You are here: Home » Study Plan » Subject


Subject: CHASSIS AND BODY DESIGN (A.A. 2021/2022)


Course year 2
Teaching units Unit Chassis and Body Design
Mechanical Engineering (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: ING-IND/14 CFU: 6
Teachers: Gianni NICOLETTO, Luca PIGNACCA
Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language inglese
Contents download pdf download




The main objectives are:
• To introduce the student to the main issues associated to racing car design (regulations, requirements, differences between car concepts, validation testing)
• To learn advanced fatigue design methods and apply them to structural components
• To learn the potential of the metal additive manufacturing technology for the race car development

Admission requirements

Design and finite element method
Lightweight materials
CAD method

Course contents

The course is divided in two main parts:

1) Chassis architecture and set-up
Introduction Prerequisites and functions of the racing car vehicle from the chassis point of view.
Ergonomics and use of space Principles of posture, Principles of human vision, Principles of movement, Percentiles and manikins used, Seating position, Accessibility, External and Internal visibility, Manouvrability and command access
Structural integrity and safety
Bodywork design: construction and regulation details for race cars; Preventive, active and passive safety: reference to international standards and regulations; Crashes of small intensity; Crash tests

2) Lightweight design of metal components
Fatigue design for lightweight Product use and service loads; Applied failure analysis; Fatigue testing and analysis; Material processing for fatigue performance; Fatigue design of structural components Lab: FEA-based fatigue design
Part design and development using metal additive manufacturing Insertion of AM technology in accelerated automotive development; Powder bed fusion and Direct energy deposition processes; Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM); Lightweight design using topological optimization tools and lattice structures; Mechanical characterization of AM metals.

Teaching methods

The course includes: (i) lectures from academic providing principles and methods of broad applicability (ii) lectures from industry experts introducing technical rules and practical approaches in the form of case studies; (iii) visit to industry labs to understand the main tests currently used for the design validation; (iv) computer labs to learn and apply computational tools used in design development; v) A project work developed by small groups (4 students) with appropriate tutoring will integrate methods and topics into a technical report. NOTE the lecture material will be uploaded before lectures on “Dolly” platform (

Assessment methods

The final exam can follow two different routes. The basic route is offered to all students and it consists of an oral test with one open-ended question or an exercise for each of the two main parts of the course. The evaluation yields a score up to 10/30 for each question depending on the comprehensiveness, consistency and completeness of the answer. The alternative route is offered on a year-by-year basis depending on the available number of theoretical or industrial project works encompassing the three parts of the course. The project work is developed in small groups (max 4 people depending also on the intensity of th work). The examination consists of the discussion of the tech report associated to the project work. The tech report includes: report in Word, PowerPoint presentation (maximum duration 25 min), 3D CAD drawings of the product developed, postprocessed FEM simulations. The evaluation, up to 30/30, is based on the presence of the above elements, the comprehensiveness of the development of the activities assigned by the tutor, the consistency and completeness of the description of the work performed, and the score is the same for all group participants. For both routes, Cum Laude score can be attributed only with the unanimous opinion of the examination board. It can be attained by students/groups that will distinguish over the expectations of the teacher(s), for instance by performing design and simulations activities beyond those assigned, using methodologies not explained during the course and demonstrating self-developed knowledge during the oral discussion.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: Through lectures, seminars, educational visits and experimental labs, the student learns the rules and the methods applied in the development of a race car chassis.
Applying knowledge and understanding: The students learn to apply design methods to practical applications
Making judgments: The students will be engaged in group work, open discussion and design synthesis.
Communication skills: in the perspective of the oral examination, the development of good communication skills, both oral and written, will be enforced by open discussion of theoretical concepts as well as applications.
The possibility, alternatively to oral examination, to develop group presentation of a written design report, will develop the ability to write technically sound and concise documents.
Learning skills: the activities of the course will deal with design methods of broad applicability rather than fixed design rules. The importance of continuous education is stressed.


• N.E. Dowling, Mechanical behavior of materials, Prentice Hall
• EPMA, Introduction to Additive Manufacturing Technology,