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Master of Science in Engineering

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Dr. Bassem Ramadan

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Davis

Third Advisor

Dr. Gianfranco DiGiuseppe


The objective of this thesis is to investigate the use of CFD methods to evaluate the aerodynamic drag of a vehicle. CFD methods, in some cases can be used as a substitute to physical testing if verified workflows are used. They can be used for rapid evaluation of design changes without the delays caused by wind tunnel testing.

In this study various models such as the Ahmed body, DrivAer model, AeroSUV model, GTU model, full-scale trailer truck model has been simulated at various conditions. The first study was with the simplified model of an automobile referred to as, the Ahmed body which is a crude representation of the variation of the C-pillar slant angles.

Next, more detailed models known as the DrivAer, AeroSUV and GTU which are detailed modular models of a sedan, an SUV, and a pick-up truck class of vehicles in various combinations of configurations, were simulated. All three models also include an open engine bay configuration which has a simplified engine, transmission, and exhaust system. The radiator is replaced with a simple cuboid porous area to simulate the velocity drop.

Finally, the aerodynamic performance of a full-scale trailer truck and a simple drag reducing device like a cabin air deflector and its effect on the drag coefficient were analyzed. Moreover, a homogenous platooning scenario, of trucks trailers where the trucks are moving at a distance of 5m between each other was investigated.