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Vehicle Concept Modelling

Final Report Summary - VECOM (Vehicle Concept Modelling)


The aim of the EC Marie Curie ITN 213543 “VECOM” (Vehicle Concept Modeling) was to provide dedicated research training in the emerging field of vehicle concept modeling for up-front pre-CAD functional performance engineering, bridging between industry and academia across Europe. The research area is of highly strategic importance to European automotive OEMs, who must launch products on an ever shorter time frame, at increased quality of multiple performance attributes. Novel methods have been developed to address this industrial need for a novel engineering process in which analysis leads the design. Applications have been worked out across partners and application fields, fully embedded in the vehicle industry context.

Concurrent to the envisaged technical advancements, the main objective of the Marie Curie ITN “VECOM” was to educate young researchers, developing their R&D skills, network them in an international expert team environment. This aim was to provide a structured training program, involving a mix of formal teaching and transfer-of-knowledge actions as well as an intensive on-the-job technology training and research methodology competence building.


Industry requirements were assessed, and a representative industrial design process was established, including application data, that could be used for benchmarking and validation of novel and improved methodologies throughout the consortium. The in-depth technical work program was organized along the two core constituent parts of the vehicle, each with two R&D Areas, with focus on selected performance attributes:

• Powertrain: (Engine and Driveline): fuel economy, energy & emission management, drivability, intelligent control, durability and NVH
• Structure (Body and Chassis): strength, NVH, safety, vehicle dynamics, durability

Two horizontal integration activities were defined to exchange data / enable multi-attribute balancing:

• Multi-domain system modeling (from 1D to detailed 3D), to incorporate all available knowledge and data at each design stage
• Multi-disciplinary balancing and optimization: balance possibly conflicting performance attributes in an earlier stage (which is more easily achieved & results in better overall product performance).

Main achievements of VECOM project

A total of 22 ESR fellows were contracted by VECOM and followed an intensive training in vehicle concept modelling at the various host institutions for a total of 496 person-months. An additional 7 ER fellows for a total of 75 person-months were also contracted and participated actively in the project.

The fellows followed a dual type of training: on the one hand, each of them was involved in real projects and received formation through research, supervised by their host scientific in charge. The majority of the ESR fellows were involved in PhD degree formation and either obtained or were about to obtain their PhD by the end of the project. On the other hand, all fellows received training through workshops, lecture courses and international scientific conferences. Fellows were encouraged to present their work at various internal dedicated workshops, as well as at public workshops. In addition, all of them attended one or several international conferences and presented their work either in VECOM dedicated sessions, or in normal conference sessions. Fellows were encouraged to attend all VECOM workshops, whether directly linked or not to their work area. Thus, cross-fertilization was ensured and fellows learnt about the problems in other areas linked to their work. For instance, a fellow doing research on powertrain simulation problems attended also all the workshops about vehicle structure simulation. A total of 30 training events were organised within the project and all the fellows benefitted from these greatly, especially as these events brought them together and helped them exchange experiences and ideas.

Industrial Partners and Stakeholder Board have participated actively in the events, thus providing the essential links for the transfer of knowledge.

Over one hundred publications (113 at the end of the project) have resulted out of the VECOM project work, with 20 in indexed journals, thus demonstrating that the project was not only successful from the point of view of the training of fellows, but also from the point of view of scientific collaboration between the various partners involved. A closer collaboration has been set up between various institutions that will carry on after the project. A common working methodology has been developed between partners, endorsed by industrial partners, and this should ensure that in the future vehicle concept modelling will be integrated from the very first stages of design.

VECOM Consortium

VECOM was initiated within EARPA, the European Automotive Research Partners Association of which several partners are active members in the Task Force “Modelling and Simulation”, see

The Consortium is formed by:

Universities (6)

• Univ. Politécnica de Valencia (SP,coordinator)
• Politecnico di Torino (IT)
• K.U.Leuven (BE)
• Univ. degli Studi di Firenze (IT)
• Aristotle Univ. Thessaloniki (GR)
• Czech Technical Univ. Prague (CZ)

Research Institutes (4):

• IDMEC, Pole of Univ. Porto (PT)
• Fraunhofer-LBF (DE)
• AIT-Arsenal Research (AT)
• IFP Energies Nouvelles (FR)

Industry (4):

• LMS International (BE)
• AVL List (AT)
• Centro Ricerche Fiat (IT)
• BMW Group (DE)

The role and commitments of the full partners was:

• Recruit and host research fellows.
• Form through research and training program the young researchers hosted.
• Develop an engineering Training Program (methodology R&D, applications, workshops, training courses, ...).
• Promote the mobility of the researchers.

In addition, an Industrial Stakeholder Board (ISB) completed the Consortium. It was formed by additional industrial contacts: CLEPA, DAF Trucks, Pirelli, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Renault, Ricardo Prague, Skoda Auto, Tenneco Automotive, Volkswagen.

Its role and commitments were:

• Attend public technology workshops
• Access to public deliverables
• Opportunity to host VECOM research fellows for short-term secondments.

Contact details of coordinator: Dr. Xandra Margot, CMT-Motores Térmicos, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.

E-mail:; telephone: +34 963 877 650; Fax: +34 963 877 659.

VECOM website: