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Syllabus for

Academic year
MMS195 - Introduction to propulsion and energy systems for transport  
Introduktion till framdrivning och energisystem för transport
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-17 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPMOB
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 89123
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: A
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0121 Intermediate test, part A 2,0c Grading: TH   2,0c    
0221 Intermediate test, part B 2,0c Grading: TH   2,0c    
0321 Intermediate test, part C 2,0c Grading: TH   2,0c    
0421 Project, part D 1,5c Grading: UG   1,5c    

In programs



Tomas Grönstedt

  Go to Course Homepage

Course specific prerequisites

Mathematics (at least 30 cr. including Linear Algebra, Multivariable Analysis, Numerical Analysis and Mathematical Statistics or Probability Theory), Control Theory or Automatic Control (including Signal Processing, Analysis of Feedback Systems (Stability), Design of Control Systems (PI, PID-control, State Space Design), Transfer Functions), Programming

And also
Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics), Fluid Mechanics, Strength of Materials, Product Development (Machine Elements, Machine Design or Design Methodology),
Electric Power Engineering (including Basic Electric Circuit Theory, Electric Machines, Power Electronics and Power Systems)


This course is intended for masters students to form a solid background in vehicle engineering and its relation to their propulsion and energy need. The course aims to support students for further advanced courses in vehicle engineering, propulsion systems and their components. In particular, the students will develop the needed knowledge and skills to select the best type of propulsion system, vehicle type and energy source to perform a certain transport duty. This encompasses introducing fundamentals on shaft and reaction propulsion, delivering a broad engineering understanding of different energy sources and operations and their relation to the type of vehicle selected.  

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • From a mechanical perspective formulate energy, momentum, angular momentum and torque balances to quantify performance of shaft and reaction propulsion elements for different measures of efficiency
  • In a comparative way, for the different modes of transportation, be able to overview the dynamic representation of different vehicle representations.
  • Describe and apply basic scaling laws and conceptual design rules for a range of propulsion components including:
    o Otto, Brayton and diesel combustion cycles and their related components,
    o Electric system components, electric machines, power electronic converters, batteries, fuel cells and their integration into propulsion concepts
  • Describe and apply basic conceptual modelling to predict weight, efficiency and part load behaviour on the components listed in the previous bullet.
  • Relate component performance to top-level analysis and define critical design criteria for the different vehicle systems thereby developing a design basis for the propulsion system
  • Demonstrate the conceptual design process using scalable component descriptions on a range of relevant vehicles
  • Analyse conceptual designs and perform operational analysis of vehicles.
  • Describe and apply basic characteristics of a range of energy carriers and their integration into vehicles including:
    o Fossil fuels
    o Renewable fuels
    o Hydrogen combusted or used in fuel cells
    o Electric energy carries
  • Characterize (including health effects) and predict emissions for the fuels above as used in different vehicle scenarios
  • Understand the underpinning of cost of different fuels, their availability, potential usage and influence on sustainable future scenarios


The course brings in leading researchers and experts from a range of propulsion/energy fields covering automotive, aerospace, naval and railway applications. The learning has a systems-engineering approach and builds upon the fundamental knowledge on how propulsion systems and energy sources are expected to be applied to transportation for the upcoming century. The course should also use external adjoint professors and industry contacts to give state-of-the-art perspectives on vehicle modelling and use.

Examples of propulsion and energy carriers are selected to illustrate basic principles and to introduce the student to the design of propulsion systems that meet conflicting requirements. In particular, the student will learn how to write down models for propulsion components, design under consideration of multidisciplinary scaling rules and relate these rules to energy use and the application of different energy carriers. 

The course involves the learning phases of conceiving, designing and implementing a number of concepts and physics-based rules. It is believed that this is an optimal compromise that allows the future engineer to select the right mode transport, fuel and propulsion system for a future transport task. The course gives a good foundation for further courses on the direct operation of vehicles and courses in vehicle engineering, propulsion systems and their components.


The course is divided into eight modules according to the list below:

Module 1, week 1: Introduction to vehicle types and their usage in the transport sector
Introduction to the main vehicle types and their key performance / limitations for the different vehicle tracks. Survey of current and possible energy carriers.

Module 2, week 2: Introduction to propulsion methods and their application
Different types of drive trains, their application to reaction and shaft propulsion, their interrelation to vehicle efficiency. Characterization of vehicle operation and dynamics.

Module 3, week 3: Component modelling and conceptual design exercises A
Liquid fuels energy carrier modelling, current use and design rules for components as applied to different modes of transportation.

Module 4, week 4: Component modelling and conceptual design exercises B
Liquid fuels energy carrier modelling, driving cycles, hybrids and emissions modelling.

Module 5, week 5: Component modelling and conceptual design exercises C
Electric energy-carrier-based systems component modelling and conceptual design of electric components as applied to different modes of transportation.

Module 6, week 6: Component modelling and conceptual design exercises D
Electric energy-carrier-based systems component modelling, driving cycles, hybrid vehicles, fuel cells and emissions modelling.

Module 7, week 7: Fuel characterization, futures and requirements. Sustainability perspectives
Prime mover selection for task specification. Aspects of sustainability and cost modelling under different scenarios. Additional aspects (charging, vehicle certification, aspects of legislation).

Module 8, week 8: Overall exam
Work on design tasks and additional lectures / industry lectures and further tutoring.


Lecture notes and handouts.

Examination including compulsory elements

The course examination will involve three smaller examinations and one project task
  1. Part A, 2 credits: Vehicles and propulsion (module 1 and 2).
    Assessment: Dugga (in-course written exam). Maximum number of points on the dugga is 30 points.
  2. Part B, 2 credits: Combustion-based drivetrains (module 3 and 4).
    Assessment: Dugga (in-course written exam). Maximum number of points on the dugga is 30 points.
  3. Part C, 2 credits: Electric-based drivetrains (module 5 and 6).
    Assessment: Dugga (in-course written exam). Maximum number of points on the dugga is 30 points.
  4. Part D, 1.5 credits: Prime mover selection design task and complementary lectures (module 7 and 8).
    Assessment: Presentation of solutions and active participation in the discussion.
The grading scale for the 3 duggor is:
Grade 3 between 12 to 17,9 points
Grade 4 between 18-23,9 points
Grade 5 between 24-30 points

For the final grade it is required that all parts, A, B, C and D are passed and when it is fulfilled the final grade is based on the summation of the points from parts A, B and C according to:
Grade 3 between 45-59.9 of the total points from A+B+C
Grade 4 between 60-74.9 of the total points from A+B+C
Grade 5 between 75-90 of the total points from A+B+C

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.