German Automotive Engineering Expert Visits Amrita and Gives Tips to Formula One Racing Team

Dr. Dietmar Jennewein, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Plastics Engineering, University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt, Germany visited the Amritapuri and Coimbatore campuses in early 2016. Dr. Jennewein met and interacted with faculty, staff, research scholars, and students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, in both campuses, where he gave two talks. He also interacted with faculty and staff from the Amrita Center for International Programs, AMMACHI Labs, the Amrita Center for Cyber Security, the Amrita Technology Business Incubator, and the Amrita School of Engineering, Amirtapuri campus. Dr. Jennewein is a subject matter expert in the areas of Technical Mechanics, Control Engineering, and Mechatronic Vehicle Systems.

At the Amritapuri campus, Dr. Jennewein met students participating in the BAJA SAEIndia formula one racing competition. BAJA SAE is an intercollegiate competition run by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) where teams of students, from universities all over the world, design and build small off-road cars which have engines of the same specifications. As part of an ongoing engineering project, approximately 25 students conceptualized, designed, and manufactured a formula one race car which runs on a 390cc motorbike engine. Some students also developed a semi-automatic transmission system for the car. 

Mr. Vipin V. and Mr. Harikrishnan G., assistant professors from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amritapuri campus, were enthusiastic about the opportunity for their students to interact with Dr. Jennewein and get his advice on automobile engineering. “We don’t have a specific stream in Automobile Engineering here at Amritapuri so it was good for the students to be exposed to the field. The group that is currently involved in the BAJA competition got some advice and guidance on how to adapt their automobile to all terrains and how to reduce engine vibration. Dr. Jennewein also utilized a handmade simulation to demonstrate the entire vehicle development process,” said Mr. Harikrishnan G.

At the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amritapuri campus, Dr. Jennewein gave a talk titled, “Simulation of Noise and Vibration in Automotive Industry”. In the talk, Dr. Jennewein spoke about the virtual development process, performance simulation sources for noise and vibration, such as power train, road induced noises, components noises, customer actuated sounds, and squeak and rattle noises. Dr. Jennewein also spoke about the complexity of vehicle arch development and hybrid transfer path analysis. 

Dr. Thirumalaini S., Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Coimbatore campus, was delighted that Dr. Jennewein shared the current trends and requirements of the industry with her students and provided helpful anecdotes from his tenure at GM. Dr. Jennewein also gave a new perspective on acoustic materials and the prediction of sources of noise via simulations, explaining how to identify sources of noise and, subsequently, dampen them. 

“At Amrita, we tend to focus more on experimentation, but Dr. Jennewein gave students new insights on conducting simulations, thereby decreasing the number of experiments that would need to be conducted,” said Dr. Thirumalaini. Dr. Thirumalaini looks forward to collaborating with Dr. Jennewein in the future stating, “The days have gone where people work in silos in the respective domains. Today, there is a need to become more interdisciplinary and collaboration is the key to meaningful research and to provide the necessary research output.”

Both Dr. Jennewein and faculty and staff from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Coimbatore campus, gave presentations about the work being done in their respective departments. Dr. Jennewein also gave an introduction to the University of Applied Sciences and spoke extensively about the German perspective towards learning. He specifically explained his University’s pedagogy with respect to lab classes which supports more practical and hands-on study of the subject.

At the end of the visit, Dr. Jennewein expressed interest in accepting Masters and final year B.Tech students for project work in Germany. He was also open to the idea of co-guiding Amrita PhD students and allowing younger Amrita faculty to come to Germany and do research. Dr. Jennewein also agreed to conduct lectures through AVIEW as well as come to Amrita and teach short courses. 

Speaking about his time at Amrita, Dr. Jennewein said, “There are so many highly motivated people here and it was very inspiring meeting everyone, especially the students. I look forward to discovering opportunities for common projects and working on them in the future.” 

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