George Jones

Degree: BEng Motorsport Engineering

Project title: A Combined Mathematical & Experimental Approach to Valvetrain Dynamics Based on an MCR Duratec Engine

Project Overview

Mathematical and experimental methods were employed to determine the characteristics of a Ford Duratec HE420 valvetrain for use in an MCR Race Car. The investigation was inspired by the SRCC Sports 2000 Championship technical regulations, where limited elements of the valvetrain are permitted for development. Experimental procedures for converting between camshaft lobe and valve lift profiles were built, using a refined matrix method and coordinate geometry (rotation of axes). It was found that curve fitting and interpolation techniques could be used to simulate the resolution size of advanced Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM). A good improvement was made over the original 360 cam lobe measurements. A mathematical model was then produced to approximate the cam-to-tappet friction properties, where a 20% reduction in friction was attained by reducing valve spring stiffness. The Fourier series enabled interactions between valve harmonics and spring surge frequency to be analysed. Finally, all findings from experimental procedures were validated against commercially acceptable valve lift profiles.


Why did you choose this course? 

I was previously working as an MOT assessor & vehicle technician until I chose to study for a degree in Motorsport Engineering. The course provided great opportunity to enhance my career prospects within the automotive industry.


Why did you choose UWTSD?

As a mature student the locality of the university was extremely beneficial. The smaller class sizes and numerous engineering projects (including student race teams) also appealed to me.


What are your future plans? 

I plan to continue studying at UWTSD to gain a post graduate degree in Automotive Engineering (MSc), before finding a challenging and exciting role in industry.

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