

Thermal fluids / Thermal fluids for vehicles: fundamentals of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and heat transfer

Course contents

Each teaching topic/unit has a weight between 0.5 and 1 CFU.

Fundamentals of heat transfer by conduction, convection and irradiation.
Innovative materials for thermal insulation, heat dissipation, solar control, and thermal storage.
Design of heat sinks and thermal interface materials.
Design of air and liquid cooling systems and heat exchangers.
Methods for analysis and optimization of thermal transients.
Theoretical and experimental determination of thermo-hygrometric comfort in the passenger cabin.
Conventional and innovative HVAC systems.
Heating, cooling and ventilation of the seats.
Brief introduction to sensors for thermal, hygrometric and fluid flow measurements and their integration into advanced thermal control systems.

Teaching methods

Teaching method: in presence. Course attendance: optional (but recommended). Teaching approach: lectures and classroom exercises. Teaching language: Italian, with support materials in English. Notes: The final exam includes both a written and an oral test. The written test is based on a questionnaire with open questions, aimed to test the knowledge of the course content and the ability to apply the acquired knowledge. The oral exam, again for testing the understanding and application of the course content, consists of a 30-minute discussion (oral speech) on the different issues. The final exam is passed if the score of each test is at least sufficient. The final mark is the arithmetic mean of the marks obtained in the tests.

Assessment methods

Methods: written test (design project by calculation) and oral test (semi-structured interview), joint (in the same test session). Time allocation: tests at the end of the course. Typical test duration: 2 hours of written test, about 30 minutes of oral interview. Method of returning the results of the written test: within 10 days from the day of the test by email. Method of assigning the final score: arithmetic average of the written test and oral test. Useful materials to take the test and allowed during it: non-programmable calculators and on a disconnected device, dictionaries and glossaries.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: through different teaching activities the students learn the methods and techniques of engineering design, and develop the ability to think out and implement original ideas, even in a Research & Development contest.
Applying knowledge and understanding: through the autonomous project development and practical exercises and laboratory activities related to computer aided design, students learn how to apply the knowledge gained, even in new and unfamiliar multidisciplinary fields.
Making judgments: through the engineering project development, in team, and the discussion with the teacher, students develop the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgments even on the basis of incomplete or limited information, reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments.
Communication skills: through the work in team and the discussion with the teacher, students develop the ability to critically communicate, especially using the engineering technical language, technical information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist.
Learning skills: the activities described allow students to develop the skills necessary to autonomously deepen technical topics, in order to effectively face professional challenges or to undertake further studies.


Per lo studio: materiali forniti dal docente / For study: materials provided by the teacher.
Per approfondimento personale: da comunicare / For the personal deepening of contents: to be communicated.