SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: William Bailey
TIME: Friday, November 8, 2013, 9:00 a.m.
PLACE: MARC Building, 114
TITLE: Using Model-Based Methods to Support Vehicle Analysis Planning
COMMITTEE: Dr. Chris Paredis, Chair (ME)
Dr. Leon McGinnis (ME)
Dr. Judy Che (Ford Motor Company)


Vehicle performance simulations are becoming crucial to automotive designers wishing to better understand vehicle-level attributes and how they vary under different operating conditions. Such simulations require substantial planning and collaboration between multidisciplinary engineering teams. Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) can be used to make complex engineering tasks such as this more efficient. However, while the benefits of an MBSE approach have been demonstrated across many industries, they are often difficult to quantify and predict for specific processes. As a result, the cost of transitioning to an organization-wide MBSE approach can seem prohibitive, as capital must be invested into new software, training, and workflow practices.

This thesis proposes a transitional MBSE approach to improve the development of Integrated Vehicle Analysis (IVA) models. This approach consists of a set of formal processes, SysML models, and software tools that can be used to improve current modeling practices. Commonly, SysML is used to integrate existing analysis models with a system-level SysML model. The thesis, on the other hand, focuses on using MBSE to support the planning and development of the analysis models themselves.

A master SysML model is presented to formally define the analysis planning process, the artifacts generated when planning vehicle analyses, and a Vehicle Reference Architecture (VRA) for a hybrid-electric vehicle. The VRA defines the domain model hierarchy and superset of interfaces between domains. Using this master SysML model, relationships between analysis models and their artifacts, such as model documentation, may be formally modeled. To overcome domain experts' unfamiliarity with SysML, software tools are used to generate stakeholder-specific, Excel-based user forms from the SysML model. Using this approach, domain experts gain many benefits of MBSE without any formal SysML training.