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The University of Southampton

SESA6038 Race Car Design/GDP

Module Overview

Focus: Design of a hill-climb race car using CFD: In the Group Design Project (GDP) you will design an entire hill-climb race car by means of CFD analysis, with the primary goal of improving its performance over the baseline car provided to you in form of a CAD model. The group project is a learning experience that enables you to apply your engineering and scientific knowledge to develop specific race car designs. Working in a group you will negotiate with your 'client', in this case the coordinator, develop your team working, plan your project, present your work through meetings with your supervisor and assessors, report writing and oral presentations. At all times, you will monitor your progress as a team to ensure you are achieving the objectives set while ensuring quality of output. You should consult the coordinator for full details regarding conducting the project, meetings, forms required and important deadline dates.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The engineering science related to race car aerodynamics
  • The essential elements of the design process
  • Design methodologies
  • Engineering research
  • Multidisciplinary research approach and methodologies
  • Social, economic and environmental aspects of the research
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Generate ideas relating to the design of race car components and their integration
  • Research information related to a design solution and discuss with group
  • Evaluate critically your strategy, processes and output
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Establish a project plan that is efficient and recognises group strengths and time frame
  • Prioritise competing demands
  • Produce a technical report on your work
  • Record discussions at supervisory and peer based meetings in such a way that they can be referred to effectively in the future
  • Use computer based engineering tools to solve problems
  • Reflect on group processes in team work
  • Monitor the progress of your design and the project
  • Become an independent learner
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Manage your time
  • Locate, read, understand and review research papers
  • Plan and meet your own deadlines
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gather and synthesise data, contextualise your results, recommend further work, or how work could have been improved
  • Design a component or system using appropriate design techniques
  • Locate, read, understand and review research papers


Regular (e.g. weekly) meetings with the module coordinator.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Regular consultations with supervisor (for example every two weeks, or on request of the group, organised by the group) to discuss project progress, aims and any difficulties • Additional review is also required with your internal assessor (to be nominated by your supervisor in consultation with the team). The review should be arranged by the team and should be held prior to the end of semester 1. Learning activities include • Learning through problem solving. • Learning through team work and group discussions. • Learning through self-driven research.

Project supervision12
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

J. Katz (1995). Race Car Aerodynamics. 

Previous Race Car Aerodynamics GDP reports. 


Assessment Strategy

Method of repeat year: Repeat year internally - Can be repeated redoing the project with next year’s cohort.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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