Within the Automotive Research domain at HAN, research projects focus on making 'smart cars' which transport people and goods in a safer, more comfortable and more efficient way, and contribute to new improved powertrains. The themes of the Automotive Research domain at HAN University of Applied Sciences correspond to those that are upheld by the national interest group AutomotiveNL: 'Future Powertrain' and 'Smart Mobility'.
Globally, the automotive industry is a powerful economic and innovative force with an influential position in turnover, employment and R&D. The Dutch automotive sector has been significantly and effectively reorganised in recent years, in which specialised education and high-quality applied research have played a crucial role. As a result, the Dutch sector includes companies that are among the world’s best.
HAN Automotive Institute launches open access journal 'International Journal of Driving Science'
Saskia Monsma, HAN-lecturer of Master Automotive Systems, is also editor-in-chief of the new open acces magazine The International Journal of Driving Science, Driver-Vehicle Systems in Advanced Environments (IJDS).Learn more ...
‘Future powertrain’ concerns the development of new and improved drive systems for cars. Sustainability is thereby the most important theme of the near future, with an emphasis on reducing fuel usage and emissions of CO2 and other harmful gases. Our research themes ‘Electrification of the powertrain’, ‘Optimising fuels, engines and emissions’ and ‘Lightweight automotive design’ complement those of the Future powertrain.
‘Smart mobility’ is about smart cars: technology that ensures safer, more comfortable and more efficient transport. The Dutch economy needs modern technological solutions that reduce congestion problems and, at the same time, improve traffic safety and reduce injuries and fatalities. Smart cars means that drivers are supported more and more by intelligent systems that assist the driver in controlling the vehicle and preventing accidents. The ‘Advanced driver support’ theme corresponds with the objectives of ‘Smart mobility’.
Actual vehicle applications
Automotive researchers at HAN focus on conducting applied research projects, where testing and simulations take place. Research results are implemented in actual vehicle applications. This provides significant advantages: it proves the practical added value of the research and it shows the robustness of the innovations under real-life practical conditions, demonstrating the added value for the involved industrial partners. Moreover, concrete applications are more appealing to stakeholders.
TyreOpt research project: right tyres for the job
Selecting tyres in a structured and mathematical way is one of the main goals of the TyreOpt research project at HAN Automotive Research. Each customer embodies the unique combination of the vehicle operating cycle.More about this project
Within the automotive research domain, focus is aimed at the following areas:
1. Electrification of the powertrain
2. Optimising fuels, engines and emissions
3. Lightweight automotive design
4. Advanced driver support
Electrification of the powertrain
The electrification of the powertrain is a trend that was introduced with the Toyota Prius in 1997 and has only gained in momentum and interest ever since. The research centre has been conducting studies in this area for many years, in collaboration with various companies and with the involvement of students, lecturers and researchers. Expertise in electric drive systems, model-based design, V-cycle, control engineering, systems theory, testing, safety and rapid control prototyping are crucial to this research. We build prototype vehicles and test rigs not only to test the results of our PhD students’ research, but also to put them to good use for our partner companies.
Optimising fuels, engines and emissions
A second trend is the use of cleaner fuels, which can be achieved, for example, by mixing fuels. This may involve biogas - liquid biofuels - but may also involve mixing natural gas with hydrogen, or diesel with LPG. A significant advantage of fuels compared to the electric powertrain is that the existing and extensively researched technology of the internal combustion engine can be used as a starting point. This requires adjustments to both the fuel supply and the engine management system, in combination with the treatment of exhaust fumes. Our research focuses on all these aspects.
Lightweight automotive design
The research is focused on building lighter vehicles and the accompanying design methods. It includes the entire process of establishing normative loads, utilising these loads in the assessment of construction components and interpreting the results for strength and sustainability as the foundation for the redesign. Various instruments of analysis (experimental and model-based) developed at HAN are available for use.
The research centre investigates applications of advanced materials (such as composites, sandwich panels and high-strength steel) and new connecting techniques (such as adhesives) for personal and commercial vehicles. For goods transport, there is a trend towards Longer Heavier Vehicles (LHVs) in which the carbon footprint and the cost per unit of cargo are decreased when the vehicles are longer (and often heavier).
Advanced driver support
More than 80% of all accidents are caused by human error. For this reason, the research centre investigates vehicle performance and the performance of components that are important to control and comfort. Special attention is devoted to active control concepts and advanced driver support, partly based on model-based design and the rapid control prototyping approach mentioned under Theme 'The tyre', which is the contact between the vehicle and the road, plays an important role in this respect. Part of this research involves understanding humans as observers and operators of vehicles, particularly in the context of intelligent vehicle control in interaction with other road users and traffic monitoring systems.
Model Based Development
Model Based Development solutions at HAN Automotive Institute
Adequate software and hardware tools are essential elements in the process of carrying out efficient research and development projects. In recent years, the development of useful tools and technology for Model Based Development of control systems has been a focus area of HAN Automotive Institute.Learn more ...
Automotive is the umbrella under which students, professors and staff researchers carry out applied research, with and for the professional field. If you would like more information about automotive research at HAN University of Applied Sciences or our participating parties, or you would like to be informed about our research results, please contact Bram Veenhuizen or Joop Pauwelussen.
Related professor: Bram Veenhuizen
- Realisation and testing of the Fiat Doblo fuel cell hybrid
The aim of this project is to acquire and deploy the knowledge necessary to design and test a fuel cell hybrid powertrain.
- Electric Powertrain
This project aims to develop and implement model-based design and rapid control prototyping tools for the development of electric powertrains and their control systems. To achieve this, efforts will focus on developing powertrain models and components, and on testing and validating the developed powertrain model.
- Subaru on hydrogen
In this project, hydrogen is burned in the internal combustion engine of a rally car (Subaru Impreza 2.5 WRX Sti AWD) to investigate the conversion of such vehicles by acquiring knowledge ranging from technical to safety aspects.
- Conversion of different vehicles to bioethanol
The purpose is both to build up the practical knowledge necessary for such a conversion and to transfer this knowledge to students. Through close contact with clients, such projects give students a good impression of a ‘real’ commercial project.
- A PhD research project on the use of high-power batteries in both mobile and stationary applications
Automotive students in 'Talking Traffic project'
'Talking Traffic' is a project involving 7 automotive engineering students from the HAN Minor in Advanced Mobility and their lecturer. The project started in September 2016 and will take about 6 months to complete.Learn more ...