Life in the fast lane for Mechanical Engineering students
During May 2019, a group of eight students from the Lincoln School of Engineering went on a field trip to Gothenburg, Sweden, as part of their studies.
As fourth-year students on the MEng Mechanical Engineering programme, the visit provided an opportunity for students to gain insight into an active industry test track in Sweden, to collect and analyse dynamic vehicle behaviour, in evasive manoeuvres such as a double lane change, and also allowed learning experience around a practical into passenger vehicle handling. The group collected data for their coursework on the Vehicle Systems and Control module on the course.
Student, Benjamin, wrote about his experience below:
During the visit, we attended a lecture on advanced vehicle dynamics at Chalmers University of Technology. It was excellent to develop our knowledge more, before the test track practical to follow the day after. The lecture was delivered in English by Professor Lidberg to his own students and our group. Afterwards, we had the opportunity to talk with the Swedish and international students at Chalmers who we would be working with closely the following day. It was great to get an insight into what being a student in Sweden is like, as well as the similarities of our Engineering courses. Following this, we were given a tour of the Engineering department facilities, including the workshop and an advanced driving simulator.
In the afternoon, we explored the city of Gothenburg on foot and enjoyed some great views thanks to its varying landscape. This downtime was a good break as we were within the last few weeks of a 4-year degree, which we had spent with each other.
Later on, in true student fashion, a group of us stayed awake into the early hours writing and debugging code to analyse the vehicle data we would collect the next day.
The second day involved travelling to the test track facility, AstaZero. AstaZero is an active industry test track in Sweden, where vehicle manufacturers test their latest products. Here, we conducted three manoeuvres in dedicated test vehicles filled with over 30 sensors to record the behaviour of the vehicle.
- a steady state handling test
- a random steer test
- a double lane change (a forceful manoeuvre where the vehicle changes lane and back again quickly at high speed)
The latter manoeuvre was a little disconcerting in the wet weather and snow we encountered! After collecting the data in our groups, made up of two Chalmers Students and one Lincoln Student, we analysed the data to ensure its quality and get a brief technical insight into what we had just experienced.
On the final day of our trip, we explored what the city of Gothenburg had to offer, before boarding our flight back home.
It was an amazing experience to end my degree, not only because of what we achieved academically but also because of the company and camaraderie I felt with my course mates I’ve spent the past four years with. When you start your degree, you just don’t think you’ll be sat having a Fika at a Swedish test track with like-minded students from all corners of the globe, talking and laughing, brought together by a passion for engineering, but this trip just shows the opportunities available at the University of Lincoln if you embrace them.
You can find out more about the School of Engineering online: https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/engineering/