Powertrain Dynamics (MECHENG7236)

Course Description

This graduate course, the first in the Powertrain certificate, covers the essential aspects of automotive Powertrain dynamical modeling with emphasis on the dynamics of the mechanical, electrical, thermal and fluid systems. The behavior of Powertrain subsystems are explored analytically and computationally. 

A computer simulation of the overall Powertrain system will be used throughout the course. A special modeling and simulation project is also developed for each offering of the course. 

Basic knowledge of Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, System Dynamics, and proficiency in Matlab and Simulink are required; preparatory non-credit seminars in Matlab and Systems Dynamics are recommended before taking the course.

Powertrain dynamical modeling


Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the dynamics of fuel injection and charge intake process
  • Understand the dynamics of the combustion process and exhaust gas chemistry
  • Model the air-to-fuel ratio control loop
  • Model vehicle longitudinal dynamics and vehicle response
  • Understand engine torsional dynamics
  • Understand torque converter static and dynamic models
  • Model transmission mechanical and hydraulic systems
  • Model shift hydraulic systems and open loop transmission control
powertrain thermal analysis


Giorgio Rizzoni

Giorgio Rizzoni has served in his current role as director for the Center for Automotive Research since 1999, while holding faculty appointments in both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). He has been continuously engaged in graduate and undergraduate curriculum development on subjects related to system dynamics, mechatronics, powertrain modeling, hybrid-electric vehicles and system fault diagnosis. Rizzoni is a three-time recipient of the MAE External Advisory Board Excellence in Teaching Award and in 1996 received the College of Engineering Stanley Harrison Award for Excellence in Engineering Education.


Cheena Srinivasan, professor of mechanical and electrical engineering received his PhD from Purdue University. He prevously served as chair of the Ohio State Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include automatic control, fluid power and application to automotive powertrains, control of manufacturing processes and mechanical systems.