Automotive Technology | What is Automotive Engineering Technology?

Automotive Engineering Technology is a program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills to support engineers and other professionals in developing, manufacturing, and testing self-propelled ground vehicles and their systems. Includes instruction in vehicular systems technology, design and development testing, prototype and operational testing, inspection and maintenance procedures, instrument calibration, test equipment operation and maintenance, and report preparation.

Automotive technology

Automotive technology.
Automotive technology.

Automotive engineers work on the development and production of automobiles. New types of cars, lorries, motorbikes, and other passenger vehicles are the focus of their work. These experts have highly specialized knowledge and work on a single element of vehicle development. For example, one group of car engineers may design a vehicle’s safety features, while another concentrates on improving engine performance. Similarly, the stages in which these experts are involved might differ. Some car engineers are primarily interested in vehicle design and are less involved in vehicle manufacturing. Others are only concerned with part manufacturing and bringing design models to life in the real world. Automotive engineering programs provide students with a strong foundation of expertise and experience that they may use to construct vehicles. Electronics, hydraulics, mechanics, and other vehicle systems are taught in these classes. While technical specialties vary by degree, virtually all programs give a comprehensive overview of the automobile industry. A bachelor’s degree is required for many persons who wish to work in automotive engineering. Graduate education, on the other hand, is widely available throughout the United States.

Available degrees in automotive technology-

While it is possible to begin working in automotive technology without a degree, the discipline is becoming more sophisticated by the day.

Industry certification is usually required. A degree in automotive technology would help prospective employees develop critical skills and provide them with valuable hands-on experience in the field.

Check out the information below on the different kinds of degrees and certifications available in automotive technology. Ensure your chances of landing a great job with a competitive salary today!

Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Engineering Technology – Four-Year Duration-

Very few schools in the US offer a distinct Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Engineering or Automotive Engineering Technology. At this level, programs are typically offered as a specialty of mechanical engineering / mechanical engineering technology. The bachelor’s curriculum encompasses more advanced topics and is designed for students planning to go on to graduate school after earning their undergrad degree.
Both associate and bachelor’s programs explore the design, manufacturing, and operation of modern vehicles through coursework in automotive engineering technology, general engineering technology, and mathematics and science. Throughout their studies, students learn how to use engineering fundamentals and state-of-the-art software to identify and solve problems related to the machine components and assemblies used in the automotive industry.

Here are some sample undergraduate courses: 

  • Design of Machine Elements – Stress and strain, load analysis, failure prediction, impact, fatigue, lubrication, sliding bearings, rolling bearings, shafts and associated parts, gears, fasteners, brakes and clutches, disassembly and reassembly of the vehicle system.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) – Two-dimensional drafting: drawing environment and commands, drafting settings, drawing editing, plotting output, dimensioning, orthographic projections (a means of representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions) and views, sectional and auxiliary views; three-dimensional solid modeling: parts, assemblies, 2D drawings generation.
  • Structure and Properties of Materials – Physical properties including tension forces and impact of materials, fracture, testing, and applications and selection of ceramics, metals and alloys, polymers, and advanced materials used in automobiles and vehicles; metal casting for automotive applications.
  • Engineering Statistics – An introductory statistics course covering the following topics with engineering applications: organization and description of data, probability and distributions, hypothesis testing, and data analysis.
  • Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer – Thermodynamic principles; heat engines; gas turbine cycles; air conditioning; conductive, convective, and radiative heat transfer; heat transfer coefficients; heat exchangers; vehicle thermal management components and systems.
  • Engineering Economics – Costing methods of engineering designs and processes, minimum attractive rate of return, return sensitivities, time value of money, internal rates of return, payback period, amortization of equipment, and capital cost allowance structures.
  • Automotive Engineering Technology – Spark ignition engines, diesel engines, ignition systems, emission control devices, computers and on-board diagnostics, clutches, manual and automatic transmissions and transaxles, driveline, steering systems, suspension systems, brakes, tires, and wheels.
  • Control Theory – Analysis and design of a closed loop control system (a set of mechanical or electronic devices that automatically regulates a process variable to a desired state or set point without human intervention); topics include control system characteristics and performance, stability analysis, system types and performance improvement, digital control systems, compensation, filtering, and motion control system analysis and tuning.
  • Fluid Mechanics – Understanding the behavior of fluid under various forces and at different atmospheric conditions; fluids perform three crucial operations in automobiles: generation of power, lubrication, and cooling of the engine; the purpose of fluid mechanics in automobiles is to make the vehicle more environmentally friendly.
  • Conceptual Design of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles – Groups of students research, discuss, and implement conceptual design aspects of electric or hybrid electric vehicles; the major aspects of vehicle design are analyzed from the vehicle specification to the environmental assessment and sustainability.
  • Internal Combustion Engines – Internal combustion engine operating characteristics, engine maps, engine cycles, engine configuration and design, air and fuel induction, fluid motion within a combustion chamber, heat transfer in engines, friction, and lubrication.
  • Vehicle Dynamics – Acceleration performance, braking performance, aerodynamics and rolling resistance, ride, tires, steady-state cornering, suspensions, steering systems, rollover.

Other subjects addressed in the curriculum include: 

  1. Manufacturing Processes and Systems.
  2. Mechanical Vibrations.
  3. Quality Control and Assurance Methods.
  4. Electrical and Electronics Control Systems.
  5. Dynamic Modeling and Simulation.
  6. Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing.
  7. Engine Performance, Diagnostics, and Emissions.
  8. Machine Health and Remote Monitoring.
  9. Technology Ethics and SustainabilityRead less.
  10. Degrees Similar to Automotive Engineering Technology.

Skills You’ll Learn-

  1. Ability to work independently or as part of a team.
  2. Ability to work well under time and budget pressures.
  3. Active learning as technologies evolve.
  4. Adaptability.
  5. Attention to detail.
  6. Communication / Relationship-building.
  7. Complex problem-solving / Design thinking.
  8. Computers and electronics / Technical savvy.
  9. Creativity / Imagination / Vision.
  10. Dependability.
  11. Drawing / Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD).
  12. Initiative.
  13. Judgment and decision making.
  14. Mathematical skills.
  15. Mechanical skills.
  16. Operation monitoring.
  17. Planning and organization.
  18. Presentation.
  19. Project management.
  20. Quality control analysis.
  21. Spatial reasoning / Visualization.
  22. Systems analysis and evaluation.
  23. Troubleshooting.

What Can You Do with an Automotive Engineering Technology Degree?

Students who graduate with an automotive engineering technology degree most often work in labs and on test courses, helping take new automobiles, trucks, agricultural equipment, construction equipment, and other vehicles from conception and design to the manufacturing and production stage.

Common job titles include:

  1. Automotive Engineering Technician.
  2. Service Engineer.
  3. Performance Testing Engineer.
  4. Engineering Technician.
  5. Factory Technical Representative.
  6. Validation Engineer / Technician.
  7. Dynamometer Engineer / Technician.
  8. Research and Development Technician.
  9. Product Engineer.
  10. Quality Control.
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